Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Zombie Blood Sriracaha impresses with bold flavors....

I love hot sauces and I am always anxious to sample new ones whenever they come across my radar.  Around New Year's I picked up Zombie Blood: Sriracha Verde (by Vital Eats) while in Saratoga.  It has a nice combination of jalapenos, green pepper and apple cider vinegar which gives it notes of sweetness that sets it apart from other Sriracha sauces.   The company makes a number of interesting sauces that I will try to order or pick up next time we are in the upstate region....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Bartlett House in Ghent makes a great first impression on Mark and Lynn

Lynn and I went slightly out of our way to pick up some crosiants and the Cherry Apricot Jam at the recently opened Bartlett House in Ghent, New York.  The Bartlett House has a particularly intereseting backstory having been opened in 1870 as a hotel for railroad patrons and having been featured in some of Walker Evans' work around the turn of the century. We ducked in and out but were very impressed with the atmosphere and the menu and will make a point to return there before summer.

\M& L

Friday, January 6, 2017

Bellport Beer fills in the blanks of Mark and Lynn's brew knowledge....

Lynn and I aren't prolific beer drinkers but because of some of our beer aficionado friends we have tried different beers in the past year or so (many of them at Long Island breweries which continue to pop up with great regularity).  When we want something unusual for ourselves or as a gift we head just down the road to Bellport Cold Beer and Soda (AKA "Daves Bellport Beer"-Dave being the gregarious, knowledgeable owner).  We have always had great service and have found some of our favorites like Dogfish Head's briny, puckery Namaste offering which we enjoy mainly with seafood and shellfish.

Visiting BB is always a learning experience and it is nice to have passionate individuals running this operation in our community.  The place constantly gets new offerings and there are always a plethora of beers on tap to experience.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Pierre's Market in Sagaponack brings high end picnic food to the fore....

Pierre s Market in Sagaponack took over the rustic space of the old Sagg General a little less than a year ago.  The result is a charming, sleek and even sexy outpost that hums in the summer being near the beach and having great food and drink perfect for a beach picnic. 

The fall and winter of course brings a noticeable and pleasant slow down of the pace of life on the East End of Long Island. And, as a result, Lynn and I have enjoyed getting lunch at Pierre's on several occasions when we weren't sure what we wanted but wanted something thoughtfully and well prepared that wasn't a fortune. We are especially fond of the duck salad which is a particular treat when we are starved and desperate for something delicious.

We also get a kick out of occassionally running into Pierre himself (a giveaway is his rakish yellow coupe parked outside-impossible to miss!).  He is always charming and warm.

The young staff are also attractive and sweet natured no matter how busy the market might be.

Rockin Fish in Northport merges Pub with High End to great success....

Lynn and I had gravitated towards the North Shore of Long Island from our own home on the South Shore with the approach of the holidays.  Our recent trip toe Old Westbury Gardens saw us take a releatively easy detour to Northport a charming village with genuine throwback charm, particularly appealing this time of year.

We took a chance on a restaratunt that we had noticed called Rockin FIsh.  Rockin Fish seemed to us a kind of interesting combination of village pub and high end eatery (a gastro pub of sorts).  There are plenty of pubs on Long Island and certainly plenty of high end joints but rare to see the twain connect. 

It does here.  I had a plate of great wasabi and lime garnished oysters ice cold and hefty (AKA "Oysters Samba")  Lynn had Tuna nachos that were delicately plated with juicy hunks of tuna and were not the huge mass of goo and cheese that you typically find in restaurants.

The design was hip and low key with whimsical touches such as a neon anime/cartoonish looking fish hovering on the wall near the bar.

Lynn and I will definitely be back as we are particularly interested in the generous happy hour with $1 Oysters on the Half Shell....M&L

Artist Wendy McNaughton makes our day!

We recently reviewed the book Knives and Ink (Bloomsbury) for this site and as I am also a fan of some of the people involved in our coverage I sent my copy off to the Illustrator of the book Wendy McNaughton who was not only nice enough to sign it but sketch a knife poised above a pie on the dedication page.   Very nice!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Locals brings a hipster vibe to Port Jefferson...

Lynn and I have begun frequenting Locals in Port Jefferson for cofee and macarons (Lynn's thing).  The place reminds me very much of old haunts from college and my mid-20's.  There are almost always students there pecking away on their laptops and a few professorial types wandering in and out.  WIth its re-purposed seating and Banksyesque artwork the vibe and atmosphere would not be out of place in the Village or even Brooklyn.  The coffee is the best we have had of late and Lynn is enamored of the macarons which are light and flaky with interesting flavors (like pumpkin).   The service is crisp and efficient and there is a warmth there despite the hip interior.  M&L

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...


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