Despite this endless summer we've been having I've been craving mushrooms. Like sauteed, tender, meaty mushrooms. I've also been really into baked pasta since they provide ample leftovers, which is clutch during coaching season. Ergo, I want mushroom lasagna.Read More
After a three and half hour drive north I finally see the faded, familiar flag that marks my aunt and uncle's house set amidst the golden leaves. The dogs come bounding down the stairs as I fight my way up with a bottle of wine and an overnight bag. I greet my family and take a look around the Adirondack style house. Same as ever, it brings a smile to my face to be somewhere so peaceful, so beautiful and surrounded by family and the great outdoors. It was a quick one night stay but being in the middle of the wild Adirondacks works wonders to calm my overactive mind and my growling stomach.
The towns in the Gore Mountain area all seem to blend into one another. The large swathes of land and the winding Hudson River make it difficult to draw boundaries but that's never stopped me from finding good food. Basil and Wicks in North Creek has been around for ages pleasing both locals and visitors. Conveniently set on the way towards the mountain is the lodge style building that has burgers, salads, steaks and the best crispy duck wings in a sweet chili sauce. There's also O.P Fredrick's with a surprisingly seafood heavy menu but I swear by all things duck here. The duck burrito and half roasted duck are house favorites for a reason.
This weekend though I had been craving the Korean barbecue wings from barvino on the "main drag" in North Creek. The menu stresses local and fresh ingredients meaning the menu changes daily. There are a few more permanent items such as the mussels, the frites, and the wings. I am not ashamed to say that between my sister, cousins and I we have demolished four to five plates of wings a sitting. Supremely crunchy (they're fried) and drenched in sauce with a gentle toss of sesame seeds and scallions these wings are the stuff dreams are made of. During this past visit I got a plateful as well as the salad with preserved lemon and lavender honey goat cheese. The salad was a welcome bite of bright, floral flavors to counter the wings. Sadly, the gnocchi with brandy, cream, bacon and almonds (I know, right?!) was not on the menu, which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat.
Any trip up north wouldn't be complete without a trip to Oscar's Smokehouse . The deli counters are full of plain and marinaded meats, various sausages, and deli style salads and cheeses. It's hard to exercise self control but when it comes down to it there are three must have items: bacon, maple breakfast sausages, and smoked chicken salad. The bacon is thin cut and simply awesome. The maple breakfast sausages are unlike any other I've had; the flavor legit explodes in your mouth. And the smoked chicken salad never gets old and I now have people placing orders with me for the next time I go up. Oscar's does ship certain items but the chicken salad isn't one of them...which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat. Noticing a theme are we?
Oscar Wilde said, "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." and the best is exactly what this area of upstate New York is. Whether it's scenery, food, or recreation, it is sure to be a wee bit wild. Until the next dish, ciao!
As a child, my Sunday routine went something like this: Wake up, go to church, go see Aunt May and Uncle Ed (not their real names) for "S Cookies" and, seasonally, apple picking in the backyard. By "S Cookie" I mean the Stella D'oro Original breakfast cookie but I don't know anyone who calls it that.Read More
Coming home from this vacation was tough. I hadn't posted in two weeks, I realized I didn't get to post as much as I wanted this summer, and there was barely anything to eat in the fridge upon my return. I probably should have just stayed on vacation. I found some new eats in the Westerly area that definitely would have made my stay worth it.Read More
Sitting at our table among what had to be all of Ulster County’s retirees, my cousins and I sipped our wine, finished forkfuls of near perfect homemade lasagna and asked each other, why don’t we do this more often? It wasn't a family function so to speak (none of the silver haired folks were ours to claim) but it was functional for our family. We're Italian. Food, drink, accordion music, and dropping final vowels in words like "prosciutto" are in our nature and we should do so whenever possible. While geography has proved a bit tricky, we found our way together this weekend at Magnanini’s Winery and Restaurant in Wallkill, New York.Read More
It’s a typical Saturday morning in early spring; rain splatters across my windshield, the wind nudges my car this way and that but I couldn't be happier. I’m on my way to the grocery store. But not just any grocery store; I’m off to Stew’s. Stew Leonard’s that is. If the task of grocery shopping seems to be a laborious task standing between you and your next spin class then you could use a trip to Stew’s. You don’t even have to be a foodie to appreciate the experience. I mean, who doesn’t love the whir of a coffee roaster, the flickering flames of the rotisserie or singing sticks of butter (oh yes, you read that last one correctly). Welcome to Stew Leonard’s of Yonkers.Read More