Saturday, May 14, 2011

I am moving on to

Hi Friends!

Thanks for your loyalty! I have designed my own website and moved to - please join me on my new adventures!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Virginia's Long Island: Lumi - Italian on the Upper East Side

Virginia's Long Island: Lumi - Italian on the Upper East Side: "An Old School Italian Favorite with a Contemporary Twist! That is Lumi ! This a great place to stop in for a drink, lunch, dinner or d..."

Lumi - Italian on the Upper East Side

An Old School Italian Favorite with a Contemporary Twist!  That is Lumi!  This a great place to stop in for a drink, lunch, dinner or dessert after shopping with your friends.  In my case, Andrew and I found this place about 7 years ago when I needed to find superb New York City Doctors to heal me.  Lumi is located on the corner of 70th and Lexington Avenue.  It is a charming eatery in a charming neighborhood.  You can eat outside at the cafe tables but I like the area by the bar where you can look up onto the street and people watch!

We ordered a nice bottle of Trebbiano Di Puglia wine ($40).  It is a light fruity white that went well with our food choices.

I liked sitting at lunch with a glass of wine and discussing  the events of our Manhattan expedition.  Again, we were in for a few doctors appointments and it was good to wind down and discuss the doctors findings.  I am a healthy girl and that is always a relief.

The calamari and zucchini friti appetizer ($12) was fantastic.  Lovely and fresh.  The marinara sauce had capers and black pepper in it and was unique and tasty. 

The Insalata di Ortalano ($13) salad was phenomenal!  Shaved beets, cannellini beans, chick peas, peas, walnuts, frisee salad and goat cheese in a vinaigrette.  It was worth the trip just for this!

We both ordered the whole wheat veal ravioli ($20)  in a beautiful rustic tomato mushroom sauce with porcini mushrooms and rosemary.  Andrew remarked that these were very similar to the ravioli that his grandmother used to make.  Ah memories!

This place makes authentic Caesar salad table side and I will definitely have that next time we roll in.  The desserts at the other tables were raved about but we were very satisfied and declined.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Virginia's Long Island: Wine and Food in the Jamesport Area

Virginia's Long Island: Wine and Food in the Jamesport Area: "Andrew and I have been busy lately getting things done for Spring. I am having a Spring Awakening - learning a new business and immers..."

Wine and Food in the Jamesport Area

Andrew and I have been busy lately getting things done for Spring.  I am having a Spring Awakening - learning a new business and immersing myself in it.  Andrew is on a serious roll improving our property.  He is cutting down trees, pruning, powerwashing, adding a hitch to our new (used) SUV and getting the outdoor furniture in place for our backyard oasis.  We needed to pick up our Spring Wine Club selection from Roanoke Vineyard and we really wanted another case of our new (reasonably priced) favorite 'More' Red by Shinn Vineyard.  We went to the gym and then ventured out into wine country - sweats and all!  At the vineyards we stuck out like sore thumbs!

Roanoke Vineyard is a brilliant "bookend" (a term they use to describe the fact that they are at the far western end of the North Fork Wine Country) that offers stellar wines.  In fact, their 'Blend One' came in on top of the 2010 "Judgement of Riverhead".  I attended the "Judgement" where Long Island wines were matched up against wines from California and France.  They held their own! What a night! But I digress....

Being in Roanoke's Wine Club I am entitled to free tastings whenever I visit the Vineyard.  I like this!  Andrew was driving so I did most of the sipping.  I am now impressed by the 2009 Rose.  I cannot believe that I now like a Rose better than Wolffer's.  However, I must tell you that Wolffer and Roanoke share a winemaker - so I don't feel as guilty stepping out on my long time love affair with Wolffer Rose. 

The 2009 Chardonnay was very nice too! I am at a loss for words to name these lovelies but I am returning to the vineyard to get a few bottles of the Rose and the Chardonnay for our Easter dinner at Pat's lovely home.  I can't wait!

This red 2008 (I think) 'Marco Tulio' was awesome and very nice for the price (which I believe was $24).

Even 'Sweaty Betty' in her funky purple sneakers (that's how I roll) feels comfortable at Roanoake Vineyard.  I actually feel like royalty when I roll in to pick up my wine and I cannot leave without gleaning some knowledge from the awesome staff.

