Buvette NYC

I was more than just a little excited to read that David & Luise of Green Kitchen Stories visited three of our favorite NY restaurantsPeels, Buvette, and The Butcher’s Daughter – during a recent trip to the states.

How adorable are these guys? Our friends, Em & John, hosted an adventure dinner party for a group of their pals in North Carolina, and this week Emily shares her tips on doing so on her blog. What a fantastic idea!

It’s kind of embarrassing that we’ve never been to Popham Beach in the summer. This post on Designtripper has inspired me to make it happen – at least by the end of September!

We loved reading this guide to exploring midcoast Maine on Lady Gouda this week!

Spotted SF, a blog featuring snapshots of “favorite neighborhood spots around San Francisco & other travel gems, too” is a new favorite for sure!

Homesick for Provence, I checked out Peter Mayle’s Provence: A-Z from the library last Friday and finished it the next day. I highly recommend picking it up if you’re planning a trip to the area!

Happy weekend! We’ll be working a good bit this weekend, so please get out, have a little fun, and eat some delicious food for us!

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Popsicles

There are few things more refreshing than snacking on a popsicle on a hot summer’s day. During some of the hottest weeks this summer, Michael and I enjoyed quite a few popsicles together on our back patio. Some, like Gwyneth’s naturally sweetened berry & coconut popsicle were probably a little more healthy than others we made, but we found that when entertaining friends on a warm evening, nothing seems more festive or appropriate than serving what we’ll refer to as a “grown-up” popsicle.

Once we started experimenting with adding alcohol to popsicles, we had the idea to re-create one of our favorite drinks from our travels – the Fleur Dulce from the River House at Palmetto Bluff. Made of St. Germain, gin, and grapefruit, the Fleur Dulce has always been one of the more memorable cocktail creations from our travels and our love for it even inspired us to share an interview with its creator, Todd Phillips.

We of course are in no way creatively qualified to accurately recreate the Fleur Dulce, but covering all of the main ingredients (St. Germain, gin, and grapefruit), we were able to come up with a simple & delicious popsicle.

Fleur Dulce Popsicle

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup St. Germain
  • 1/4 cup gin (we used Hendrick’s)

Create a simple syrup with the water and sugar (boil together until the sugar dissolves) and let cool. Combine the grapefruit juice, St. Germain, gin, and simple syrup. Pour into the popsicle molds (we use these) and freeze overnight. Make sure you run some hot water over the molds to make removing them (in one piece!) a little bit easier.

The final step is simply to enjoy with friends or loved ones in the warm summer sun!

Saint Germain Popsicles

Saint Germain Grapefruit Popsicles

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Blue Rooster Brussels Sprouts

Meredith and I often get asked by visiting Map & Menu readers, family, and friends what to eat in Portland, so inspired by the recurring ’10 Plates’ feature in Food & Wine and a delightful dinner in Kittery with a fellow food-crazed friend, we found ourselves talking about a few of our favorite dishes from around town. Sort of an “if I could have a single item off of 10 different Portland menus, what would they be?” Not surprisingly, it was pretty difficult to limit ourselves to only ten of our top menu staples, but we were somewhat aided by the fact that a number of our favorite restaurants have ever-changing menus, and we wanted people to be able to order any of these items at any time while in Portland. So without further adieu, here are 10 of our favorite bites to eat in Portland:

Fore Street Mussels

Don’t get us wrong, just about everything we’ve ever tried at Fore Street has been perfect, but for the two of us, no meal there is complete without starting with the mussels. In typical Fore Street fashion, the dish is beautifully simple (essentially garlic, butter, and mussels), but give me a loaf of Standard Bakery’s bread, and I’ll return a completely clean dish – devoid of buttery broth and all.

Otto Pizza Masher

Mashed potato, bacon, and scallion on a pizza. There’s a reason this piece of heaven is one of the few standard slice offerings whenever you visit Otto. If you’ve never tried it and you manage to walk past Otto without grabbing a slice, I commend your will power.

Blue Spoon BLT

We needed a picture of this Blue Spoon lunch time favorite to round out the post, but knew that we wouldn’t have time for a lunch in town, so I did what any reasonable bacon lover would and ordered it for breakfast. Two thick slices of sourdough are home to a plentiful amount of applewood smoked bacon, tomato, lettuce, and rosemary mayo. Pair it with a Peeper and the whole grain mustard potato salad, and you’re in for a treat.

Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll

We just covered Eventide’s lobster roll on our Maine Lobster Roll roundup a couple of weeks ago, but once you take a bite of the warm, savory lobster meat, there will be little doubt as to why it’s deserving of the repeat mention.

Blue Rooster Fried Brussels Sprouts

Blue Rooster knows how to do it right. I’ve never heard Meredith get excited about hot dogs lunches, but when they’re dressed like the Colombiano and served with a side of the fantastic fried Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce, sesame, and queso fresco, who can blame her for her excitement?

Petite Jacqueline Cheese Plate

This one is a little more loosely defined than the rest, since it’s not a particular combination of cheeses that has repeatedly won us over, but rather the fact that every time we try a few cheeses off of Petite’s menu, we immediately make sure to write the name down for future reference.

