After hitting several North Fork wineries on a rainy Sunday morning, Jay and I needed some fortification before hitting several more. Being by the ocean, we knew we wanted to eat seafood, so we decided to try out a newish small plates seafood-oriented restaurant called Noah's in Greenport.
Just 50 years ago, some of the only things growing on Long Island’s North Fork were potatoes. But now this area just north of the Hamptons and only an-hour-and-a-half east of New York City is home to more than 40 wineries, some producing very high-quality wines.
On our 11th anniversary weekend in Long Island’s North Fork, Jay and I wanted to try somewhere new for dinner. Luce & Hawkins, at the historic Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, seemed like a promising choice. This new restaurant focuses on seasonal, local cuisine, with many herbs and some veggies coming straight from the gardens outside the inn.
In preparation for the Winederlust trip to Victoria/Vancouver/the Okanagan Valley in a few weeks, I’m doing an anniversary blog post on our trip last September to Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, widely regarded as one of Canada’s best restaurants.
For our last day in China, Jay and I wanted to try something different. We’d sampled a lot of pretty standard “Chinese food” – a few too many greasy, fried meats and vegetables passed around a Lazy Susan – but we hadn’t tried cuisine from the Yunnan province in the far southeast of China, which shares a border with Vietnam, Laos, and Burma.
Jay and I had heard tales of the legendary Beijing night market – that they sold still-live animals, blood and hearts, and other unappetizing tidbits. So of course we had to go.
If Beijing could be said to have one signature dish, it would have to be Peking duck. Quanjude was actually one of the first Peking duck restaurants to open in the city, in 1864. Their claim to fame is that they cook the ducks by hanging them in a large oven for about 45 minutes, over an open fire that uses the hardwood of peach or pear trees.
One of the specialties in Xi’an is the dumpling, and one of the best places to sample the dumpling is De Fa Chang, where you can get an 18-course dumpling banquet. (That’s right – 18 courses, though thankfully each course consists of only one dumpling.)
Xi'an's Lao Sun Jia is famous for its yangrou paomo, also known as lamb and bread soup, a traditionally Muslim dish. Though the servers speak little to no English, there's a huge menu of other foods with pictures you can point at, but you really don't need to order much else since the soup is so satisfying.
We couldn't leave Shanghai without sampling one of the city's specialties, xiaolong bao, or soup dumplings. We heard from locals and by researching online that Din Tai Fung was one of the best places to try the dumplings, despite being a Taiwanese chain located in a mall.
Winederlust visits two trendy LA restaurants: Gjelina and Animal.
When I heard there was a tasting of more than 400 wines from 90 Ribero del Duero wineries at New York's Puck Building, I was really excited. Though Jay and I have been wine tasting in Spain twice now (most recently last summer), we've concentrated our visits in Rioja with brief excursions to La Mancha and Jerez, but haven't yet made it to the Ribera region, about a two-hour drive north of Madrid.
After Sam Sifton of the NY Times wrote that Motorino "serves the city's best pizza" on February 17, I had to give it a try to see for myself. I'd been to a couple of the other trendy New York pizza places – Company, Keste and, of course, Franny's, which is just down the block from our Brooklyn apartment – so while I'm by no means a pizza expert, I at least had some basis for comparison.
I had expected the Mermaid Oyster Bar, on the edge of Greenwich Village, to look more like a ramshackle fish shack. Instead, it reminded me of an upscale Nantucket restaurant, its white walls covered with pictures of beachy-looking scenes and a specials board announcing the day's oyster selections.