Tag Archives: cheesecake

Love Lane: Mattituck, LI

5 Jan

After our wonderful adventure exploring the wineries in Long Island, Lori suggested we do dinner at one of her favorites, Love Lane Kitchen.

We didn’t have reservations, so they told us it would be about 30 minutes.

Luckily, right next door was Love Lane Market… and I love me a market. (I think they may be owned by the same people, but I’m not positive)

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They stock their shelves with great ingredients, many of which I am familiar with and some new ones.  It reminded me of a little Eataly.

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But with a bit more personal touch.

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I have this odd love for these types of chairs. I THINK the top is what they use to form horse saddles, but I could be making that up.

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Even their tiled floor was cool.

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I REALLY wanted to try the rotisserie duck, but we wouldn’t be able to eat it before I was off on a trip. Lori and her ABF got on though and said it was great.

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They even had a selection of homemade pastas.

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And homemade mozzarella.

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As well as a wood fire pizza oven in the back.

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This is the type of market that I wish would open up near me in Manhattan.  But it was just perfect in this little Long Island town, on Love Lane.

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As soon as we got out of the market, Love Lane Kitchen was calling our names.  We sat down and immediately dove into some delicious, fluffy rolls.

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We began with a calamari salad.  It’s refreshing to have calamari that isn’t fried and this was delicious, with a dressing that brought out all the great flavors.

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Mike, shockingly, got the cheeseburger.  Since it was devoured before I even remember picking up my fork, I’ll assume he enjoyed it.

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Lori got the skirt steak.  I tried some (without the sauce) and it was juicy and perfectly cooked.  It also had a nice char on it, so the flavor was great.

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Lori’s ABF chose the short ribs.  Oh these were good.  They were so tender and the sauce was a perfect compliment.

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I went with the pork belly with a slow cooked egg.  This was cooked to perfection, with both crunchy bits and the melty soft fats that make pork belly oh so good.

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And boy oh boy do I love eggs. It was on top of a radicchio (I think) which is usually a bit too bitter for me, but with the sweet of the pork and the egg yolk, it was delish!

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As if we weren’t indulgent enough, we split THREE desserts.  We got the cheesecake, the apple pie, and the chocolate pecan pie.  All three were good, but nothing was outstanding.  And I was too full to even look at another bite.

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Though the pumpkin cheesecake did just keep on calling out to me… “just one more bite!”

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Love Lane Kitchen was a perfect end to a perfect day.  Great, home style food cooked with love and attention.  Everything was scrumptious and I would love to go back to try more.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

For Lori’s take on our meal at Love Lane Kitchen, visit her blog here.

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The Palm

15 Nov

When you think of classic NYC steakhouses, The Palm is always on the list, but it has always been a bit of an unsung hero in my mind.  Every meal I have had there has been far above average.  My latest experience there was no exception.

Mike got the Shrimp Bruno: three jumbo shrimp française sautéed in a dijon mustard sauce. I don’t even like mustard but this was delicious.

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I got the Lobster Bisque. It was a very smooth bisque, filled with flavor, without being at all spicy (plus one for me!)  It’s classic and it’s delicious.

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We decided to split the T bone (best of both worlds: 1/2 tenderloin and 1/2 strip… so you get tender on one side and marbled on the other).

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It was perfectly cooked. Seared on the outside, pink towards the middle, and then a slightly red center.

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We went with some potato concoction (it may have been a special that night?) that tasted like it was cooked in drippings.  SO GOOD.

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We also got the creamed spinach which was cooked well, and thankfully featured more spinach than cream.

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The dessert selection was a test of will.

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Of which we had none…

Mike got the cheesecake, which was exactly how it should be. Nothing fancy, nothing dressed up. Just delicious, well baked, perfectly textured cheesecake.

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I got the chocolate lava cake.

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And it did exactly what lava cake is supposed to do:

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And it tasted great too!

Overall, The Palm should get more acclaim in the hotly contested NYC Steak Market.  It is classic, always well prepared, and with fantastic service.  There are a lot of people in New York doing a lot of fancy things… but the Palm isn’t fancy. It’s just good.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Florida Noms: Chardonnay (Palm Beach Gardens)

6 Jun

 

 

Our Florida trip was going to end with taking in a pre-season Mets game in Port Saint Lucie.  As we drove up in torrential down-pouring rain, I had a feeling the game wasn’t going to happen.  Sure enough, just as we were passing the Palm Beach area, the game was cancelled.  Since we were flying out of the West Palm Beach area airport, we decided to kill some time at the movies and the mall.  What else are you supposed to do in a Florida beach town in the pouring rain?  After a lovely indoor day, we had about 3 hours before our flight and found ourselves in search of a nice place to have dinner.  A few cross-checks via Yelp and OpenTable sent us to Cafe Chardonnay in Palm Beach Gardens.

