Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love Lane Kitchen - Mattituck

It’s difficult for a foodie not to fall in love with Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. Located on the quaint and romantic Love Lane, this casual café atmosphere eatery is serving up French bistro and Italian trattorria style favorites that will have you craving more! Whether you are on your way to the wineries or strawberry picking with the family, Love Lane Kitchen is a must hit pit-stop for Long Islanders this summer.

We decided to share a Vegetable Quesadilla and a Lobster Roll. The Vegetable Quesadilla included a crisp, fresh medley of roasted vegetables with Jack cheese, between two flour tortillas served with guacamole & cilantro sour cream. I must say, it was one of the best quesadillas I’ve ever ordered, and I’m a Mexican food junky. The trendy, bistro style twist was definitely a home run!

Love Lane is quickly gaining local buzz as having one the best lobster rolls on the North Fork, if not the entire Island. And guess what? One bite into this heavenly sandwich confirms why. The fresh lobster meat served on a warm open roll with just the right mix of mayo and seasonings makes this sandwich one to write home about (or blog about in our case).

Side note: both the Sweet Potato Fries served with spicy chipotle mayonnaise and the Garlic Fries are dangerously addicting – beware! I’ve also had breakfast here… the Pancakes, French Toast and Applewood Smoked Bacon are all divine. No matter the time of day, you can’t go wrong at Love Lane Kitchen.

To pull off their diverse, unique menu is no easy task. But Love Lane Kitchen does so with flying colors. There’s no doubt, Love Lane Kitchen is EXCEPTIONAL! Thus, it receives 5 out of 5 Mints on the Dinner Mint Scale.
Love Lane Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Walk Street - Garden City

Walk Street in Garden City serves your classic American bistro fare with a trendy twist. The casual, yet sophisticated atmosphere is welcoming and warm. The vibe of the restaurant overall is certainly more attractive to an older, professional crowd. The small bar is a solid spot to meet up with a colleague regarding semi-professional matters as opposed to picking up a date for next Saturday night.

Nevertheless, for a relaxing charming little dinner for two, Alex and I agree that Walk Street is an ideal selection! Additionally, the restaurant’s location on the quaint, “small town America” 7th Street, doesn’t hurt the curb appeal of this restaurant and bar. Keep in mind Sundays are “bring your own bottle of wine,” Mondays are “half-off wine by the bottle night” and Fridays include LIVE entertainment! Take advantage of Walk Street’s outdoor seating in the summer sun for a delightful lunch as well – it’s a real treat!

Before we even had a chance to order our appetizer, Alex and I were already obsessing over Walk Street’s bread basket (clearly the sign of a strong start!). It was a warm and fresh assortment of various rolls, crackers and breadsticks including raisin bread rolls and a thick doughy roll that tastes like a pretzel you might find at an NYC concession stand. Superb! For an appetizer, we selected the Basil Pesto Infused Chick Pea Hummus served with Kalamata Olives, Tomato-Red Onion, Cucumber Salad and Pita Toast Points. Alex and I agree it’s one of the best hummus dishes we’ve sampled thus far on Long Island.

For my entrée, I ordered the Pan Seared Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna served with scallion whipped potatoes, tomato, and ginger snap peas in a cilantro soy vinaigrette. The tuna was cooked to perfection and very well-seasoned. The sesame crusted topper provided a delightful crunch and the scallion whipped potatoes were “mmm mmm good!”
It reminded me of the true notion that GREAT restaurants SHOULD NOT have to “specialize” in seafood in order to offer fantastic fish dishes. Alex selected one of the house specials of the evening, a Clam Pasta dish which he raved about. It’s important to note that I have dined at Walk Street many times before and can verify that their burgers are delicious, their shrimp risotto is enticing and their french fries are addicting!

Any critiques? Unlike the appetizers, main courses and sides, the dessert is nothing to write home about. The post-dinner options definitely lack the excitement of the rest of the menu. In fact, Alex and I were so unimpressed; we decided to save the money and head to TCBY right up the street for a tastier and more affordable option. We recommend you do the same. The service is attentive overall and the prices are fair for the quality you receive. Considering the overall dining experience, Walk Street hits a homerun with this Long Island duo and receives a stellar 4.5 Mints on the Dinner Mint Scale! WALK Street on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Haiku - Woodbury

