Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mark and Lynn Re-discover The Dublin Deck in Patchogue....

Lynn and I had just returned from our short trip to North Carolina and Maryland and felt more than a little exhausted for a few days ("shot" as Lynn would say).  Our natural inclination in these situations is to seek out touchstones in our life to help re-orient ourselves to our "world" and feel our life return to a sense of normalcy.  We happened to be on the way to Flo's in Bayport which is one such touchstone with its "comfort" seafood (fried clams, fried calamari and so on) when we decided to reintroduce ourselves to the Dublin Deck in Patchogue.

Our detour had been mainly about our mild curiosity about the place.  We had gone there a few times over the years and enjoyed our experiences there a great deal but had not been there in several yeas as it is not really in our local "loop."

We had a great experience there and it had enlarged a great deal and seemed more sophisticated than we remembered.  This is particularly the case with the menu.  Lynn had great fish tacos with lightly fried grouper and a savory garlic sauce,  I had a spectacular Ahi Tuna salad that had great flavor and was presented beautifully (as was Lynn's)  Our service was first rate as well.  As a result of this we are officially putting the DD back into our loop.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mark and Lynn check out the Hamptons Salt Comany...

Lynn and I got some samples of salt from the Hamptons Salt Company and were completely blown away with how exquisite they were.

We particularly loved the smoked hickory which added a nice smoldering aroma and crunch to simple fare like grilled cheese.

We also loved the black truffle sea salt which added a creamy bite to regular fare like Lynn's
Kale Salad.

Finally, the rosemary salt added great savoriness to Lynn's brownies for a nice twist on an everyday

We loved the beautiful packaging as well.  It arrived at our house in a beautiful box...

Monday, July 13, 2015

PinPoint Restaurant is our favorite new place in Wilmington, NC....

Lynn and I concluded our whirlwind weekend in Wilmington with a brunch at the PinPoint Restaurant in Downtown Wilmington, NC with our son and daughter in law Jono and Kathy.   The location has been home to other businesses and eateries over the years most notably The Deluxe. The Deluxe was part of Wilmington's downtown renaissance in the late 80's early 90's.  It was successful for a time but ultimately poor management and unimaginative cuisine coupled with a tendency to hire staff based on their looks rather than competence caused this restaurant to slide culinary and otherwise until its demise in 2012.

It was funny to be there in the same space and some of those (good and bad) memories from 20 (or more) years ago began flooding back. I was glad to see that the current occupant PinPoint Restaurant has a much better grip on their menu items, service and everything else.  It was a delightful experience starting with our raven haired waitress (from Albany!) who anticipated our needs, answered questions and helped keep us up to date about a dramatic french toast shortage that she helped rectify.

For me, the surprise was the menu.  Lynn and I typically aren't into heavy brunches or breakfast food, particularly on a hot morning in Southeastern, NC.  It was to our relief that the menu was eclectic and imaginative enough for us to get around having to order a delicious though weighty  "hangover breakfast."

I had a dozen oysters on the half shell which were large, juicy and briny.  Lynn had a cornmeal crusted catfish which was lightly breaded with an unexpected hint of citrus thanks to the citrus based cabbage.  Very filling for both of us without the caloric punch of more traditional bruches.
Jono and Kathy
The ambiance was sophisticated without trying too hard.  The high ceilings and natural light helped bring the summer heat down.  There were many other items on the menu that we were intrigued with (Tuna Tataki, Blue Crab Fritters, Octopus and Pickled Shrimp Lettuce Wraps and so on) so we will definitely be back.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mark and Lyynn check out the A & M Red Food Truck in Wilmington, NC

At the same moment we were enjoying the offerings at the Flytrap we indulged in the A & M Red Food Truck's offerings.  Our son Jono enjoyed decadent sliders consisting of  Burgers, Bacon and Cheese while Lynn and I enjoyed a delicious taco offering with crisp cole slaw and succulent Tilapia. .
These delights paired well with the Flytrap's beer and the food truck was a first rate operation with a nice owner who seemed amused to have us take a picture of the truck.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mark and Lynn check out the Flytrap Brewing in Wilmington, NC...

Lynn and I did our swing through Wilmington, NC recently and were introduced to some nice new places to eat and drink.  These places tended to be located in the historic downtown section of the Port City.

Our son Jono and his wife Kathy were nice enough to be our tour guides to some of Wilmington's new (to us at least) culinary highlights.  One of our favorites was the Flytrap Brewing.  We had a quick drink of the brewery's Cezanne beer which was ice cold and almost fizzy and the perfect remedy for a hot summer night in Southeastern NC. The interior was chic without trying too hard to be cool.  We were in a hurry and didn't have time to try some of the other brews but we will be back.

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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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