oysters

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Summer Fridays. The phrase is one of the sweetest in the English language, I think, and I have been trying to take as many as possible this year. My schedule is such that I work Saturday and Sunday mornings and into the night many evenings, so finishing work by 1:00 on Fridays is often my goal.

Recently I enjoyed a summer Friday in town that included lunch AND dinner at Doretta. It all started with lunch plans with a friend who also has summer Fridays. We both wanted to try a restaurant we hadn’t been to yet and wanted somewhere with a patio. Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar fit both of those requirements and was also close the red line, perfect for us.

NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut, Mantinia Summer Friday patio lunches call for bubbly, and I was absolutely delighted with the wine list at Doretta.  I don’t have a ton of experience with Greek wine but loved this NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut. It was nice and dry, a rose gold color with brioche, lemon, and green apple notes, a perfect pairing with the feast we shared.

zucchini chips {Crisp Zucchini Chips with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce}

Zucchini chips are pure heaven, light and crunchy, dunked into cold and refreshing yogurt. Our Village Salad felt very traditional; I could picture myself sitting outdoors in Greece, surrounded by whitewashed walls and blue sky. This is definitely one of the most delicious ways to get vegetables.

village salad

{Village Salad}

 

crunchy eggplant { Crunchy Eggplant with Smoky Yogurt, Tomato-Harissa Compote, and Crushed Pistachios}

The Crunchy Eggplant was on the opposite spectrum of the chips and salad. It was warm and hearty, and we dug into the rustic, smoky tomato with abandon.

When lunch was over, we went our separate ways, and I met other friends for coffee and then cocktails, where we started talking about how much I loved Doretta. They work in the neighborhood and insisted we go back and try the Espresso Martini. How can I say no to that?

espresso martini {One of the best Espresso Martinis in Boston. . . my other favorite is at dbar!}

By that time it was dinner, so of course we ate again.

oysters

{Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette}

We ordered a bunch of items, but I only caught photos of two. I absolutely loved the cucumber mignonette with the briny local oysters, and the shrimp were lovely, with a nice hint of dill and great crunch from the bread crumbs.

crispy shrimp

{Warm Shrimp with Lemon, Dill, and Crunchy Bread Crumbs}

Doretta instantly became a Boston favorite and a place that I could definitely enjoy dinner out while still staying somewhat healthy.

Happy Summer Friday!

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Tags: Boston, Food, food blog, food blogger, martinis, oysters, Restaurants, summer

Tucked into the Greenport, NY waterfront down Bootleg Alley  is the cutest little oyster shack you’ve ever seen. Little Creek Oysters was part of the incredible itinerary on my North Fork press trip a couple of weeks ago, which started on the Cross Sound Ferry and with a trip to Sep’s Farmstand. Greenport is an adorable seaside town, perfect for  getaway, with tons of shopping and eating, in addition to plenty of lovely waterfront for wandering. You’ll want to make Little Creek Oysters part of your Greenport itinerary too.

Little Creek Oysters

The building itself has a fun history. It began as the wheelhouse of a whaling ship that was eventually cut off and brought ashore in 1880. After spending time as a gathering place for the men who worked the sea, it became a bait and tackle shop and is now home to Little Creek Oysters, who have kept the iconic bait and tackle sign.

Little Creek Oysters

The oyster shack features eclectic nautical decor in a bright, cozy little space with the influence of oysters on just about everything.

Little Creek Oysters

There’s plenty of gift shopping to be done; our group left with all sorts of new items, including oyster shucking platforms, shucking knives and gloves, and my favorite, branded little glasses, perfect for a cold beer on a hot summer day.

joy

Little Creek Oysters

Little Creek Oyster While we browsed and learned all about Little Creek Oysters from co-owner Rosalie Rung, oystermen dropped off fresh deliveries off local oysters. Josh Clauss hauled in bags of Harvest Moon oysters; it doesn’t get much fresher than that!        

Greenport oysters  

Long Island wine

Rosalie had set a beautiful table for us, complete with wine from local winery Bedell Cellars, perfectly iced on the very hot day.

oyster menu The table setting also including Holy Schmitt’s horseradish from Riverhead, NY and small batch A & B pepper sauce, which we learned, were both delicious for topping oysters.

oyster accompaniments

Cold glasses of wine were poured, and we tucked into steaming bowls of homemade clam chowder, one of the offerings on the simple menu at Little Creek Oysters.

