May 27 2017

Gold Star Beach Park


Browns Rd,
Huntington, NY 11743

Browns Road turns into W Shore Road at the top, by the water. Unfortunately, a gorgeous morning turns into heavy cloud in the afternoon. Without sunshine, the beach looks rather unappetizing. But thanks heaven, it didn’t rain on the wedding.

 

 


May 27 2017

Coindre Hall


101 Browns Rd,
Huntington, NY 11743

Wiki: this medieval French château has 40 rooms (80k sq ft/7,400 sq m), was built for pharmaceutical magnate George McKesson Brown in 1912; he lost it to the stock market crushed in 1929. It’s on the Huntington Harbor. It’s named after Father André Coindre. Now used for events and weddings.

Pro: the many rooms, give the cater the opportunity to place drinks and finger food in a few rooms on the second floor – thoughtful and intimate. However, the con is, main hall on the ground floor is small and adjacent to the dancing room, which is inconvenient.

         

The food is above average for such event. Catering is by Lessing – they do a lot of business in New York, such as golf courses etc. All the event I attended, would have more than enough food. This one is no exception. I wish both sides would consider the wastefulness of the food and do something about it – like, putting out less food? The wedding ceremony is at 6pm, followed by reception then full sit down dinner. Maybe they could serve less food during the reception? Drinks and finger food are enough. No need to have chefs cooking up pasta, roasted pig … Less is more?

     

The sit down dinner …

     

 


May 24 2017

Piccola Bussola


159 Jericho Turnpike
Mineola, NY 11501

The stories told by Uncle Tony is the best part of the evening, and the drinks too. FYI, owner Tony Lubrano is probably half my age, and we, as far as I know, are not related – rumors stops here -:).

   

This Italian restaurant sits on the busy Jericho Turnpike. They’ve valet parking. 2-hr street parking, free after 6pm is also an option. The bar by the entrance is pretty big. To the right is their main dining hall and behind the bar, is another hall, good for private functions.

Uncle Tony cooked up a 10-course tasting menu, plus 3 desserts, plus a big selection of wine (Prosecco, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc/noir, Carb, Moscato … oh my). It’s a very generous (on his part) and rowdy (us) evening, 2 hours event ampliated into 3.

0) yummy bread (ciabatta?)
1) Stuffed mushroom
2) Baked Clam
3) Scallop risotto
4) Tortelloni ala vodka
5) Eggplant meatball
6) Chicken napolitano
7) Veal sorrentino
8) Dijon salmon
9) Roasted red pepper ravioli
10) Steak

Desserts: Napoleon, tiramisu and Zabaglione.

The service is great. The decor is average. the 10 courses, the first few are rather bland. Eggplant meatball is super – Uncle Tony’s mom’s invention. Veal sorrentino is good too – I do have a salty tongue. The tiramisu is super yummy. Napoleon is good too. Zabaglione (alcoholic foaming, light…) is refreshing – I ate them all … for someone who doesn’t really like desserts – this is really a big compliment. Thank you Uncle Tony and my great tablemates who made my day -:).


May 7 2017

Tulips at season end

They’re almost gone

     


May 5 2017

Toku Modern Asian 德


2014 Northern Blvd
Manhasset, NY 11030

Want to work on your triceps? Skip Equinox for this restaurant – I did see two ladies who are members at my Equinox.

Inattentive service, good decor and pretty delicious food @ this upscale Asian fusion restaurant in the Americana.

The doors and umbrellas: It rained cats and dogs last Friday noon. A few staff were by the door but no one made a single move to to open the glass door for us. We fumbled with two umbrellas, a cake and handbags.   I’ve to ask them to put our dripping umbrellas away after we were led to our big booth, about to sit down. It’s unthinkable.

Very poor first impression.

The tea pot: the booth tables are bare (tables in the middle are covered with white cloth) and large for three of us – no complain for this. The surface of the table, could have been better for the high price it charges. Their raw iron tea pot is similar to mine, handsome and heavy. I’ve hard time to pour tea especially when sitting down. Not a single waiting staff came to pour. I signaled our waiter to pour, he did so, once, with great reluctance. Maybe I’m spoiled by Chinese restaurants – the waiting staff do come and refill your tea from time to time. A good place to work on your triceps.

Disposable chopsticks: There are few kinds that I’ve seen/used from take out or even at some eateries. Some are short, some long, Some are square some are round. I find the long and round to be better looking and easy on the hand. Toku uses short and square, the kind cheap eateries use, usually putting them in a plastic container for the customers to take. It looks uncouth and uncomfortable on the hand. The stone chopsticks rests are nice touch (Nobu does the same but I couldn’t remember if Nobu uses threw-away kind too) but … Ok, on the whole, if they use cheap chopsticks, why don’t they provide plastic forks and knives too?

Foods: are ok. The restaurant was busy, almost full. Yelp review

    

The bathroom maid: the 3-booth bathroom (if I counted right) is rather smallish, and they station an attendant there, who turns on the water and hands your a paper towel, silently. Hmmmm… the last time I’ve seen a bathroom maid was at 21 Club and the lady was quite a charmer/chatter. A dollar bill was in the clear tipping jar. I’ve heard the oil country princes are big tippers. Oh … hope their girlfriends and wives are equally good at tipping if they venture this far.

The birthday cake: We bought a cake for our friend’s bday. They put it away before seated us. After the meal was done, we’ve to ASK for the cake. The waiter and two busboys came with our cake and their sparkles and sang. Nice … but where were our candles? After a long wait, the waiter came, “we throw the bag away.” The pack of candles was in the bag.


Apr 28 2017

New Fu Ren


50 Middle Neck Road
Great Neck, NY 11020
(516) 708-1888

Airy. Fancier than their old Flushing location. Good service. Full bar. Clean bathroom. Food, however is very average. Won’t return.

Their famous lamb is dry and chewy, definitely not freshly cooked. The taste is so so. The Chinese celery with pork, is chewy too – the thin celery should cut short, like half an inch – two inches are too long because it is not young/tender. Oh well. Meter parking, both on the street and in the lot at back (two entrances).

     


Apr 28 2017

Main Street


Apr 28 2017

St. Paul’s in spring

A fine spring day @ church

 


Mar 12 2017

Good Harvest


133-42 39th Ave., Unit 102
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 886-8229

Won’t return: over priced, overcooked seafood – I never sent a dish back – this time was close. Maybe one day I will send one back? And at bill time, they solicit for cash by offering 5% discount – all I can think is … cheating? Oh well, what do I know.

The decor is raw and cold; the space is jammed – enough space between the tables but feel pressed. Loud music (perhaps caters to younger patrons). Ok food, ok service; good presentation; clean bathroom, neat tableware.
Bottled wine only; corkage fee is $15.
Street parking.
The ingredients aren’t good for the price they charge. The seafood was overlooked – terrible.
The hot pot soup has cardamom (ya!) but msg too (nah!). Hot pot sliced beef is too fatty and mostly inedible, unappetizing.
Short ribs fish combo: ribs grade is very low; chopped up fish has too many bones – coming fm a person who loves bony fish – bec its chopped, so … oh well.
We went at 5:30 pm. For a time they weren’t busy, the waiting staff just stared at us.

    


Mar 9 2017

Havana


630 Old Country Rd
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 253-1803

I like the decor more than the food. It lacks a little soul. I always wanted to visit Cuba but so far haven’t been able to. Hopefully one day soon, to dine in the restaurants with more characters and sparks. The bathroom is clean and rather spacious. Being in the mall, the parking is easy.