Sep 14 2019

Asticou Inn

15 Peabody Dr,
Northeast Harbor, ME 04662

Won’t return.

It is at the west side of the Mount Desert Island, which is far less popular than their east side Bar Harbor. Their Main Street is short, sweet and one way only.

The restaurant is at the namesake inn, which opens May to October only. Unfortunately it’s a little windy and cold, they closed the deck. Our table is by the window. The view of NE Harbor is nice. Good service. Good food – crab cake is good. Overall, food is on the expensive side. A cup soup costs $11 – the same price at Bar Harbor Inn, which is a notch above, buys you a bowl. The Aveleda white is pretty good tho. A persistent fly just won’t leave us alone. Bathroom is a floor below, it has no soap. Fake purple flower …

Cross the street is their garden which is really worth your time.


Sep 10 2019


390 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101

Will return.

This restaurant is at the Press Hotel – if you like old typewriters which it has many in their lobby, then do make a bathroom trip.

The decoration of the restaurant is simple and woody. The serving staff are efficient and professional. They serve their oysters with cocktail pearls – nice touch. The scallops entree is heavenly good: succulent, lively and tasty, it’s bit salty but you still can taste the sweetness. The Bangs Island mussels (house green curry, lemongrass, lime leaf, chili – oh my … ) is served with a warm baguette – oui – is excellent too. Both entrees are on the salty side, which fit my palate, -:)

When we ask for bill, are told is paid for it. The restaurant is relatively empty because we got there a little after 5. When we press the staff, does he reveal is the next table, with two ladies. After a little debate, I walk over and thanked them. The younger one is a little surprised but the older lady said, “you’re welcome. I never forget a beautiful face… have we met somewhere?”

She does look like a relative I had, grandaunt Lucy. Although Lucy was Chinese but their similarity lie in the way they present themselves: starting from nicely coiffed hair down to matching earrings, not to mention the makeup.

On the second thought, she does look like my editor and a good friend Lynda. But I don’t think we’ve met and I told her so. Maybe we’ve met but I’m senile …

In any case, thank you lady, you made my day. Hope we’ll meet one day, somewhere.


Aug 19 2019

698 Cafe

Dongpo Pork: L to R: reality and the lie – on their menu.
39-07 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

Probably won’t return.

Once up on a time, there was a poet from Song Dynasty who, among many talents, was a gastronome. Rightfully, a dish is named after him, Su Dongpo (1037 – 1101) – Dongpo Pork. It’s the most famous dish from Hangzhou, where West Lake is (nowadays, think the punitive Jack Ma and his Alibaba which is trading as BABA at $177 a share.)

The pork is cut about 2 inch square and about 3″ thick. Although the fat and lean ratio is nearly equal, but it is not greasy because it the first stage of cooking is frying – to get the fat out. The skin is always on top when serving and looks deep red and shiny. The texture is soft to the point it melts in your mouth.

So, when I marched into the restaurant, my mouth was already watering. The decor and atmosphere is casual and pleasant, so is the waitstaff. The mini carnations do make a big difference. However, I was offended by the Dongpo Pork. No kidding, it is not even close, as making me feel Insulted.

The other dish, the flounder with pickled mustard soup is bit too sweet for me.

Most patrons ordered lobster. Our server did suggest it but we declined. The two young girls dined next to us had it. The one last strike: a grannie stopped by that table – essentially ours too since the two tables were close (you needed to go side way), pointed to the lobster and asked about it. “How does it taste…” her finger was so close to the dish, it not only made the two girls uncomfortable, it made me too. I looked up for someone to intervene. But no one cared. The woman even called to her husband or companion who was almost walked out, “come, look at it, maybe we should have order this one …”

Talking about manner and culture.

Aug 11 2019

Shaker Dam Coffeehouse

2 Main St,
West Stockbridge, MA 01266

This is a really nice cafe, mixed with arts. More art objects are on the second floor, which is open to public.  The outdoor area is substantial. We sat by the Williams River, the dam is behind us. On the other side, is the Shaker Mill bookstore.


Aug 10 2019

Do what you please, works too

Elegant stems glasses
… are quintessential part of the Tanglewood. Soda, is a little out of the place, unless it’s for a cocktail. Yes you can do what you will.

… setting up …

… cheers …


Aug 10 2019

Alpamayo Restaurant

60 Main St
Lee, MA 01238

This Peruvian seafood eatery is on Lee’s main street. We went in to grab a late late lunch at nearly 4pm after KBT hike and before the concert. The restaurant was empty with one table of four people by the window. The hostess sat us in the back in the tiny booth for two, which I won’t mind if they’re busy. By the time we left, a couple came in and were treated to the more spacious booth. The food was ok, overly salty – for someone who loves salt. The Cusqueña beer is interesting: it uses pyramid as logo – Peru has pyramid isn’t widely know.


Aug 9 2019

Nejaime’s in 2019

We tried Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2017, which is pretty good. Again the duck. Their eggplant is a little bit too sweet for me but is ok. The Mouse de Foie duck with Port is really good. The two cheeses: Castello Blue soft ripened and

Loved them all.

Jul 17 2019

Hudson Garden Grill

Inside the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

Light. Airy. High ceiling. Arched doorways and windows. Great food, good service, nice looking table ware (not utensil tho) and not to mention it rained while we dined – good timing for us. Their menu here.

The lightness reminds me of Coco Bistro which we just went last night but this is far better: high ceiling and better food. The open kitchen by the entrance is a great feature.

Wish the bread could either be lighter or warm. We’ve three appetizers – the portions are pretty big. The five pieces of avocado are great but more than we could stomach – this is without a main course. Many patrons chew on burgers – they must be good, will try next time. The Spanish Conde Rosé is delicious.


Jul 16 2019

Pier A

22 Battery Pl
New York, NY 10004 @ SSS

We stopped by after South Street Seaport for drinks @ the Oyster House.

Pier A is ‘covered’ with a harbor house. At the front is the three story part (2nd floor is  the table serving Blacktail and 3rd is for event), and at the rare by the water, is the ground floor Oyster House. Self serving, foods and drinks are done at the right, tables are on the left and out doors. I’ve not been in NY for long – only 30 some years, so didn’t know what the fish market era was really like – like since 1830s. But in my genealogy research, I did learn something about it: NYC is where U.S. began after gaining the independence from the British. The fish market ‘culture’ dominated the city. Fulton market was the oldest fish market in the U.S., long before they moved it to Bronx in 2005. I suppose this Pier A is probably as close as one could get to that bygone ear. If you’re interested in this, go visit South Street Seaport Museum.

We only have drinks out on the duck, but probably will return for some foods?


Jul 16 2019

Coco Bistro

233-235 Front St
Peck Slip, NY 10038
South Street Seaport

At this time there are only 15 reviews: either 4 or 5, or 1. It seems the love and hate relations with their customers.

I’d give 3.5 and probably will return.

It’s on a corner with good decoration and the view of Brooklyn Bridge. Good service. Good breads. Good bathroom. Delicious food: the escargot and duck are far better than the tapenade – not to say the tapenade isn’t good – bit too salty tho. Are there any not too salty tapenade -:) oh well.

More young women than men … and we’re definitely the oldies there. Oh well. Oldies need to eat too 🙂

Overall it’s a pleasant experience, except the music is too loud – oldies can’t handle it -:) …