Friday, September 16, 2011

Lunching on Long Island


Beaches, great food and relaxation..... on the North Fork of Long Island.  This past weekend was my first time out on the famed Island, and it was way more than I could have ever asked for.  Although I absolutely love NYC, after being consumed by the day-in day-out craziness of the city, I can completely understand why some New Yorkers choose to keep their weekend homes out on the Island.  It allows them to regain a sense of themselves.


 I rode out on the Jitney bus to meet my friends that live on the North Fork, out by the beach.  For the bus ride, I was sitting next to an 80-year-old woman with bright red hair and an Android phone (with quiet a few of the latest apps).  I only hope that I can be nearly as young as she, when I am 80.  Definitely a little inspiration.  After an hour standing on the busy NYC sidewalk waiting for the bus, and then another long 2.5hr ride, due to security checks and Friday afternoon traffic, it never felt better to be greeted by great friends....especially with wine and a beautiful plate of fresh cheeses.


Reno is a fabulous chef, but the best part is that he doesn't try very hard.  No molecular gastronomy nor elaborate dishes, just simple, real food, made with the highest quality ingredients.  After sitting out on the porch in the warm late summer evening, sipping a glass or two of wine, tasting and re-tasting the cheeses... we put a steak of swordfish on the grill with some fresh summer squash.  The fish was freshly caught that morning off the shore of North Carolina.  We then marinated the steak in olive oil and lemon, and seasoned it with only a little salt and pepper.  It was incredibly moist and flavorful.  A meal that I can't wait to recreate.


After dinner we cut (and ate) some fresh peaches, that were literally from the farmer's stand down the road, and then headed off to bed.



The next morning we went for a long walk on the beach and through the meandering tree covered roads.
  

By the time we arrived home in the middle of the day, Reno was just finishing the preparation of our lunch of juicy burgers with warm Gorgonzola dolce, and a cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella salad with basil from the back yard. I told him that he really should stop this, because I could easily EASILY get used to a private chef, and that he was going to make it hard for me to return to reality.


He didn't stop.
He instead let me help, so that at least I could feed myself.  
The next afternoon after more long walks and swimming in the pool, before we cleaned up to return to our hectic lives, we had lunch on the porch.  The best, most satisfying, lunch I have had in ages.  We pulled out the real plates (which were these very cool retro Red Wing magnolia dishes) and napkins...


And even set the table...


We made a simple rigatoni pasta with a light sauce of sauteed onion, fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and basil.  After sauteing it all in a pan, it becomes a nice blend of juicy and creamy at the same time.  



We also sauteed some fresh bell peppers in oil and balsamic vinegar.  The balsamic really complements the sweetness of the peppers.  I thought Reno should turn his house into a Bed and Breakfast, but offer Lunch instead.


Again we had plenty of wine with the meal, but then I realized that I didn't even get to the Long Island wineries...next time!
Thank you so much to my dear friends on the Island for all of the lovely food and laughs. 


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