Restaurants »Shuck’s

At Smorgasburg

Shucks, the new fried clam stand at Smorgasburg was so delicious, I’m basing this glowing review off of a single bite snatched from mike’s dish.

Never have I had fried clams so light and tender. Usually even good clams can be rubbery and taste heart-stoppingly fried.

This will be a must on my next Smorgasburg visit.

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Posted on July 19, 2012

Restaurants »Red Hook Lobster Pound

at Smorgasburg and 284 Van Brunt Street

The Red Hook Lobster Pound lobster roll is gauaranteed to be one of the best bites at smorgasburg but it’s also one of, if not the priciest at $16. Makes it hard to accept if you want to sample lots of goodies.

So here’s a tip. For a mere (ha!) $10 you can enjoy their tarragon tinged shrimp roll which is arguably as good as their name sake sandwich.

It’s a refreshing summer bite on these record breaking hot days.

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Posted on June 28, 2012

Recipes »Thai Steamed Mussels

From Epicurious

The original recipe is called “Spicy” Thai Steamed Mussels, but this is completely mild. Not bland, mind you, just not spicy.

It is flavorful and super easy once you’re past the tedious de-bearding and cleaning stage.

Don’t forget bread to mop up the fragrant broth.

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Posted on June 15, 2012

Restaurants »Bon Chovie

At Smorgasburg

Oh, Bon Chovie, how I love thee. If I had to pick just one bite at Smorgasburg this would be it. But how to decide between fried (always opt for heads on) and the fresh boquerones? Well, usually only one or the other is available so the choice is made for you.

If I was ever called upon to brag about my life as it stands, I think the fact that I can walk down to the waterfront with my awesome baby and husband and eat up fresh anchovies would be a major talking point.

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Posted on May 22, 2012

Restaurants »Block Island Round-Up

On Block Island, it’s all about seafood and I am going to steer you away from the mediocre to the great.

Starting with Ballard’s, which is often party central, I’m talking dudes with tramp stamps (a phenomenon we speculated and joked about all trip), and views of all sorts of revelers on Ballard’s Beach. You might think the place was a mere tourist trap, and even if it is, it’s got the crab legs to make your summer blissful. Great oysters, chow-dah, mussels, and steamers too. And of course, once can’t pass up their Del’s plus vodka.

Another Old Harbor favorite is Finn’s, which also boasts great steamers and fried whole belly clams with a great outdoor deck. We also got huge shrimp for their market for barbecuing.

We started our trip with a dinner of great fried clam strips and weird but good doughboys from Rebecca’s. Heard their lobster rolls aren’t so hot, but just hop across the street to the Del’s spot for a pretty good one.

Best meal, though, next to those succulent crab legs, goes to Three Sisters, a tiny outpost of sandwiches during the day, and an amazing fish cook out menu at night. We had blackened bluefish, grilled zucchini, awesome clams, and incredible slightly teriyaki tuna steaks which made me obsessed with making tuna this summer.

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Posted on July 15, 2011

Restaurants »Lobster Joint

1073 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

North Greenpoint is home to all sorts of new goodness including the recently opened Lobster Joint that has taken over the previous Lamb and Jaffy space (which really went down hill).

Airy and casual, it seemed like the perfect place to pop in during the hot weather.

After a sweaty walk, I honestly was just not in the mood to fork over $17 for a sandwich, so I opted for the slightly cheaper crab roll because I really do love me some crab.

It was creamy but not over powered by the mayonnaise and was filled with good lumps of crab, not filler. Super yummy.

It came with a bag of chips and slaw, which was eh, but I am not a slaw lover so I couldn’t really say how it fares in comparison to others.

The menu features all sorts of stuff I’d like to try eventually: lobster bisque, fish and chips, and a raw bar.

Inevitably with lobster rolls and the like, the question of cost comes up – and I don’t know yet how to answer it. I can’t expect the incredible value of the Connecticut shore in NYC (a foot long lobster roll for about $13) but is the price we pay really reasonable?

Well, I’ll let that arguement sit for now and not let it cloud judgement on this particular restaurant since the price of lobster is what it is. At the same time, I can’t afford to come here as often as I’d like and get my usual overdose of Summer lobster.

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Posted on June 8, 2011

Recipes »Scallion Crusted Artic Char

from Epicurious

I know that slathering mayonnaise on food doesn’t appeal to everyone and I admit this turned out looking a little more like a burnt marshmallow than I expected, but I promise this simple three ingredient Scallion Crusted Arctic Char is delicious.

I found the recipe on epicurious after seeing an Iron Chef char battle and wanting to prepare the salmon and trout like fish.

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Posted on May 6, 2011

Restaurants »Chip Shop

383 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn

I epically failed to get an appetizing photo of my Chip Shop fish and chips, apologies. But even if it wasn’t photogenic, the battered cod and thick fries were very tasty.

We ordered in at a friend’s house and made a night of it, so I do think everything would have been slightly less soggy in the restaurant itself, but it properly scratch the itch we were both feeling for the British classic dish.

Between the cod, haddock, and plaice, our group ordered some of each and really, there’s not too much of a difference. All are white fish, but my cod was firm and mild.

Chip Shop boasts more English delicacies like mushy peas, fried candy bars and haggis, but it’s hard to add anything to the meal when it’s already all things fried. We did share a great comforting side of baked beans though.

Aside from the Park Slope location we ordered from, Chip Shop has a location on Atlantic Avenue.

Don’t forget the vinegar and go ahead and ask for extra tartar sauce – it’s excellent.

