Great lunch at Honey Paw in Portland, ME

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Stanley and I headed to Maine yesterday with our friends Arthur and Al.   On the way to Cundy’s Harbor for the weekend, we stopped in Portland for lunch.  We had hoped to get into Eventide Oyster Co., where we had a wonderful lunch three years ago, but it is so popular that the wait for a table or bar seating can easily run to an hour.  A friend had recommended Honey Paw, which is next door and under the same ownership, as an alternative.  We were able to get seated without a wait, though it did fill up while we were there.  The food here is a mix of seafood, meat and some vegetarian options, with Asian influences, all beautifully plated and delicious.  It’s mainly small plates, running $15 on average.  Two plates made for a very filling lunch.

I particularly liked the glass noodle salad with seafood, whose flavors reminded me very much of the Malaysian style cooking of Zak Pelaccio, which we loved at the now defunct Fatty Crab in Manhattan, and more recently at Back Bar in Hudson.  The fried spare ribs were well-spiced and meaty.  They also have a great selection of beers on tap and in bottles.  We had a Founder’s Stout that was superb.






Wm. Farmer & Sons – Hudson, N. Y.

Last week, Stanley and I had dinner with our friend Victor at Wm. Farmer & Sons.  It is yet another “farm to table” restaurant, and it has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellent food, a fine addition to the ever-growing Hudson restaurant scene.

wf1wf3wf2The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with just the right level of lighting.

Starters we had were beet salad, octopus, and rabbit pate, and main courses were chicken pot pie and duck breast.  We liked everything.   It’s especially nice that they use chicken thighs, giving the pot pie a much richer flavor.  The duck was perfectly done medium-rare.

The beer list shows a lot of thought. We very much enjoyed the porter from Suarez Family Brewery in Livingston.

By the way, Wm. Farmer & Sons also rents rooms, and is just two blocks from the station.

More Baby Lambs – One in a sweater

This has become an annual thing.  I’ve been posting photos of the lambs at a nearby farm for the last two years.  The first year they were born in very cold weather and were all wearing sweaters.  Last year it was already warm and no sweaters were seen. This year, only one had a sweater.  Perhaps he had a cold, or just wanted to be chic.





Le Coq Rico – Best Duck Ever?

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Three of us had a fabulous meal at Le Coq Rico this week.  I had been told by a friend that the duck was the best he had ever had, so of course, being duck afficionados we had to try it.  The restaurant is a branch of one in Montmartre in Paris, owned by Alsatian chef Antoine Westermann, and the Frenchness is palpable. The atmosphere is rustic and sophisticated at the same time, with whimsical touches like panels of feathers on the wall, and more feathers suspended from the ceiling.  The clientele is mostly well-dressed, well-groomed, and well-behaved, not screeching like what we so often encounter these days.  It is lively, however, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Let me start by saying we ordered too much food. We tend to do this on our first visit to any restaurant, in order to try more dishes. So, we began with the offal platter, a board holding two each of various chicken innards and wings. It was delicious, as were the duck rillettes and the deviled eggs with tuna ventresca and cabbage salad.  The duck is billed as being for up to three people, but with appetizers and sides it could easily feed five.  It comes with a green salad, and we added a side of mushrooms. This is not your traditional roast duck, it is only the breast and wings, albeit a huge one. When it still had its legs, this bird must have weighed ten pounds or more.  Like the chickens here, it is spit-roasted, resulting in tender but firm, medium-rare meat, with a bit of fat left under the skin.  It is served with a jus for pouring over. Stanley and I drank a Nitro Milk Stout, while Rick had a glass of sparkling blanc de blancs. We thought the dark, rich beer went especially well with the food. We almost skipped dessert, but were tempted by the chestnut and passion fruit vacherin, so we decided to continue stuffing ourselves.  I’m so glad we did, as this was something I would normally expect to have to travel to France to experience.  And, once again, it was not only enough for the three of us, it could have served four.

I can’t wait to return to try the chickens.