Friday, April 13, 2018

Paries satiisfies sweet cravings since 1895....

Lynn loved these after dinner treats that the baristas would patiently wrap. We brought these back as treats for our friends. .Lynn's favorite was fleur de self with the lauburo image symbolic of Basque unity in San Sebastian.  

M & L

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mark and Lynn have a quick drink at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra in San Sebastian

Lynn and I loved the Hotel Maria Cristina during our recent trip to San Sebastian but curiosity compelled us to check out the "other" boutique hotel in San Sebastian the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.  We had a couple of Red Vermouth there on the rocks.  Even though it was a warm day it was nowhere near warm enough to hit the beach in full view from the hotel bar....

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bar Roberto impresses with Creative Cocktails, Pinxtos and Hospitality....



Bar Roberto in the heart of San Sebastian is tiny and charming with a warm staff and a great take on the pinxtos (similar to tapas) that are packed with flavor due in no small part to the unusual combinations of spices, garnishes and seafood (particularly savory anchovies and sardines).  We had one of many Maranito cocktails specific to the San Sebastian/Donastia region of Spain.  This drink, a combination of a substantial amount of Vermouth with dashes of Campari, Gin and bitters finished off with Orange Rind and Olives. The Olives and Orange work surprisingly well together and the drink packs a flavorful punch somewhat reminiscent of a Negroni.

Definitely one of our favorite places we visited due to its earthiness and delcious and extremely inexpensive and creative food and drink. 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Old Town Coffee in San Sebastian, Spain is a refuge for bleary eyed Mark and Lynn....


Lynn and I just got back from San Sebastian Spain and we are still feeling the impact this region's food culture had upon us.  One of our favorite breakfast places was Old Town Coffee about a 20 minute walk from our Hotel.  Lynn loved her fragrant Latte and my Americano was strong enough to help me shake off at least some of the jet lag from our trip from JFK to Madrid.
We kept things simple for the most part sticking with our drinks and the delicious tostadas topped with next level avocado and juicy Spanish ham (jamon).  The young couple there were attractive and accommodating. We were immensely appreciative of this great, warm venue to reset our selves.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mark and Lynn discover Bibiop...


Lynn and I discovered this great Asian eatery, Bibibop while away last weekend near Washington, DC.  Bibibop is a Korean dish typically consisting of rice topped with vegetables and some sort of protein.  We were impressed by the variety of choices we had while building our bibibop.  You can mix and match a plethora of toppings like black beans, potatoes, purple rice, red cabbage, spicy chicken and so on.  \
 In essence, you could eat a seemingly endless array of meals at Bibibop; as decadent or as healthy as you can imagine..(see image below)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dolfin Chocolates are a nice find for Mark and Lynn in the New Year...



Lynn and I found the most excellent chocolate bar at Fairway Market in Plainview (of all places) crafted by a Belgium company called Dolfin.  Lynn took a chance on a chocolate bar of "Poivre rose" (Pink Pepper).  It was amazing with an authentic bite of the pink pepper which melded wonderfully with the out of this world chocolate.  The company makes a wide variety of chocolates so this is on the beginning for us....

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Slurp Ramen Bar in Port Jefferson impresses with its delicious menu and stellar service....


Lynn and I stumbled upon Slurp early last fall in a fairly nondescript building that is part of a small shopping mall in Port Jefferson, NY.  The main attraction here is there extensive Ramen bowl selection which would not necessarily pique our interest as we don't go out of our way to have Ramen (Lynn likes it better than I). However, the menu also has some delicacies that were immediately appealing to Lynn and myself including a Veggie Bun which is a steamed bao bun filled with vegetables done in a Tempura style that melts in the mouth.  I enjoyed the BBQ Tofu which was enlivened by the sweet and savory Japanese BBQ sauce.


The menu also has a great side of Japanese style calamari and Fried Chicken which are both crunchy and flavorful. Lynn has enjoyed the Ramen on more than one occasion, being particularly fond of the "Slurp Classic" which included really nice pork belly.  The staff are a young, charming, attentive and attractive group who are unfailingly competent and polite.  This place is rapidly becoming our favorite lunch venue on Long Island despite it being a 40 minute drive from our house it is well worth the trip...M& L

Friday, January 5, 2018

Upstate Distilling Company makes its mark in Saratoga Springs...


While in Upstate NY over the weekend Lynn and I visited the Upstate Distilling Co. while in Saratoga Springs.  The Distillery, just over a year old is the first Distillery to open in Saratoga Springs since Prohibition. We met UD owner Ryen Van Hall who led us through a tasting of the Distillery's offerings.  Upstate Distilling uses only organic New York sourced ingredients (even their barrels are New York sourced).  We were especially impressed with the rye whiskey, which, as explained by Mr. Van Hall, was a big part of Pre-Prohibition distilling in New York State.

We took home a bottle of "Ryen's Rye" which was the best whiskey we have had.  It was a great tonic to the bitter minus 10 degree weather in Upstate.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tara Kitchen in Schenectady impresses Mark and Lynn with it's Mrroccan fare....


This past New Year's weekend was a brutal one weather wise Upstate where we visited.  One of the bright spots for us was the experience of dining at Tara Kitchen in Schenectady.  Tara Kitchen serves Moroccan fare which we love but don't indulge in nearly enough.  Owners Aneesa Waheed and Montasim Shoaib have created a place of extraordinary warmth with a dazzling menu full of exotic combinations of flavors.  Lynn and I sampled the Harissa Dip which was a fusion of the heat and savoriness of garlic along with the sweetness of cumin.  So it was with the Harissa Olives and the Lamb with Cauliflower Oranges and Black Olives.  

The service was casual but extremely efficient as our waitress attended to our every query about the food, expertly weighing in about the menu and the subtleties and nuances of the flavors and spices. The heat of the food was a particular tonic to us as the temperature hovered at minus 10 degrees just outside.  Tara's got our highest recommendation which is "If this place was near where we lived we would go there all the time."

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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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