Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Cooking with Franco!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

PJ is often the beneficiary of my ever-evolving Italian cooking skills acquired from visits to Rome and Milan like this last trip in December.  In addition to watching Zia Adrianna hone her skills, Lucy, Barbara, Chiara and I took a couple of days to drive to Milan.  After touring one of Italy’s most beautiful and modern cities, we treated ourselves to an afternoon cooking class in the test kitchen of La Cucina Italiana magazine.

So tonight for dinner, Spinach ravioli served with a traditional brown butter and sage sauce.  To solve the problem of an absence of protein, I stopped at Hannaford and picked up some Al Fresco chicken sausage seasoned with roasted peppers and Asiago cheese.

Sausage in Sage and Brown Butter Sauce

Sausage in Sage and Brown Butter Sauce

Why the blast of domesticity, you ask?  Well, that’s the best part.  I hope you will consider joining me at Café Miranda on Saturday morning, March 19th for a Pasta Throwdown between me and chef owner, Kerry Altiero.  Café Miranda is known far and wide for their homemade pastas and specialty sauces featured on their eclectic menu.  But last time we talked, Kerry challenged me after teasing me about my more traditional hand–rolled pasta making style.

The finished dish was quite delish!

The finished dish was quite delish!

Traditional sauce recipes, tips and catholic guilt courtesy of my Nonna Mary Rose and his Grandma Connie are included at no extra charge!  Be sure and reserve your spot now cuz remember, it’s LimeRock Inn Bed & Breakfast (not dinner).  So don’t get any ideas.  If you are inclined, though, you can visit our dear friends, Wendy & Chef husband, Bruce (pronounced Broo Ché when he’s cooking Italian) at their wonderful Bed & Dinner called the Arnold Black Bear Lodge located in the beautiful Stanislaus National Forest of Northern California.

Ciao for now!

An evening with Ameranouche & Cellardoor Winery at Lily Bistro

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Ameranouche will perform at Lily Bistro

This sounds like an exciting and delicious evening!! From Lily Bistro:

Ameranouche (pronounced uh-MARE-uh-noosh), the Gypsy jazz, acoustic power trio will be performing a concert at Lily Bistro in Rockland on MONDAY, February 15, 2010.

The trio features two French acoustic Gypsy jazz guitars and upright bass, and is a two-time winner of Best of New Hampshire awards as well as being veterans of the famed Newport Jazz Festival. The group tours nationally, year-round and has released two albums, largely of original music inspired by legendary Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt.

National Lampoon director, Kevin Wheatley, calls Ameranouche “the new sound of America”. After hearing these folks sail through a melodious tune with such love, musicality, and signature, jaw-dropping velocity, you’ll be hard pressed not to agree. has plenty of tunes to check out — if you’ve never experienced hot acoustic swing music, now’s your chance to fall in love with the joyful, uplifting, and dance-inducing sounds of Gypsy jazz!

Ameranouche – hot Gypsy jazz power trio LIVE at Lily Bistro
MONDAY, February 15, 2010
$15 for the show; seating is limited
optional $15 also for wine tasting (come early!)
207-594-4141 for reservations

Ship to Shore, Owls Head, Maine

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

There’s a new place in Owl’s Head on the waterfront to buy lobsters!  Ship to Shore wharf has beShip to Shore Wharf, Owls Head, Maineen opened by Rodney and Anna Mason.  They have refurbished the lobster shack with a gift shop and they also sell lobsters and snacks.  If you are so inclined, they will even cook the lobsters for you right there to enjoy along with chips and soft drinks right on the dock.  Owl’s Head harbor, where Ship to Shore wharf is located is a magnificent spot.  It’s the picture postcard perfect vision of what you imagine a fishing harbor to look like.  The docks are lined with colorful lobster traps and buoys.  If you’re making your way out to Owl’s Head Lighthouse, this is a great place to stop, grab some lobster and soak in the local views.  For the photographer, it’s also a great place to capture the Maine coast!  Please click here to view some photos I took.

Why Rockland Rocks!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Cafe MirandaSo last night, we got lucky (in many ways).  I just realized how that sounds, so get your mind out of the gutter.  What I mean to say is that our check-ins arrived early; we had a full house; and we were able to sneak downtown for dinner out on a Saturday night.

We walked into Cafe Miranda to see Denise and Tom Perkins (former owners of LimeRock Inn) and longtime Penobscot Bay sailing enthusiasts.  Kerry had the night off, but had stopped in for a minute, so we got to visit with him too.  We sat outside under the canvas with the warmth of the fire.  It was turning out to be a great night.

Kerry and his friend, Chris, joined us for a drink, then headed on their way.  Karla, as always, took special care of us.  And we struck up a conversation with the couple, Bob and Karen, sitting at the next table.  Turns out they are vacationing on the midcoast from suburban Philly.  Although their first time in the area, Karen had done a tremendous amount of research.  So, they sounded like oldtimers.

Our entrees came; their appetizers, then entrees came; and the conversation just moved freely from topic to topic.  It was just one of those relaxing, outdoor dinners that make Cafe Miranda special.  Bob and Karen are great people and the evening reminded us why we left New Jersey for a truly better life in Maine.  It was a night filled with old friends and “new” old friends.  One of many in this special place called Rockland.