Friday, August 18, 2017

The transcendent Thai Spice in Wilmington save Mark and Lynn's night....

Lynn and I were starving one night during our recent trip to Wilmington. We had little interest in going out as we were exhausted and felt like take out was the way to go.   Our daughter in law recommended Thai Spice.  We ordered  Seafood Salad and Pad Thai.  Both were exquisite.  The  Seafood  Salad balance all of the exotic flavors beautifully and it's chill was a great tonic to the humid North Carolina night.  Lynn's Pad Thai had a lightness that is rare in this dish which is often top heavy with noodles.   The dining area was charming and hopefully we will be able to dine there the next time we are in the Port City.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mark and Lynn visit Wilmington's Rx again...

The food scene in my hometown Wilmington is hit and miss from our perspective.  This is particularly true in the downtown area which has a lot of energy and a thriving night life but sees a lot of establishments come and go.  One of the more established restaurants in downtown is Rx whose name is a call back to the building's previous history as a pharmacy.  We had eaten there a couple of times during a visit a few years ago and were pleasantly surprised that it still was around as many established Wilmington eateries (Catch, Cafe Phoenix, Deluxe) had shuttered within the last few years.  

The menu tends to be heavy in the way a lot of Southern cooking tends to be heavy with a lot of fried foods, pork and sauces. Much of Rx's offerings are locally sourced which is great, however the menu has a too cute affectation with regard to identifying these sources (e.g. "Stefan's Heirloom Tomatoes") which Lynn and I found mildly annoying. Despite the comfort food leanings of the menu Lynn and I found the okra fries a great starter with a light, almost tempura battering.

We did manage to get a nice Tuna Tartare which was a surprise considering the comfort food loaded menu.  The bar also made me a nice negroni without batting an eye.  The wait staff and hostess were great.  Very attentive and poised even on a busy Saturday night.


Mark and Lynn discover the sublime Black's Bar and Kitchen in Bethesda

We ventured South recently and we are always interested in finding new culinary adventures.  We found a sublime place in Black's Bar and Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland.  We indulged in their generous happy hour with Thai Style Mussels that were buttery and ample. 

We also made our decadent way through 18 Chesapeake Oysters which were sweet and succulent.

Finally, I had a potent sample of an infusion of orange and whiskey which was amazingly fragrant  had a nice burn. 

Our attractive waitress was very nice and attentive and the atmosphere was sophisticated with great lighting and aesthetics but somehow warm and relaxed.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The North Fork Table and Inn Food Truck generates a perfect early summer vibe...

Lynn and I had lost touch with one of our old favorites The North Fork Table and Inn.  Not for any real reason other than the usual distractions of our life and maybe just a fundamental interest in focusing on trying new places to eat and drink.  Our interest re-visiting this North Fork institution spiked as a result of our curiosity in checking out their food truck (which has been there awhile) and maybe seeing what action hero Chef Stephen Borgadus was up to. 

Our experience was sublime.  The Truck menu has traditional offerings but with a twist or two (Fried Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Aioli/Black Bean Burger with Cumin Lime Cole Slaw).  Lynn had Bahn Mi with Smoked Pork Loin and Sricaha Mayo while I had a hefty salad with grains and crispy onions.  We had an exceptionally great glass of Rose from McCall Vineyards to puncuate a perfect early summer moment...

M& L

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Early Spring Treat from the Dark Horse in Riverhead....

Chef Jeff Trujillo of the Dark Horse   in Riverhead made this delectable Easter buche with Chocolate Ganache. (Hand delivered by Lynn's boss and Jeff's Uncle Dwight)...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Toro Tapas & Tequila makes a great first impression....

Toro is a new Tapas and Tequila venue just off the main drag in Patchogue.  We had noticed it a couple of times, but it is off our usual routes so we ended up making a special point to try it with friends.  Simply put, Lynn and I were blown away.  We stuck to their inventive tapas menu where highlights were a savory brussel sprout dish with cheese finished with a hint of aromatic oil ("Coles De Brusellas") and smoky  peppers that has just the right amount of seasoning and heat.  We also savored lightly breaded fish croquettes with a lemon aoli ("Croquetas De Pescado").

 The service and atmosphere was sublime as well.  We have returned already on a couple of occasions as this place is quickly becoming one of our local favorites.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Little Creek Oysters in Greenport gives the traditional Oyster Shack a hip spin...

Lynn found the Greenport, NY gem that is the Little Creek Oyster Farm and Market from a post on The North Forker and it lived up to our expectations and then some. We had two dozen local Oysters on the Half Shell that were briny and bracing on a dreary, rainy day.  The atmosphere was warm with an interior that would have made Wes Anderson proud. Vinyl records lined one wall and a sophisticated turntable shared space at the bar ("Vinyl Night" is a frequent event on Thursdays).  The attractive and engaging owners spoke with us about all things oyster.  I shucked our second dozen dumping the shells into a bucket with emblazoned with  "Shuck Yourself."  After our two dozen and a couple of local beers we reluctantly went back into the baleful late February cold looking forward to our return...

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.


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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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