Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nagahama, Hidei and the Zen of Sushi Making...





 Lynn's good friend Honi and her sister Carol had raved about Nagahama a small, elegant sushi place in Long Beach for many years and had wanted us to try the place.  Nagahama is well into Nassau County, the western part of Long Island and though we are familiar with some areas of Nassau (Oyster Bay for instance) Long Beach was not one of those areas.



Recently,  we met Honi and her sister for sushi.  We arrived around 6 at which point the place was mostly empty.  Honi and Carol arrived soon afterwards and the quietness of the place helped us to relax a bit from the start.  Honi and Carol said that the menu was great but what they liked to do was let the chef, Hidei, fix them what he wanted.  

Lynn and I like to think that we are always up for anything and most of the time we like to think we are.  This concept threw us for a moment as we probably put pressure on ourselves to order something especially exotic.  However, after some appetizers including delicious and fragrant oysters and mussels we were ready to go.  

I simply told him I like raw tuna and Lynn had some spicy, crispy crab rolls with tiny, ruby caviar on top which satisfied both culinarily and aesthetically.  I had toro tuna tartare which was whipped and frothy like a dessert.  I had a couple of slices of toro tuna later as a digestive.  

In between, I had a great, small bottle of saki poured into a small glass adorned with a cucumber to infuse the drink.  By the time we left the place was full with a casual, but seemingly sophisticated crowd with good manners (nobody was on their cell phone the whole time we were there-a minor miracle).

But the night belonged to Hidei;  his wizened wry offhand prescence was mesmerizing.  We have seen casual chefs and masterful chefs but rarely a casual, and  masterful chef. He made it all look easy and even though he didn't read our minds his instincts were perfection-

Nagahama
169 E. Park Avenue
Long Beach NY
T: 516-432-6446

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mark and Lynn spend a couple of minutes at Wellnext in Sag Harbor...



Wandered through Wellnest during a recent trip to Sag Harbor and found some beautiful housewares as well as some nice organic exotica including Plain-t products made in nearby Southampton as well as some Organic Avenue  stuff.  Lynn found a great and fragrant candle from Le Labo.    Hope to get back and try some of the plain t stuff in particular....

M & L


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shed Chic is inspiration for outdoor fall entertaining...


Shed Chic  (Rizzoli) has been out for about a year but we just discovered it.  Written by Journalist Sally Coulthard, this book is a visual dessert in showing all kinds of outdoor buildings and how exquisite they can be whether it is a potting shed, artist's studio or guest house.  The book also showcases spaces specifically for dining al fresco or entertaining.  Even though summer is past fall is a very underappreciated time of year to entertain outdoors and this book will no doubt spark some inspiration along those lines for you as it did M & L...



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mark and Lynn check out the situation and work our way onto the VIP list for the opening part of the Hotel Indigo...

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Lynn and I love the Hotel Indigo (or is it the Indigo Hotel?) and have stayed there many times while visiting our daughter in Boston. We appreciate it's chic appearance, nice restaraunt, reasonable rates and unobtrusive but helpful staff. Imagine our excitement when we found out that an Inidgo was going to open in supremely unfashionable Riverhead, NY. This weekend was the official opening of the Riverhead Indigo and we were in the area and so we thought it might be fun to see what the place looked like.

When we got there there was a phalanx of bouncers with boulder sized biceps, shaved heads and rather unnerving tatoos.

Oddly enough, they couldn't have been nicer and when we reasonably mentioned that we
merely wanted to see what the hotel looked like we had a VIP tag strapped around our wrist and before you could say "Grey Goose" we found ourselves walking into a sea of bikinis, pectorals and tatoos; in other words we had stumbled upon Hotel Indigo's "Five Day Labor Day Bachanal."  


Lynn and I had seen our share of Hampton style decadence when we covered the Hamptons International Film Festival for several years in a row; suffice to say that we had seen nothing like we saw during our short stay at the Riverhead Indigo (Indigo Riverhead?) earlier today.  Oddly enough, there was an air of amiability in the air and everyone was very content and happy (see how happy the tatooed young woman is in the picture above).  Supposedly Dennis Rodman and Kevin Dillon were going to show up later which must be the biggest news for Riverhead since the Atlantis Aquarium got into town. 

Blue Ribbon revives Mark and Lynn


By the time we had gotten to the Blue Ribbon Restaraunt on Sullivan Street our defenses were pretty well down after being in the maelstrom of NY for several hours having made our way on foot through much of Soho and Noho.  Our exhaustion mostly stemmed from the rush and sensuality of these two areas of New York's Lower East Side, but by about 6pm we only felt our hunger and the blessed need to sit down.

Luckily, we regained our strength at Blue Ribbon.  I got steak tartare which had a great texture and gave me a much needed shot of protein;  Lynn had Skate, one of her favorites which helped her get her second wind. 
Most of all we were glad for the great attention we got from the superlative and unflappable staff. 

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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