Happy Saturday!

November 17, 2012

It’s a beautiful start to the weekend, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m staying local and enjoying the city. With the cooler season just upon us, one of my favorite ways to pass the hours on a Saturday afternoon around the Upper West Side is to take a glimpse around the Natural History Museum and go across the street to the New York Historical Society for lunch. A huge fan of the decor, they combine perfectly the look of a traditional home dining room with a modern flair. Our recent visit left us a little too full for lunch hour, but the food was just too good to not indulge.

Arancini

Salad

Artichoke Mezzaluna with porcini and parsley

Gnocchi Gratinata with black truffle fonduta

 

 

 

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A Hiker’s Lunch

November 5, 2012

New York is still recovering in the days following Hurricane Sandy, and my heart goes out to all those less fortunate than myself as they continue to look forward. I’ve finally returned to the office, and slowly we’re getting back into the daily routine. Meanwhile, I’ve sorted through a hiking excursion from Montana in a desert area known as Weatherman Draw, containing the largest collection of Native American rock art on the continent.  I recently put together a menu inspired by a hiker’s lunch. It included everything that can be prepped ahead of time, and easily transported to location. We made open grilled chicken and steak sandwiches, a side of beans and trail mix, and Ocean Spray’s sparkling cranberry juice cans for a refreshing taste to quench your thirst.

String beans and grilled chicken sandwich

Trail Mix

Sparkling Cranberry juice

One of many Pictographs

Grilled chicken

Desert landscape

Desert Landscape

Steak sandwich

Donna D.’s signature sandwich is fresh mozzarella on a roll with tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced pickles, a small amount of white onions which must be sliced paper thin and honey mustard sauce. As simple odd as this sandwich may sound, very few delis have been able to perfect it. Either the bread is stale, they don’t shred the lettuce, or even **gasp** use processed mozzarella or even **larger gasp** don’t use the right honey mustard sauce (which I actually don’t even know the name of the brand I prefer). Only two delis have been able to master my sandwich, Toasties in NYC and the Ave in New Rochelle (yes I’ve schlepped to Westchester for my favorite sandwich). You would too if you have ever experienced the amazingness of the Ave.

But at last I have found another deli that can not only perfect my sandwich but also offers da bomb sandwiches for DIRT cheap. I’m talking $7.50 for a foot-long sandwich that can easily feed two people. Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli is just north of the Triborough bridge in Astoria and is an old school deli. Their signature sandwich “The Bomb” is basically every meat and cheese that they offer loaded into a freshly baked Italian sub. The sheer weight of it could easily knock out anyone trying to steal it from you. The sandwich is that good. So be prepared to use it as a weapon to fight off perps.

Sal’s is a cash only joint and doesn’t have any seating so be prepared. For an inexpensive date I suggest grabbing food from Sal’s then heading over to Socrates Sculpture Garden or Astoria Park for a picnic.

Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli’s store front

The bomb & Root beer

What shall I eat?

Slicing cheese

Fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes, honey mustard, and finely sliced onions & pickles on a roll

23rd Ave Astoria

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

August 31, 2012

For those of you getting out for the last hurray of summer… safe travels and have fun! Here’s a little July flashback to a Saturday afternoon dining at Navy Beach in Montauk.

Edamame

Salmon tartare

Mojito

Corn on the cob

Navy burger

 Bloody Mary

Calamari salad

Yunnan ribs

 

 

 

Pumpkin Hill Bistro

August 20, 2012

Pumpkin Hill Bistro, located in the heart of the Finger Lake’s wine region, is a fantastic place to grab lunch. Set in an 1800’s farmhouse, the porch overlooks the vineyards and Cayuga Lake.  After a recent excursion to shop and explore the village of Aurora, we settled in for a turkey sandwich, salad, Maryland style crab cakes and smoked gouda/artichoke dip with toasted pita.

Turkey sandwich and salad

Salad

Crab cakes

The garden

Cheese dip and pita

 

 

 

 

The Weekend’s Here

August 17, 2012

It’s that time of the week when New Yorkers hop on their respective modes of transportation, be it car, train, plane or boat, to escape the city’s August heat and cool down by the water. Here’s a recent beach picnic we had out in Amagansett featuring some of the town’s favorite sandwiches from Mary’s Marvelous and Hampton Chutney. Where are you off to this weekend?

Pretzels on the beach

 

Egg & cheese and Pesto sandwiches

 

Egg & cheese

Pesto sandwich 

 

Lunch with Lovers

August 13, 2012

Who doesn’t enjoy Sunday afternoons spent shopping, eating and hanging out with some of Milan’s coolest crowds? The Lovers— aka my fantastic friends– organize a bi-annual extravaganza that brings together talented up-and-coming Italian designers and artists. Think Italy’s version of Brooklyn’s Artists and Fleas. With temperatures in the triple digits, browsing the market quickly turned into  having a delicious Italian lunch in the shaded seating area. Held at La balera dell’Ortica, a multi-purpose venue on the outskirts of the city, they not only offer great dining options, but bocce, bowling and even dancing for Milan’s residents. As the Lover’s Market continued well into the evening, it was a perfect final day before venturing back Stateside.

Prosciutto wrapped melon

Salad

Roast beef

Chicken

The market

Gnocchi

Watermelon

Prosciutto wrapped melon

Lovers

Espresso