And then we were off to our favorite restaurant - The Bay View Inn and Restaurant in Jamesport, NY (see previous birthday celebration post) - to have a needed 'date afternoon' together. 

I will give you the backstory.  Since we are on the 'Sweaty Betty' topic, I need to expand into the past.  Back in the day, maybe 15 years ago Andrew and I were walking around on the beach on the Long Island Sound.  We stopped in to a restaurant (The 2 x 4 in Wading River), sunburned and sandy, to look at the menu.  We had meant to return after a quick shower.  Doris, the owner, whisked us in and said that we should feel at home.  'Betty' liked this very much!  The chef at the time was Tom Lopez.  We were blown away by the hospitality and the food was insane!  We kept coming back and had our (small) wedding reception there.  Eventually, Chef Tom moved on to the Bay View Inn and like loyal foodies we followed him.

Mussels to die for! Thanks Tom!

I have to admit that we get these incredible Clams Casino every other time we visit.  The taste is so savory and the bacon is so satisfying.  And dipping the bread into the sauce makes it last longer. 

The soup of the day was lentil with spicy Italian sausage.  It is so right.  My brother-In-Law Pete is a huge fan of Chef Tom's soups.  We really need to do a family day at Bay View very soon!

The authentic Caesar Salad is fabulous and the view of the Peconic Bay is nice.  Many times we walk to the beach after lunch or dinner to hold hands and walk off some of the dinner.  Romance is not dead.

I went for the Shrimp BLT on Whole Grain Bread with special mayo and fries.  I will let you into a little secret....Chef Tom (for me) makes this sandwich with grilled chicken to substitute the Shrimp.  I am Royalty, aren't I?!

Afterwards, we went to look at our boatslip - in anticipation of April 15th, when we can put our little sailboat in the water.  I love the Spring.  And I notice that my stalkers are baack! ;)

I know that I was very expansive on this post - email me at to let me know what you think! - Virginia

Virginia's Long Island: Babbo Cookbook - A Tripe Experience

Virginia's Long Island: Babbo Cookbook - A Tripe Experience: "Years ago, Andrew and I dined at Babbo - Mario Batali's award winning restaurant - and had the time of our lives! After a lovely ..."

Babbo Cookbook - A Tripe Experience

Years ago, Andrew and I dined at Babbo - Mario Batali's award winning restaurant - and had the time of our lives!  After a lovely start with blood orange Cosmopolitans at the comfortable bar, we feasted on grilled quail, tripe alla parmigiana, calamari, goat cheese tortelloni, lamb sausage 'love letters' (ravioli), cheese plate and a lovely cookie plate.  Of course, not in that order!  And, of course, lots of Italian wine!  This meal was at a time before I took pictures of everything I eat.

I have had lovely memories of that day and was thinking of doing a post for my gig over at about Babbo memories and the Babbo Cookbook.  I asked Andrew if he would cook up a few dishes from the cookbook.  He, of course, was game for it.  This cookbook has never let us down. 

We started with a bottle of Riondo Prosecco, which my friends over at The Thirsty Cellar (Wading River, NY)  informed me is the best selling Prosecco.  It was very nice and medium dry.  A great way to start a night!

The starter was a lovely scallops crudo with shaved fennel and olio nuovo.  Andrew thinly sliced the raw sea scallops and chopped the fennel bulb rather than shaved and it came out great!

Andrew cooked the tripe, as instructed, in boiling water flavored with white vinegar and vanilla extract.  I know the vanilla sounds weird, but it took out the strange smell of the tripe and was sucessful.  He then sauteed carrots, red onion, celery and garlic and then added white wine and crushed italian tomatoes.  He cut the tripe into 1/2 inch thick strips and cooked for 20 minutes.   He made garlic bread and  roasted aspragras.  Shaved parmigiano-reggiano topped the dish.

The tastes were wonderful...unfortunately the tripe was inedible and the asparagus were gross.  I made a cardinal mistake of choosing low quality ingredients.  I thought that the tripe from BJs Wholesale club (frozen for months) would miraculously change to butcher quality if we chose the right recipie.  This girl was schooled!  We ate the asparagus even though they were old.  I am usually so picky and I let myself down on this shopping trip.  We ended up removing the tripe and enjoying the lovely tomato sauce with our garlic bread.

I learned that I can never let my guard down while shopping for any meal.  As with all things, quality will out.