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Posted on April 11, 2011

Recipes »Crab Fried Rice

from Serious Eats

I love crab, I love fried rice, so this Crab Fried Rice recipe was a guaranteed hit in my house.

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Posted on April 6, 2011

Recipes »Cajun Style Blackened Halibut, Collard Greens, Potato Gratin

from Epicurious and Martha

An evening at Astrid and Marcus’ always means we are in for a special meal. They have the patience and attention to detail to offer us friends restaurant quality food with the comfort of friendly gossip while eating off our laps and letting Van chill out on the rug.

Recently we were treated to the best collard greens I’ve ever had, a lovely kicked up blackened halibut and a refreshingly mild, lemony potato gratin. Smoky beers, great wine and a thinly sliced fennel salad (that has me wanting to buy a mandoline slicer) rounded out the delicious meal. Thanks guys, yummy and memorable as always.

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Posted on March 18, 2011

Recipes »Moqueca

from Simply Recipes

Jim and I were worried about blandness based on the simplicity of the ingredient list for this Brazilian Fish Stew, or Moqueca but they belie incredible flavor and one of the yummiest meals we’ve been surprised by in a while.

We used ingredients we already had on hand so we omitted the rice and cilantro.

This is one of those meals that impresses but actually takes very little effort. Another Simply Recipes gem.

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Posted on February 22, 2011

Recipes »Slow-Roasted Salmon with Cabbage, Bacon, and Dill

from It’s About Time: Great Recipes for Everyday Life via Serious Eats

Serious Eats doesn’t steer me wrong when it comes to recipes and when I saw salmon being described as “custardy” and looked at the list of ingredients for this Slow-Roasted Salmon with Cabbage, Bacon, and Dill I knew I had to give this one a try.

It’s actually quite easy just with a longer cook time than most salmon recipes but so worth it. Tasted as good as I’d expect at a restaurant.

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Posted on January 12, 2011

Recipes »Spaghetti With Crab Sauce

From Mario Batali

This Spaghetti with Crab Sauce may not be too much to look at and the limited recipe list may indicate a lack of flavor, but it will surprise you.

Hearty and delicious, this simple meal focuses on the crab, which I have never tried in a tomato based sauce before.

Mario Batali calls for fresh Dungeness Crab, but, come on – it is still yummy with the canned stuff.

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Posted on January 8, 2011

Recipes »Zella’s Crab Stew

from Food and Wine

The photos of Zella’s Crab Stew were so unappetizing (bad light, camera phone, a whitish mushy stew), you’d never believe me when I told you it was spicy, crabby deliciousness.

So, please accept a hastily drawn interpretation of the dish that I served as a light but satisfying meal for Christmas afternoon.

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Posted on December 26, 2010

Recipes »Scallop and Corn Chowder

from Real Simple

It’s finally brisk outside and among the wonderful things this brings (jackets, hot drinks, autumn air to name a few) it means it is chowder season. Real Simple usually offers easy recipes that pack more punch than their ease and limited ingredients would suggest, and this thick, potato and pancetta enhanced belly warming Scallop Corn Chowder is no different.

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Posted on October 22, 2010

Recipes »Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream

from Ellie Kriger

While the Summer season is officially over, with lingering 90 degree days I think we can safely get in a few more sunshiny dishes like this easy and delicious Fish Taco with Chipotle Cream. The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger, a Food Network star unfamiliar to me (maybe because she’s all about healthy) but if her version of health food is this tasty, maybe I’ll look into more of her recipes.

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Posted on September 26, 2010

Restaurants »Imperial Palace

13613 37th Ave, Flushing, Brooklyn

Imperial Palace has a more upscale atmosphere than some Flushing spots (not that that takes away one bit from the quality of Little Pepper and Spicy and Tasty’s food), so much so that the cleanliness and brightly lit tablecloths could even satisfy some of my more germaphobic friends if I dare take them to the neighborhood. Cantonese is a cuisine that is most similar to the “Americanized” Chinese food that took hold of our nation decades ago, though to compare your local Panda ___ with the southern regional food done right and traditionally is ludicrous.

Cantonese food values quality of ingredients, has a focus on fresh seafood, and is much milder than Schezuan. American Cantonese, due to immigrants having to substitute and improvise with unfamiliar and often less fresh ingredients is masked in gloppy sauces. Imperial Palace is considered to be the area’s best of the former type of Cantonese and as some other, wiser tables knew, freshness reigns supreme – they got to choose their fish from an aquarium. It was then brought to the table for inspection before being prepared.

With less insight into the menu, we sampled a couple things that sounded good. A solid, mild orange beef which managed to be neither greasy or too heavy, a plate of salt and pepper crispy prawns with chilies that only suffered from a messy backwards method to eat it: the shell on prawn was battered and fried, so you had to teeth the crisp off before getting to the meat under the shell. I tried eating the shell but it was a bit too tough and seemed like it could get caught in my throat. Both were very good, though milder than my usual taste so I’d choose some more daring dishes next time round (perhaps the oysters and fajita plate mentioned in this Times review).

But, I am really teasing you with all this talk of ambiance and history, because there is one major reason to go to Imperial Palace. All the reviews, blogs and word of mouth will name it: Dungeness crab over sticky rice!! A huge, steaming dish of hard shelled crabs which are tasty enough, but the delicate, indescribable rice that has cooked in the crustacean’s juices…. incredible. The huge menu might be overwhelming, and require a sort of point to what looks good experimentation, but this dish is an absolute a must.

Click here for the rest of Imperial Palace

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Posted on September 18, 2010