Duckfat Fries with Thai Chili Mayo

If you’ve ever experienced the fries at Duckfat, you know why this item is on our menu; but it’s time to stop playing it safe with your truffle ketchup, and dip those bad boys in the thai chili mayo – you can thank me later.

Pai Men Miyake Pai Tan Ramen

To me, this is Portland comfort food at its finest. In a city where at least 3/4 of the year can be aptly described as “chilly to frigid,” a warm, flavorful bowl of Pai Men Miyake’s pai tan ramen can warm even the coldest of Southern transplants. Did I mention the pork belly part of this equation? Winning.

El Rayo Fish Taco

Some people prefer fried fish in their fish tacos, but once you’ve tried El Rayo’s version - grilled achiote seasoned fish fillet, sliced avocado, crunchy veggie slaw, and that house chipotle mayo – I think it would sway even the most loyal of fried fish followers.

Boda Beef Panaeng

It’s hard to describe just how spot-on this meal at Boda is. Right to a fault since being the first dish I ever ordered at Boda, I’ve never seen reason to try any other part of the menu. I’ll let the menu do the talking – “braised organic Wolfe’s Neck Farm beef in a flavorful panaeng curry (salty and sweet with aromas of Thai basil and lime leaves) with coconut cream, served with jasmine rice.” It doesn’t hurt that this is quite possibly the most delicious gluten-free meal I’ve ever had in my life.

Well, it’s impossible to say that this list covers all of Portland’s best dishes, but I think it’s a pretty fair sampling. We’d love to know, what dishes would you add to the list?

Fore Street Mussels

Otto Pizza Portland Maine

Blue Spoon BLT

Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll

Petite Jacqueline Cheese Plate

Duckfat Portland Maine

Pai Men Ramen

El Rayo Fish Taco

Boda

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Blue Spoon Brunch

As summer starts to reach its twilight, Meredith and I have begun to push to enjoy every free weekend moment possible. On Saturday morning, we switched things up a little bit and shared brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in town – Blue Spoon – before our Saturday morning farmer’s market tradition. Afterwards, we took advantage of the perfect weather with an Orvis-led Robinson Woods hike, work in the yard, and dinner outside. On Sunday morning, Meredith competed in the Tri for Preservation with our good friend, Betsy, while I cheered from the sideline with plenty of great company. For a celebratory lunch after, we finally had some time to catch up with our friends Courtney and Michael at Blue Rooster Food Co.

Sometimes it feels like if you blink, you’ll miss a wonderful weekend like this past one, but as my grandfather was always fond of saying, “all good things must come to an end”. If only it didn’t always hold up.

Michael at Blue Spoon

Popcorn Clouds

Paddleboarders at Crescent Beach

Betsy & Meredith

Tri for Preservation

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Sailing to Chebeague

Maybe it’s because I just returned home from a morning swim with a friend, but this post on The Fresh Exchange really resonated with me. I’m looking forward to heeding Megan’s advice and plan on taking full advantage of what is supposed to be a perfect summer weekend.

I’ve always wanted to visit Montauk, but until we’re able to plan a trip of our own, I’ll have to live vicariously through others – like Savvy Home.

We try (and love!) many recipes from A House in the Hills (like this delicious salad), but I’m particularly excited about giving this cauliflower crust pizza Sarah shared on the West Elm blog this week a try.

Is anyone attending the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle this September? If so, you might recognize one of the (handsome) speakers… :)

Happy Friday! Hopefully you all have something fun and/or relaxing planned for the next few days? We’re hoping to spend as much time as possible outside and look forward to catching up with a few friends along the way. 

 

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Isle of Springs

Last week, we spent an amazing day on one of the most delightful places we’ve visited in Maine – Isle of Springs. Over the past few years, Meredith has had multiple photo shoots on and around the island, but until our friends from North Carolina, John and Emily, invited us to their family home on the island, I’d never had the chance to see what all the fuss was about. Simply put, it was amazing.

The weather was gorgeous and the island was more Maine-ly picturesque than one could imagine. Our hosts were both welcoming & accommodating, taking us on a guided walk around the island and boat ride through Sheepscot Bay and into Boothbay Harbor, and spending the evening entertaining us with great stories and tasty food. By the time we pulled back into our driveway late that evening, we were completely spent from the day we’d left behind, and collapsed into bed, dreaming about future trips to the island.

A special thanks goes out to Emily, John, and the rest of the Ayer family for the unmatched memories.

Isle of Springs Sawyer Island

Michael D. Cain

Sawyer Island Maine

Midcoast Maine

Isle of Springs Ferns

Isle of Springs Woods

Isle of Springs Maine

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Charlottesville Wines

We unfortunately didn’t have the time to visit any vineyards during our spring trip to Charlottesville, but we made sure to grab a few bottles to enjoy post-trip.