Bedell Cellars wine  

Rich with plump local clams and in a creamy but light broth, the chowder hit the spot. Rosalie explained that, unlike the chowder we might be used to in New England, this was made without flour, so the broth is a little thinner. It was the perfect start to a sea-kissed afternoon of oyster shucking.

clam chowderConfession: I had never shucked an oyster before. My husband has done it for us a few times at home, but we mostly go out for oysters. I was a little nervous but also excited to have Rosalie’s expertise as we learned together, some of us novices and others seasoned shuckers.

oyster shucking These wooden platforms definitely helped to stabilize the oyster and to provide leverage for prying open the shell. We dug into buckets of iced oysters from Peconic Bay, donning our shucking gloves and knives for a delicious lesson.

oysters  

Little Creek Oysters Shucking oysters seems simpler than it is, at least for me. At first I had some trouble getting the knife into the hinge, but I got the hang of it and proudly opened about six oysters, which I slurped down with horseradish or hot sauce.

oysters I’m a lover of small, briny oysters, and these definitely fit the bill. They were delightfully salty, like kissing the sea, and the act of shucking made for a ton of laughs and camaraderie in the group.

oyster

shucking oysters

Empty bottles of wine and empty oyster shells soon graced the table, making for a fun contrast to the way it looked on our arrival; clearly we went to work on things!

Little Creek oyster is the perfect spot for getting together with a group of friends, a bucket of oysters, and some Long Island beer or wine for a tasty day by the sea. There’s no need to be intimidated; Rosalie and her husband Ian are happy to help you learn to shuck, a skill that is a gift that keeps on giving. Oyster and wine lovers definitely don’t want to miss out on this exceptional coastal living experience.

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Tags: coastal living, Long Island. food, North Fork, oysters, Travel, travel blog

Other than the occasional snowstorm and too-cold winter days, we love living in New England so much. I’m partial to warm weather day trips from Boston (Hello, coastal living at its best.), but wintry getaways like my visit to Amherst this year can also be beautiful. This past weekend for my birthday we took advantage of blue skies and sunshine despite the cold and visited some favorite coastal Massachusetts towns, Newburyport and Essex.

The Poynt Newburyport

After a traffic-free drive, we kicked our day off with brunch at The Poynt, which is  beautiful, must-visit Newburyport spot. Seriously, I love it. It’s spacious and bright and friendly, with excellent food.

The Poyntchilaquiles

We couldn’t decide what to order and ended up sharing two of the best looking dishes, the Roasted Chicken Chilaquiles, which was smothered in the most amazing smoky red sauce, and the Cajun Bennie, another smoky, slightly spicy dish topped with blackened shrimp.

All washed down with Piper Heidseck Champagne because it was my birthday weekend, after all.

 

eggs benedict

 

Heidseck Monopole Champagne

We left brunch absolutely stuffed, and I needed a long walk. We tried our best at a few seaside locations, but the whipping winds were freezing our faces off, so we turned into Newburyport and enjoyed sunny sidewalks sheltered from the coastal winds by stone buildings.

Newburyport

And then we went in search of beer. We discovered two great breweries with tasting rooms and delicious, free beer tastings. RiverWalk Brewing Co. was our first stop, a delightful little tasting room with some killer beer, including a sour I loved. The only downside was that our arrival coincided with a brewery bus tour full of REALLY loud drunk women. As in, my ears actually, physically hurt. We left with a half growler of Gnomad, an American farmhouse ale we both loved.

Riverwalk Brewing Co Newburyport Brew Co

At Newburyport Brewing Co. our favorites were the two stouts we tried, especially the Joppa Stout.

We couldn’t believe tasting flights were free, and we plan to return to hang out and order pints (and growlers!) again soon. We’re going away again soon and didn’t want to have the fresh beer go bad.

beer tasting in Newburyport

Post-beer-tasting led to more wandering, including checking out some of the great shops in Newburyport, waking ourselves up with a giant coffee, and then hitting the road for Essex for an early light dinner at CK Pearl.

CK Pearl scallop sabayon fish tacosOysters and rosé led into fish tacos and an almost bowl-lickingly amazing scallop sabayon, a slightly sweet, creamy soup. We couldn’t get enough of the views, and stayed until the sky turned as pink as the wine in my glass before heading home, not wanting the day to end.

Essex River

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Tags: brewery, Essex, Massachusetts, Newburyport, oysters, Travel, wine

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