Here is a peak at the menu:

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This place was having a bit of an identiy crisis.  It was called a cafe, had a cheesy graphic logo that looked like it was made in MS Paint, was decorated sort of high end French and sort of street cafe, and had an elegant sounding menu.

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We started with Warm Almond Crusted Goat Cheese to share.  It came with figs and a raisin bread.

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And it was fantastic.  The goat cheese was perfect, the figs were a great sweet compliment, and I liked that they crisped up the raisin bread so everything spread well on it.

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Mike had a wedge salad.  The blue cheese was chunky and very good.

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Then he had the Prawn “Scampi” over fresh linguine.

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We both agreed that it was just okay.

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I made a combination of specials (to avoid peppers) with the Sea Bass over the side dishes that were originally to come with the crab crusted flounder.

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Braised artichokes, mushrooms, gnocchi…  all the makings of a great dish.  But it just wasn’t.  It was okay, but also lacking.  (Is there a lack of flavor problem in Florida?)

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I was kind of surprised that the entrees were just bland, but dessert looked promising.

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We chose the pecan pie.

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AND the cheesecake (hush… it was “vacation”)

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Both were totally “ehh.”

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I think the best description for this place was “ehh.”  Everything was just “ehh.”  Which basically described most of our “high-end” Florida dining experiences on this trip… “EHHH”

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

 

 

Top Recipes of 2010

31 Dec

Before going into the Top Nom Restaurants of 2010, I wanted to share with you my favorite recipes that I discovered and came up with in 2010 (click on the links for the recipes):

Best Brunch Recipe: Crustless Ham & Egg Tarts

Best After Work Dinner: Chicken Stuffed with Grapes, Hazelnuts, and Parmesan Cheese

Best Weight Watchers Recipe: Weight Watchers – Chicken Tagine with Apricots

Best Seafood: Scallops Lime & Vine

Best Odd Protein: Ostrich Steak

Best Chicken Recipe: Zuni Chicken & Bread Salad

Best Side: Corn Fritters

Best Desserts (You know I couldn’t pick just ONE):

Homemade Crunchie Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Meringue Minis

Banana Faux Ice Cream

This year has taught me, above else, that the best cooking comes from reckless abandon.  Throw caution to the wind and spices in your pot.

Happy Nomming!

Angelo and Maxie’s- Restaurant Week 2010

1 Mar

After a lovely mani/pedi date with the incredible Lori, she recommended we visit Angelo and Maxie’s where not only was her friend, Carlotta, tending bar, but it was also Restaurant Week.  Even though I’m supposed to be on a diet, I figured I could make it work at a steak house with portion control.  Plus, I just need to enjoy SOME of Restaurant Week like I have in year’s past (Summer 2009 and Winter 2009).

In case you don’t know how restaurant week works, here is the menu from Angelo and Maxie’s (they all work similarly with a prix fixe of an app, entree, and dessert with lunch for $24.07 and dinner for $35):

*****

RESTAURANT WEEK 2010 MENU

Sunday-Friday

January 25th-February 28th, 2010 

(excluding Saturdays and February 14th)

_____

First Course

Choice of:

Maxie’s House Salad

Angelo’s Caesar Salad

Soup of the Day

_____

Second Course

Choice of:

Grilled Filet Mignon (au poivre or béarnaise available)

Charbroiled New York Sirloin Steak

1 ½ pound Herb-Roasted Chicken

Broiled Salmon over Fresh Sautéed Vegetables

Marinated Roumanian Steak with Grilled Onions (dinner only)

Maxie’s Chopped Steak with Sautéed Onions (dinner only)

_____

Third Course

Choice of:

Cheesecake

Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream

Fresh Fruit

_____

LUNCH:  $24.07

DINNER: $35.00 

*****

Lori and I both chose the caesar salad (per Carlotta’s recommendation) but only I went all in with the anchovies.  (Lori got them on the side but couldn’t bring herself to try one).  I LOVE salt, so I like anchovies, though only in small doses.

We also both chose the Filet, however, I went with mine sauceless (hoping to save some calories).


Lori chose au poivre.

For my dessert, I sucked it up and chose the fruit salad.  It was a sad moment in my life, but I knew I couldn’t have both the steak AND the cheesecake.

Or could I? Lori was gracious enough to give me a few bites. Thank GOODNESS I didn’t get this… it was so insanely good I never would have stopped eating it.

I love the take-home bags with all the cows.

We also each enjoyed a glass of the Malbec, again as recommended by our lovely bar tender Carlotta. It was a Carolores Del Sol and we both enjoyed it very much! Will have to be on the lookout for that little gem.

Overall, I thought our meal was great, and for $24 it’s hard to beat! The steak was cooked perfectly and, if you’re not slaving over a diet, you MUST try the cheesecake.  Holy cow!

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Lori, a fellow food blogger (and lover), wrote about our experience here if you’d like to see her perspective on the same meal.