Tag Archives: food

NEW ENGLAND SEAFOOD MEMORIES

seafood memories

One of the coolest places for fresh seafood that I have been to other than Seattle’s Pike Fish Market and neighboring seafood restaurants are the restaurants / seafood markets in Westport, Connecticut. Nothing beats the fresh raw oysters, clams, salmon, tuna, haddock, halibut, and many other delicacies you will find right on the water there on The Long Island Sound. I grew up going to boarding school in Kent, CT and loved it, so Connecticut has always been close to my heart. Just 47 miles northeast of New York City and home to artists and writers alike, Westport’s oceanic ties conjures up images of old craggly men sitting on flipped over wooden boxes that were once full of crabs, chatting about the tides and their last time at sea. Last time I was in Westport, Connecticut, I went to eat at Splash. A serious place for clamshells and oysters on the half, Splash is a hip restaurant that sits right across from the water and contains its own seafood market upfront. I also managed to pick up some stellar quality milk and cheese at the market across the street. We dined on Little Neck clams and Blue Point oysters, and they were briny sweet oysters from around the way that knocked my socks off. I wondered if Paul Newman himself, a lifetime resident, had eaten there once. The atmosphere was outstanding also with a spacious, intimate and interior decorated space that had a New York feeling in a small town setting. Check it out sometime if you’re around the way. Other names we ran across for seafood were The Whelk, The Mansion Clam House and Westfair Fish and Chips!

There is something about New England seafood that distills memories that never go away. I can literally taste meals I had at Shelly’s in New York. That gorgeous space filled with Peter Max paintings created memories for me that are just like yesterday—even though they have since closed or moved, and gone away. I will always return to New York for the seafood. We ate at Nobu there and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Even though it was high and outrageous, it was also unforgettable. Let’s not forget, Maine lobster and clam chowder houses. All the way up the coast there I’ve had simply the best small town seafood hut stuff you could desire. Keep New England seafood alive! Also, speaking of Connecticut we had some of the best dairy I’ve ever had—grassfed cows and raw artesian sheep cheeses—at a dairy in East Lyme’s, Connecticut. Check it out sometime! It’s always cool to do the homestead thing on a brisk drive through the country side. Pike Fish Market has that too if your on the other side.

GOONIES ICE CREAM

my favorite ice cream

If you’re in any city that has Goonies ice cream and you’re needing ice cream, look no further than a Swensen’s. I grew up going to Swensen’s, and aside from their cheese soup and delicious shredded chicken salad, their ice cream hits home runs on my mind. Maybe you’ve seen it in Goonies, maybe you haven’t, but if you haven’t, look again, because it’s also Chunk’s favorite food! This isn’t a movie endorsement really either. Just know, Chunk’s food works for me. They have earthquakes, banana splits, milkshakes, carfaits, everything. They are like a 50’s ice cream parlor with 33 flavors or something. Check out Strawberry Bananas ‘n Cream and Turkish Coffee to name a few. Sure there’s Cold Stone which I love, but do they have Bubblegum? I think not. What about a Gold Rush? Try that! It’s like a better sundae. Started in San Francisco, this place really knows how to hit homers like the San Francisco Giants on major ice cream scoops, fudge and cherry combinations. Hence the name Earthquake. Try that! Go for it on like the best thing I’ve ever had with eight scoops of ice cream. Split it with your girlfriend or your guy. What makes it unique is they just have all these like mini chocolate sundaes that just completely execute on the quality, design and taste. They also have carfaits, which are similar to sundaes, but are like stacks of scoops of ice cream surrounded by good stuff. So go for it at Swensen’s if you can find one. If you live in San Francisco or Miami, you shouldn’t have a problem. The cherry on top is the atmosphere of these places with their marble slab tabletops—it just feels cold in their like Christmas mornings and ice cream. All things good to you. Here’s a cheers to your Gold Rush at 33 flavors of goodness! (You can also buy their ice cream in stores sometimes, if you can find it, just like Chunk, you can have Goonies ice cream also!)

JOE’S IN MIAMI

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While eating in Miami, I always make it a habit to go to Joe’s Stone Crab at Miami Beach. Touristy or not, Joe’s big mouthwatering stone crabs fill the plate and your appetite for all things seafood that come from the ocean. The last time I was there, my mouth was watering for New England Clam Chowder from Maine or something, so I got that, and what did my eyes see, low and behold, it was the Killer King Crab Claws, I believe I went for it there on the two pounder, and had Key Lime Pie for desert. It was like Key West, Maine and Miami all rolled into one for me that way. I sat alone, drank iced tea and watched the bustling South Floridan traffic brush by me as I dined in style at 11 Washington Ave. What a bar they have there also. Stop in for drinks before walking on the beach at night. Maybe a Mojito or something.

NEW YORK OYSTERS

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Hi, I am author and travel expert Duke Tate here today to talk to you about New York oysters. Living and growing up near the Gulf Coast, I’ve eaten oysters my whole life. While traveling, I also enjoy tasting oysters from different regions all over the US. Little oysters, big oysters, briny, sweet, tart, like good wines. every oyster is just a little different. I’ve had them all. One of my favorite oyster experiences was eating at the Monterey Fish House where we dined on big Pacific oysters on the half that covered half the plate. Just 6 is all you need there. Another favorite place is Wintzell’s in Fairhope, Alabama. His sayings cover the walls, bits and pieces of wisdom about life. It’s life and oysters there. But my favorite oyster experience from the 38 states I’ve traveled through, is the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City. Located in Grand Central Station, the oyster bar oozes with old world charm due to the vaulted ceilings, tiled walls and the waiters’ New York manner. One thing that makes it truly unique is the amount of oysters to sample from, provided they are in season. The raw bar features 29 different shelled delicacies from all over the Eastern seaboard. Including the Grand Central Bar, The Voice has a pretty solid list of other oyster dives and bars alike to eat at in Gotham. Check it out.

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