Middle of the week fun and exploring in Harwich Port

Mid-week on the cape finds laid back days at the beach and exploring what goes on around Harwich Port. Waking to foggy and humid mornings for coffee and my morning walk lead to sunny and warm days.

Tuesday was a beach day and lingering around town before heading to dinner in Dennis Port at The Oyster Company. A family favorite for dinner we shared quite a bit of oysters, Portuguese and Bangkok mussels and more for appetizers. Still needing to get my fill of lobster I went with the Lazy Man Roasted Lobster. The stuffed lobster with crab meat stuffing satisfied my craving for the local delicacy.

Harwich Port
Nauset Marsh

Fun and adventure around Harwich Port

Wednesday had us checking out a few attractions within a few miles from the house. Stopping at Cape Cod Lavender Farm was new to me and had me enjoying the aromas of one of my favorite scents. From there we needed to keep my 10 year old niece happy going to the go-kart track and bumper boats. The adults acted like kids as we all had fun trying to beat each other around the track and getting soaked on the bumper boats. A fun afternoon of playing like a kid.

Dinner had us going to the highly rated Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich Port. Plenty of shared appetizers including polenta, charcuterie, proscuitto wrapped artichokes and Aracini had me practically full before our entrees arrived. A grilled romaine salad before my Buca’s Bolognese arrived had me packing up it after only a few bites. It made for a great breakfast the next couple of mornings with the wild boar ragu spread on crispy bread leftovers for my homemade breakfast bruschetta. A breezy sunset made for a great after dinner walk on the beach and through town during its weekly festival with live music and more.

Gorgonzola & Bacon Burger at Mooncusser’s Tavern

Kayaking the marsh

Thursday brought out our adventuresome side with a 3 hour guided kayak tour through the Nauset Marsh. After meeting up with Matt of Cape Marsh Kayaking we made our way with the outgoing tide towards Nauset Beach. Paddling through the marsh Matt pointed out native birds looking for fish. Did you know there is no such specie as a “sea gull” as it’s a general term for the gulls found in and around the water.

Arriving at the beach 70 minutes after of paddling we had time to explore the beach and watch the seals bathing in the sun and poking their head out of the water to greet us. Before heading back Matt taught us about the different kind of clams, scallops and horseshoe crabs found in the area. Horseshoe crabs are related to spiders more than they are crabs. Paddling back to the boat launch made for quite the workout as we were paddling into the outgoing tide.

Getting hungry

Working up quite the appetite after kayaking we headed up Route 6 to Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham. Packed with families getting their fill of fried seafood for lunch, my Wedge Salad with lobster meat was well earned. Hanging by the pool for a little while it was time to freshen up for dinner at Mooncusser’s Tavern.

Steamers at Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham

Mooncusser’s is a inn and tavern built in the 1700s for retailer Jordan Marsh and his family. Mooncusser’s were land pirates who destroyed lighthouses and set fires on the beach so ships would run a ground to be robbed of their cargo.

My nephew and I shared an appetizer of PEI Mussel Dijonaise followed by my duck infused Gorgonzola & Bacon Burger. The first burger I’ve had on the cape in several years was delicious topped with the melted blue cheese, Crimini mushrooms, Cabernet caramelized onions, garlic aioli and smoked bacon. Saving room for dessert we made our way back to Schoolhouse Ice Cream for the homemade sweet treat.

Heading home from Harwich Port

Friday has us packing and getting ready to head out for the 5 hour drive down I-95 to NJ for the weekend before I head back to Scottsdale. Another great week on the cape full of fun, adventure and eating.

To see more of my visit Follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

Weekly dinner series starts at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

Thursday nights will be better than most the next 12 weeks at Nico Heirloom Kitchen. The downtown Gilbert restaurant is launching a weekly dinner series on Thursday, July 25th. The chef driven restaurant will offer 4-courses with drink pairings for $70 which includes tax and gratuity.

Guests can expect dishes that may include hand-rolled pastas, fresh and locally grown produce and family recipes. Below is a preview of the first weeks dinner.

  • Sweet Corn Fritter | Green Chili Aioli |Tomatillo Chow Chow | Ferrari Carano Rose
  • Warm Cauliflower | Crispy Kale | Caper | Golden Raisin | Girard Sauvignon Blanc
  • Porchetta | House Made Sausage | Tomato Barley | Arugula | Jackson Estate Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir
  • Strawberry Olive Oil Cake | Burrata Cream | Picked Rhubarb | Pink Peppercorn | Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling

To reserve your spot for the weekly dinner series head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/travel-the-us-nico-heirloom-kitchen-dinner-series-registration-65133691625

Nico Heirloom Kitchen is at 366 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85234.

Mora Italian introduces a new tasty Happy Hour menu

If you haven’t made your way to Mora Italian yet like me, their new happy hour menu might convince you to head there today. Monday – Friday from 4-6 p.m. you can save some dough on pork ribs, veal meatballs, salumi & cheese and more.

For $20 choose from combos including a Rimini pizza or Salumi Board with a bottle of rose or a carafe of an Aperol Spritz.

