Monday, April 20, 2015

beachtree cafe

On the border of Bayshore and East Islip sits a charming little restaurant with a reasonably priced and expedient lunch option: the Beachtree Cafe. We were in search of a quick bite, and Beachtree delivered. Beachtree's "Express Lunch" menu starts at $6 and promises your food within 15 minutes. If you're in favor of an early dinner, you can take advantage of this until 3pm. I had the filet of salmon with potato pancake and fresh corn in a horseradish cream sauce. It was perfectly cooked and the potato pancake was delightfully crispy and flaky, not overly greasy. Typically I don't gravitate towards things with corn and cream, but the whole dish was quite tasty, and at $10, well worth the price.

Beachtree Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 19, 2015

popei's clam bar

In search of a proper Lenten meal, March found us at Popei's Clam Bar in Coram. This is one of four Popei's locations, and boasts decent fish, fair prices and remarkably generous portions. Mr. Cardinal and I split a fried clam appetizer and a fried pickle appetizer to start. The fried clams were satisfactory, while the fried pickles truly shined. They were BY FAR the best I've had yet on Long Island. DH's crab cake was fine, and I had no complaints about the broiled grouper with fresh steamed broccoli side. The sweet potato fries were quite good. With mammoth portions, be prepared to bring some Popei's home with you after your meal! (And at these prices, it can't hurt to get some pickles to go... :-)

Popei's Clam Bar on Urbanspoon

coastal cheap and chic #9: warm weather preggo fashion on a budget.

If you're pregnant like me, finding things that 1) fit comfortably, 2) are not ugly, and 3) don't cost a lot of money can make you feel like you hit the jackpot. From what I've heard, the warmer weather months are in some ways an unenviable time to be in the later stages of pregnancy, but I'm in the case of the clothing matter I'm finding that there's a lot more flexibility in terms of wardrobe. The timing of things have allowed me to plan and realize the comfy/cute/cheap triumvirate. Note: Everyone's experience of pregnancy is different, and those reading reflect a host of different and beautiful body types (and bumps). Knowing that, I share what I have found is working for me so far as the temperature rises, and hopefully some part of it can be helpful to someone else.

1) Shrug off maternity clothes in lieu of more forgiving cuts and fabrics that can be bought up a size or two (and still likely be worn again later!) Maternity clothing can be horrifically expensive (and a lot of it, truthfully, is very ugly). Cotton sundresses, tunics, and shift dresses are a godsend in the summer and can be layered with a knit shirt, wrap or even cardigan in the spring. That led me to Garnet Hill, a beloved catalog store...

2) Shop off-season or check the clearance sections to get Garnet Hill at Wal-Mart prices. I adore Garnet Hill. It's one of those rare clothing lines that has true versatility and appeal across a range of ages. A Garnet Hill dress can be rocked by anyone, whether you're 24 or 64. Late this winter as I got towards the end of my first trimester, I scoured their clearance section and managed to score three flowy, embroided cotton tops for $9 each (similar tops here for $28), a gauzy pair of drawstring palazzo pants in pewter for $8, and two sundresses for $9 and $18 respectively (now $28). All of these are pretty pieces that I can and have been layering until it gets warmer, but they'll all be extremely comfortable in the summer (and provide my adorable freeloader with room to grow).

3) Don't underestimate the power of the "rubber-band and jeans trick". Enough said. When that whole gets old, you chip in for a very inexpensive alternative to the fancy belly bands at Target. At $16.99, the Ingrid & Isabel BeBand does the trick for a fraction of the cost of other belly bands. At the middle of my pregnancy, I'm now in a place where can't stand the sensation of the thick, coarse quality of jean fabric. Cute but cheap "jeggings" by Hue will hopefully get me through the next half!

4) For those questioning their sanity, there's always the #LillyforTarget launch. After narrowly securing a quarter of my attempted online-only purchase overnight, I braved my way to the South Setauket Target at 7:10 this morning, played nicely but decisively (no comment on those line cutters!) and managed to walk away with more things than I expected in the two minutes of craziness. Going into it with a sense of humor and low expectations helped. The drawstring palazzo pants and flounce dress are a pregnancy dream. Ordering up a size, I found the strapless maxi dress very comfortable. What surprised me the most was the shift dress, which I managed to score in one size too big for my current figure. I was afraid that a shift would overemphasize the middle of a pregnant woman, but it actually had the opposite effect. It's so cute and the fabric is thick, so I will probably just get it altered post-partum. Was it worth it? Sure. Will I ever do something like this again? No.

a figment of phillip corbert's culinary imagination

For New Year's Eve we decided to treat ourselves to a prix fixe at a longstanding restaurant on our to-do list, Roots Bistro Gourmand. Headed by chef Phillip Corbert, Roots marries French cuisine with the contemporary American farm-to-table trend in a way that is both casual and elegant.

In lieu of the occasion and fine seasonal offerings, the Chef presented a special menu.  DH selected the wine pairing, which was both affordable and respectable (save the dessert wine, which he found a bit lackluster). The bartender was quite accommodating and put together an impressive non-alcoholic version of the "Laws of Motion", an RBG signature cocktail of muddled fig. For the first course, I enjoyed smoked salmon with warm potato salad, salmon roe. The two fanciful ingredients in this dish ---yuzu "air" and squid ink vinaigrette--- brought the whole experience to an unexpected level. Mr. Cardinal attempted to dally over his fois gras terrine, which included apple fig gel, pretzel bread, and an adoration-worthy smoked pickled sunchoke. (I say dally because his love of fois gras precludes him from eating slowly). For the second course, we both went with the heavenly lobster ravioli with truffle mascarpone, an enigmatic lemon truffle froth, and shaved winter truffle. We followed with the roasted quail, which featured wild mushrooms, chestnut and roasted grapes in a red wine reduction. The final presented us with a taste of several different desserts (though forgive my pregnancy brain, I cannot recall what they were--- only that they were quite delicious).

Chef Corbert is making great things happen here--- LI's got a real winner on the South Shore in Roots. Definitely worthy of a repeat visit next time we're in the area.

Roots Bistro Gourmand on Urbanspoon

back-to-blogging punch!

Happy Spring, Long Island... AT LONG LAST!!! Gosh we earned it, didn't we?!

I have to apologize, as there are many wonderful local restaurants and services we've experienced this year that I wanted to share with you about. Great products, food and people should be acknowledged! Since this blog is a pet project that I run anonymously to spread a bit of local cheer, sometimes it gets pushed to the wayside more than I like. This time, however, it is for a very happy reason indeed...

(Insert obligatory annoying bump photo. I promise not to burden you with more of these). 

...there's a Baby Cardinal on the way!
While some maternity and baby-themed posts will be featured and reflect the changes here at Pond House, I have no intention of turning this into a baby or parenting blog. There are many blogs that do that job brilliantly. The primary missions of this blog remain: highlighting everything we love on Long Island, and cheap ways to channel coastal style. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

happy new year, long island!

Wishing you coastal cheer all year! Let's make 2015 the best year yet. Thanks for the over 15,000 hits to coastal village girl. It's been a pleasure sharing this journey with you. There are no shortage of reasons that Long Island is such a wonderful place to live! :-)