It’s only taken a year, but Michael & I finally have the opportunity to take advantage of his pretty amazing work travel schedule. (This year, he’s already been to Hawaii and Italy, and will make it to Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and London before 2013 is over!) In September we’re squeezing a trip to Sonoma in the week between his travels to Seattle & San Francisco! It will my first trip to Northern California and our very first wine country experience, and we’re clearly very excited about it. After finishing this book the other night, I stayed up way past my bedtime researching vineyards, and my dreams that night were filled with all kinds of wine-related adventures.

So far, we’re hoping to visit a number of these Sonoma wineries:

Ridge Vineyards – Recommended to me by the father of a recent bride (who lives in Northern California and visits Sonoma often) as his favorite! Ridge is also mentioned a few times in Eric Asimov’s book, How to Love Wine.

Copain Wines – Another recommendation from Rebecca (the bride from above who happens to be a Map & Menu reader!) who is spending her honeymoon in Sonoma this week!

Scribe Winery – We linked to Scribe on Weekend Reads via a blog post from A Continuous Lean a few months ago, and the winery is also highlighted in our beloved The New York Times 36 Hours book.

Peay Vineyards – Mentioned in Asimov’s book, I love the private nature of the winery, which is only open to mailing list members who make purchases.

Arnot-Roberts – Another mention in How to Love Wine. I’m really not ashamed to admit that their branding is one of the main reasons this winery is on our list.

Ramey Wine Cellars – A favorite from the honeymoon visit of our friends, John & Rachel, whose opinions I’ll always trust.

Preston Vineyards – Discovered through the Ingalls Photography food/travel blog, The Epicures.

Are we missing any must-visit Sonoma wineries? Do you all have any tips for first time wine country goers? Do we have our sights set on too many? We’d absolutely love to hear about your past trips to Sonoma County or any vineyards you’re dying to visit someday.

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Farmers Market Portland Maine

A perfect pace for a lovely weekend. The two of us enjoyed a leisurely Saturday morning with a delicious Small Axe breakfast (this is quickly becoming our Saturday morning ‘thing’), and a trip to the farmer’s market where the fruits, vegetables, and flowers were a colorful delight. On Saturday evening, our already amazing meal with Orvis at The Well was made even more enjoyable by the new friends with whom we shared a picnic table, some stories, and a few glasses of wine. We completed the evening with an ice cream dessert and a (somewhat competitive) game of Rummikub with neighbors. Sunday was spent on blankets in the yard, hiking with Orvis, and enjoying the spoils of our farmer’s market trip. Just the perfect way to spend a late summer’s weekend.

Farmers Market Salad

The Well at Jordan Farm

Orvis

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Standard Bakery Maine

We’re fiercely loyal to our neighborhood bakery, Scratch Baking Co., but we do love popping into Portland’s Standard Baking Co. (as evidenced above) every now and then too. (You can never have too many favorite bakeries, right?) After seeing a glimpse of the bakery’s rebranding by More & Co. online, I’m hoping we get a chance to swing by Standard soon and see everything in person.

“Excited” doesn’t even begin to cover how we feel about the various accolades Eventide continues to rack up.  A big congrats to them and the 49 others for being named one of Bon Appetit‘s Best New Restaurant Nominees!

Michael is headed to London for work this fall and while we’re not sure if I’ll be able to join him yet, I hope at least one of us gets to visit this adorable cafe – Hally’s Parsons Green.

We just pulled the trigger on a new painting for our house by an artist I’ve admired for quite some time – Henry Isaacs. While the piece is of a landscape outside of Charlottesville, an area we absolutely adore, the cottages depicted in the painting remind us of the fishing shacks at Willard Beach.

As someone who is just a tad bit obsessed with Instagram, I love Domaine’s recurring “We Know What You Did Last Weekend” post featuring some of their favorite Instagram feeds.

Happy Friday, friends – enjoy the next few summer days!

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Snug Harbor Farm Maine

Last week, after we returned from Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk, Michael admitted that he had incorrectly thought I was being a little melodramatic when I came home raving about my first visit to the farm last spring. I think I recall touting it as “pretty much the most amazing place ever”, to which Michael smiled but took with a grain of salt. (If you’ve read this blog for more than a few posts, you know that I can get a little excited about some of the places we visit.) I must admit though, it was exceptionally nice to hear Michael show almost the same enthusiasm after he’d had a chance to experience the farm last week on our day trip down the coast.

Snug Harbor Farm is far from your average nursery. Perhaps it’s the rows upon rows of beautiful topiaries, or the seemingly endless supply of the most gorgeous and unique succulent arrangements (a number of which can now be found around our house). Maybe it’s the delightful collection of home & garden goods in the shop, the wonderfully kept old farmhouse property, the gorgeous terra cotta pots (yes, even the pots are awesome), or even the adorable farm dogs that might just follow you around while you browse – believe me when I say that there is just something special about this farm.

Snug Harbor Farm Kennebunk

Succulents at Snug Harbor Farm

Snug Harbor Farm

Succulents

Snug Harbor Farm Kennebunk

Snug Harbor Farm Shop

Snug Harbor Farm Shop Photos

Contact Information - Snug Harbor Farm

87 Western Avenue
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
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