Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Caesar's Pasta raises the bar for everyday Italian Food...

May is Celiac’s Awareness  Month and with more and more people pursuing a gluten free diet either out of necessity and/or out of a health or wellness choice there are more and more 
gluten free opportunities for casual, everyday eating.  One of the pioneering companies to bring gluten free to the everyday routine of the family table is Caesar's Pasta, a third generation pasta company that has raised the bar with regard to providing first rate frozen traditional Italian food to families.

Lynn and I recently had our grandchildren visit and we thought it a good idea to test it out on them.They like pasta and pizza and we have tried to focus on giving them whole wheat organic stuff which they eat without complaint.  We gave them some of the Caesar's Pasta offerings and they ate it up seeming to prefer it to the wheat pasta (they were particularly partial to the Cheese Ravioli). 

Lynn and I liked the offerings very much, particularly the Spinach Gnocchi which would be a great and perfect beach and/or bike picnic staple if it ever gets warm enough on Long Island this season to get on a bike or go to the beach and it is clear that Caesar’s makes a quality everyday product with real care and with a forward thinking outlook.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kelley and Ping marry low and high end Asian cuisine in Soho....

Lynn and I went into Soho in downtown New York to visit friends one recent rainy Saturday (it feels like they have all been rainy Saturdays for awhile in this part of the world) and predictably our first concern was where to get something to eat.  Our good friend hailing from Upstate New York but well acquainted with the Wooster Street area we were navigating around suggested the Asian outpost Kelley and Ping nearby on Green Street.

The menu was eclectic and extensive and seemed that almost every niche of Asian cuisine was well represented and then some.  I had the Yam Ped Krob Salad (Crispy Duck, Mixed Greens and Mint), Lynn had the Pad Thai.  Both flavorful, fresh tasting (particularly my Salad's mint which helped the dish "pop").   We had a nondescript but cold and generously poured glass of dry white wine (as cool as it was outside it was weirdly warm in the restaurant).  A kid's birthday party towards the back of the fairly cavernous restaurant lent the proceedings a raucous but overall good natured air.  The interiors were rugged and had the slightly surrealistic touches of some of the highly stylized but howlingly politically incorrect early Hollywood talkies such as the  Boris Karloff vehicle The Mask of Fu Manchu.  When I passed the bar I noticed a great selection of Japanese whiskeys including Hibiki.

Lynn and I were talking about this restaurant later and we both agreed that it straddled the line between high and low end Asian cuisine combining creative combinations of food and ingredients with a low key but slightly offbeat "vibe" and good prices.  Definitely an authentically cool place in increasingly gentrified Soho....


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mark and Lynn discover Olive's in Soho...

Lynn and I had the chance to visit an old friend in Soho during a recent weekend.  We kind of did what we usually do which was wander around trying to absorb what was going on and hope to discover something that  might connect to our interests; particularly with our food and drink interests.   In this spirit we discovered Olives


We only got a cappuccino and Lynn got a "Jessie's Cowgirl Cookie"  which was a nice combination of dark and white chocolate mixed with cherries.  We had just eaten but some of the sandwiches listed on the chalkboard looked appetizing (Ancho Chili Rubbed Steak with melted jalapeƱo jack and grilled onions on a baguette) so we will definitely make a point of going back...


Friday, May 17, 2013

Kelapo raises the bar on Coconut Oil

We got a nice samplin of Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil recently which is organic, fair trade certified  as well as cold pressed.  The Cadillac of Coconut Oils if you will.  No surprise that we were impressed by its versatility adding a nice creamy sweetness to a variety of food we experimented on such as bacon, grilled cheese, fish and broccoli rabe.  Most of the coconut oils we have used were serviceable but non-descript, expensive, not necessarily easy to find and often came, for some reason, in rather awkward glass containers.  Kelapo's products are in a variety of sizes, some as small as half ounce packets and really make an impact on dishes that even some of the better olive and grapeseed oils don't.   A great discovery for us...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mark and Lynn celebrate Mother's Day Brunch at Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, NY

We had a nice  late afternoon mother's day at Jedediah Hawkins (despite an obnoxious couple next to us for a mercifully short amount of time).  As always, we paid particular attention to the drinks having a great Gin Rickey to start the meal and a couple of great glasses of Clovis Point Rose that were crisp and  refreshing on a typical hot/cold day on Long Island in May.  Oh, and by the way we had great gravlox, salad, sirloin and service to sustain us....

M & L

I am guessing this is Jedediah 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mark and Lynn gain further appreciation for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's Dining Opportunities...

Dueling clefts...

One of the most underrated niches of contemporary dining has been the rise of the Museum Restaurant and Cafe.  We have enjoyed Terrace 5 and Cafe 2 at the MOMA on more than one occasion and we have eaten a couple of times at Bravo at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  and were impressed by the food and wine lists.   This kind of thing only serves to enhance the sensual experience of taking in world class art and on a practical level takes some of the pressure off of getting caught hungry while you are perusing the Mario Testino exhibit.

This time around we tried out fort the first time one of the museum's four dining options: The New American Cafe which is located in the hangar sized courtyard towards the center of the Museum.  The Cafe is a nice combination of casual and fine dining with moderately priced small plates, sandwiches and entrees (most of which are just over 20.00 with Lynn's sweet and savory Parmesan Leek Tart being a mere 16.00).    Despite the modesty of the prices the spectacular setting,  crisp service, quality of the food and short but well curated wine list helped elevate the New American Cafe to the level of a memorable eating experience.

It seems worth mentioning that Lynn and I had a chance to visit the MFA just before the horrific events of the recent Boston Marathon.  In this case what happened helped magnify how important the town of Boston is to us and how important the institutions we love are to us on so many levels.   Our thoughts and prayers are and were with everyone affected by this tragic event.

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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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