Wednesday, July 16, 2014

cordwood park: a little bit of smithtown heaven.

By sheer accident, Jay Cardinal and I discovered this lovely little park during one of our Sunday afternoon drives around the North Shore. Cordwood Park is a transportive little place with stunning views of Stony Brook Harbor--- perfect for canoe or kayak entry, a picnic, or just a little peace and quiet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

i could just dahlia here all day long... ❤️

On Sunday, Jay Cardinal and I decided to go for a walk. Goal: find a place free from the midday heat (South Shore breezes, anyone?!) and free of sand (so, beach out of the question). We settled on Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River.  
Viva la Empire Pass. It's our second visit to the Arboretum, but there were amazing new things to see that we didn't catch in our last visit: namely, the Dahlia Garden. These blossoms were nothing short of exceptional and came in every size and color you can imagine! One was more beautiful than the next.

Bigger than my hand...

This egret (seen easily from the Arboretum's "River Walk") was a striking little slip of a thing against the deep blue of the Connetquot...

The diversity of the trees and bushes is remarkable as well. DH said the Golden English Yew reminded him of Journey's "Open Arms"...

Check it out this gem on the Connetquot, Long Island!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

coastal chill: summer 2014 playlist

Happy Summer Solstice, Long Island! How are you enjoying the longest day of the year? I celebrated by trying to teach the chickens how to dance while Jay Cardinal grilled some amazing soft shell crab and cedar plank salmon. Here are some tunes to get that summer feeling going. I realize I have very eclectic taste in music, but that means there's a little something for everyone--- new tricks for old dogs, old tricks for new dogs, and some underrated classical repertoire that captures New York's exuberance like no one's business. ;-)

(Disclaimer: Coastal Village Girl is not responsible for the content and age-appropriateness of the music videos, nor the at-times tasteless comments that people leave on youTube. Proceed at your own discretion and with appropriate permissions as necessary.)

As chill as that mojito you're sippin'...
Peter Frampton- Baby I Love Your Way (1976)
Oliver Nelson- Stolen Moments (1961)
Bobby Caldwell- What You Won't Do For Love (1978)
James Taylor- Fourth of July (2002)
John Mayer- Clarity (2003)

Get you up and moving!
Mistura feat. Kendra Cash- Smile (2012?)
Bingo Players- Cry Just a Little (2011)

(Okay, maybe just your pinky toes...)
Matt Bianco- Half a Minute (1988)
Urban Blight- Beautiful Place (1995)
janet - Whoops Now (1993)
Save Ferris- The World Is New (1997)

Pairs well with a late-night drive over the GWB or the Queensboro Bridge
Gershwin- Piano Concerto in F (composed 1925; 1961 recording feat. soloist Earl Wild, Boston Pops w/ Arthur Fiedler conducting)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

conched out from great food.

Mr. Cardinal had Bahama Breeze on our radar for a while and finally got the opportunity to go a few Fridays ago. (Our strategy for any restaurant in the Smith Haven Mall area: be in by 4:45). We were very pleased with our experience there. Waitress Catherine "Cat" C was on top of it--- really professional, at ease and accommodating.

We loved the conch fritters, which highlighted the conch without being too chewy. Cocktails were a considerably sweet, not to our taste. The fresh fish menu featured a number of preparations as well as generous portions. The mango salsa salmon was cooked precisely to my request, and the warm pineapple upside-down cake made for a decadent finish.  For those wanting a better starch option, the cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes were a nice alternative. Undoubtedly, a repeat visit will be in the near future.

Bahama Breeze on Urbanspoon

coastal freebie #5: sailboat printable

Hi there, Long Island... hope you are enjoying your summer so far and getting in some quality beach time. (Even though it's technically 9 days away, summer started here Memorial Day weekend. ;-) Here's my latest free printable, featuring a little sailboat graphic. I used it recently as a part of an invitation for our upcoming Cardinal family clambake.

For personal and non-commercial use only. If you use it or pin it I'd be absolutely tickled pink with a comment, tweet, or link back. :)))

Thumbnail preview

To download, click below to be taken to the Google Doc:
Sailboat Printable

Thursday, June 5, 2014

plenty to revel in...

Jay Cardinal's work assignment availed me of some free chill time in Garden City, so I decided to make good use of it by visiting Revel, which received a generous write-up in the Times back in the fall. It's easy to see what the fuss is about. Service is a team effort here: everyone takes ownership. The lounge area was a perfect spot for an introvert like me, rendering me able to avoid the bar crowd (yet still having the benefit of people watching) while I enjoyed some light fare. The bar area was hopping, though the crowd was a bit older than I expected.

The Old Cubanito was actually a pretty girly cocktail, but with a fun, deceptive twist: extremely sweet on the front, with the gravitas of alcohol and peach bitters in the middle, and a cooling, zen-like finish. Well played. Cheese loves, take note! The sheep's milk ricotta crostini with honey, chives and truffle oil was a subtle lesson in balance, as was the buratta and heirloom tomato salad. While there was nothing radical about it, the latter was bursting with flavor, aided by the whimsical counterpoint of the pesto against the pickled peach, my new favorite summertime flavor. The lamb meatball appetizer was divine and buttery, never greasy, with the sweetness of the red pepper cutting the high fat content effectively.

Revel's strategy of fine, balanced fare, excellent service and a low-key vibe sure puts the happy back in happy hour.
Revel Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 26, 2014

blown away by puffer.

On our drive home from Saturday's wine region exploration, Jay Cardinal and I were getting pretty hungry. Fortunately for us, the formidable Lobster Roll of Amagansett fame has a North Fork sister. Lobster Roll Northside has a slightly different vibe, with more of countryside farmhouse restaurant feel. The food, fortunately, meets the same expectations. We were absolutely in love with the delectably flaky puffer appetizer--- this is a must-order. The conch fritters were a wee bit greasy (and a little too, well, conch-y) for our taste. DH had no complaints about his lobster roll, which was consistent with the one we had in Amagansett. I really enjoyed my clam "strip" roll. While not as tender as the Ipswich clams had at Bigelow's, they were still very sweet and the fry breading was great.

Come for the puffer--- we had some great fish, but this offering in particular was a special find. I know we'll be back ...and soon.

Lobster Roll on Urbanspoon