Haiku Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar is located in the back of a shopping center off Jericho Turnpike in Woodbury. Lauren and I were craving Japanese and I had been wanting Lauren to try this place for a long time. (I have taken out here on several occasions.)
Our friend Jess joined us this particular Thursday. When we walked in, the three of us we were greeted by a friendly hostess who seated us immediately in a comfortable booth located in the corner. The place was crowded, but our server came to the table almost immediately. Jess and Lauren stuck with water and I ordered a Coke. I'm very picky with my Cokes - but this one happened to be a good one. Lauren makes fun of me, but I really think finding the perfect balance between syrup and CO2 is no easy task. This restaurant did a good job.
For an appetizer, we ordered some sushi rolls. Jess and Lauren split a shrimp tempura roll and we all shared a spicy tuna roll. I also ordered one of my favorite sushi pieces - Ikura. Fish eggs over rice. I highly recommend to those of you who like a stronger fishy taste. Anyway, the sushi was good, but certainly not stand out. One thing that has bothered me in the past about the sushi at Haiku is that they don't use cucumber in the rolls. For instance, most California rolls use crab meat, avocado and pieces of cucumber. This place leaves out the cucumber in most of the rolls, leaving the sushi to be a bit less textured and therefore mushier than normal. But,I have always found the fish to be fresh.
For our main courses - we all ordered the same basic dish but with slight variation. Jess and Lauren ordered the Stir-Fried Japanese Udon Noodles with Shrimp. I ordered the same dish, but with beef. Udon noodles, if you have never had them, are like a thick spaghetti noodle. The portion was generous and all our dishes came out nice and hot.
Our noodle dishes came with vegetables mixed in, served in a brown teriyaki type sauce. We all thought the meal was tasty. (Although I found my noodles to be a bit doughy, but I really don't have enough experience with Udon noodles to know if this place made them well. It could just be the nature of the noodle.) While I liked the stir-fry - it didn't come close to my favorite dish at Haiku - The Pad Thai. You can order the Pad Thai with beef, chicken, shrimp or with just vegetables. I have had it with beef and chicken and both are excellent. It comes in a generous portion with flatter, shorter noodles,carrots, egg,peanuts, sprouts and lime. But I particularly love the flavor of the sauce. It's a really delicious orange tangy sauce that is not at all spicy. (This may in fact be a turn off to people who enjoy spicy Thai.) We discussed our experience briefly and Jess and Lauren said they would definitely eat here again. I know I'll be back. After a vote - we decided to rate Haiku a 3.5 mints, above average, on the dinner mint scale. Haiku on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Texas Roadhouse - East Meadow

Everyone from college students to kiddies to grandma Angie, seem to have a great time at Texas Roadhouse in East Meadow.

Unlimited peanuts that you crack open and throw on the floor sets the stage for this rootin’ tootin’ feel good restaurant and bar. The variety is large, the food is cheap and the freshly baked rolls with cinnamon honey butter are sinfully delicious!!

In the midst of munching on peanuts and our rolls, Alex and I excitedly ordered the Fried Pickles – A heaping basket of pickle chips hand-battered, golden-fried and served with Ranch. Jersey Shore’s Snookie would be IN HEAVEN. They were crisp and not too greasy.

We had salads as well, which are obviously the most fattening salads on the planet served with eggs, cheese and croutons…. But of course, we loved them.

I ordered the Grilled BBQ Chicken served with rice. It was a relatively small portion of chicken, but marinated well. One certainly can’t compare it to Smokin’ Al’s BBQ Chicken, but I was satisfied. Alex opted for the New York Strip Steak served with mushrooms on top and mashed potatoes on the side.
You can’t help leaving Texas Roadhouse full and satisfied. However, while their menu offers a large variety of BBQ and fried favorites, one can contend that the quality of meat could still be improved upon…. Even for a restaurant aiming to keep prices reasonable. Alex was a bit disappointed saying there was “nothing memorable” about his entrée… valid point. While I’d still choose Texas Roadhouse over The Outback, Alex disagreed.

Subsequent to a thorough discussion, Alex and I reached an accord on the Texas Roadhouse rating… giving it 3 Dinner Mints out of a possible 5, equating to a classification of “Good.” Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rose & Hunt Restaurant at Fox Hollow in Woodbury

Rose and Hunt at Fox Hollow in Woodbury is a restaurant open to the public daily and is located inside the Fox Hollow Catering Hall. The grounds are beautiful and the restaurant atmosphere is elegant.
The restaurant offers various theme nights and Lauren and I went on our usual Thursday, which happened to be Prime Rib Night. There was a talented piano player entertaining as we were escorted immediately to a nice table tucked away in a corner. It was cozy and private and we felt like we were in someone's nicely decorated dining room.
We started with glasses of wine which we enjoyed very much. We were also greeted by our waiter with a basket of warm rolls and butter and 2 crackers with bruschetta on a plate with green olives. (Nice touch!) Then - it was on to our main course. We both had to get the prime rib. The generous portion came hot and well seasoned and without much fat. While the cut of meat was nice, and the meat tasted good - it certainly isn't steak house quality. It also came with string beans on the side and a baked potato.
Both were good as well. It basically looked and tasted like a meal you would be served while dining at someone's wedding. If you want to eat a big portion, without spending a lot - this is the perfect place. But don't expect steak house service and unique tasting steak. I imagine the Lobster night which they have every Wednesday evening with live music, might be a better night to attend. Also - every Monday Night – Rose and Hunt features a Price Fixe Menu & Live Jazz In The Lounge. Based on our experience - we give Rose and Hunt a 3.5 out of 5 mints on the dinner mint scale. Rose Hunt Restaurant & Piano Lounge on Urbanspoon