Italian
Artichoke soup

Cocktails are also included on the new menu including Sangria & Aperol Spritz for $5, an Americano for $7 and more.

Mora Italian new summer dishes

Celebrity chef & restaurateur lends his culinary creativity to Mora Italian and is showcased in three new dishes for summer. Chef Matt Taylor and his team execute the menus in the kitchen. These new dishes are perfect for lighter and cooler summer dining.

Artichoke Soup with truffle, Parmesan bread and pignoli.

10 oz. Prime Niman Ranch NY Strip with charred potato panzanella and grilled ramp vinaigrette.

Roasted Summer Squash with smoked yogurt, Feta and neonata.

10 oz NY Strip

The Phoenix restaurant offers guests a modern osteria experience with Neopolitan pizzas, pasta dishes, satisfying entrees and delicious desserts. Progressive cocktails and a wine list round out the experience.

Mora Italian is at 5651 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014. (602)795-9943

Local eats in suburban New Jersey, NYC and Saratoga Springs

Like many of us living in Arizona, I too came from somewhere else. Across the river from New York City in suburban New Jersey I grew up on take-out pizza, diner food, and bagels. Despite many New York and New Jersey transplants opening restaurants serving food from our home state those foods just taste better back east. Whenever I head back for a visit I head for my favorite foods and I was back a couple of weeks ago.

Most people wouldn’t visit these family restaurants in suburban Bergen County unless you’re visiting family or friends in the area. But if you live there or happen to be traveling through the small towns that dot the metro area they’re easy to find.

Let’s eat

When you don’t know what you want or everybody wants something different a local diner is always a good call. So with family who flew into town we headed to to Matthews Colonial Diner in Waldwick. Wanting a char-broiled burger I opted to eat healthy knowing there would be plenty of food this week. The Beet & Goat Cheese Salad was a solid and out of the ordinary choice for me. My family knowing my eating habits gave me the “are you feeling ok” look when the word salad came out of my mouth.

Seems like Italian food reigned the week with 2 or 3 meals as we wound having pizza or pasta delivered. A favorite of my sister and her family is The Sicilian Sun in Ho-Ho-Kus. Whether we walk over to dine-in or have it delivered it rarely disappoints. Ordering take-out I went pasta free ordering Chicken Scarpello with sausage, pepperoncini, mushrooms, garlic and a touch of garlic. So good I may have to head back sooner than later to get it again.

New Jersey
Chicken Scarpello from The Sicilian Sun

Wednesday lunch had a group of 20 family and friends at the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern for a 4 course lunch. Lots of history at this place that was constructed in 1796. The entree course had your typical, beef, chicken and fish option along with Bolognese Tagliatelle. I had the latter, I told you there was a lot of Italian food.

In the city

A trip to New Jersey isn’t complete without a visit to New York City. Thursday I caught a ride to lower Manhattan’s Financial District to play tourist and walk off the calories I consumed.

Getting into the city early I grabbed a a quick lox, egg & tomato bagel from the Park Place location of Lenwich, a local chain of sandwich shops I’ve never experienced before. Not my typical bagel and lox combination but it gave me the fuel I needed to pound the pavement.

Meeting a friend for lunch who had little time we opted for “street meat” from a food truck nearby. The city is know for it’s food trucks and carts offering a quick and reasonably priced lunch. We went for Mediterranean food and I opted for a falafel sandwich and my friend with a chicken and rice. Filling portions for only $5 each. The weather was one of the nicer days so we opted for a park bench to eat and chat.

New Jersey
NYC Falafel

Back on the Jersey side

Thursday dinner had us ordering in…… pizza from Anthony Franco’s Pizzeria. A visit to Jersey wouldn’t be a visit to Jersey without a couple of pizza pies. Sausage, onions, mushrooms and more topping our pies a few slices for now and few left for later.

In between rain drops on Friday I decided to give in to my burger craving at Red Cedar Market Season Kitchen for their RCM Mushroom and Swiss burger. This busy cafe made the best burger I’ve had in a while. Made to order and cooked to my preferred medium rare and drizzled with truffle oil and served with delicious fries.

New Jersey
RCM Mushroom & Swiss burger

Dinner had heading to the State Line Diner, a couple of miles south of the New York state border on Route 17. So much to choose from I didn’t know what I was going with until the words “Roat Beef & Swiss Cheese Triple Decker sandwich with a side of Steak Cut Onion Rings” came out. The rare roast beef was good but I wish I hadn’t ordered the onion rings as I compared them to a hometown favorite pile from the defunct Louie’s Charcoal Pit.

A quick trip upstate to Saratoga Springs

Saturday afternoon I drove up the New York Thruway to visit a friend I met in Arizona who re-located back home to upstate New York.

Once arriving I made my way to Broadway, the main drag in Saratoga Springs, waiting for my friend to get off work. The best weather of my visit had people out & about on this late Saturday afternoon and I found Druthers Brewery for a cold Raspberry Nut Brown Ale. It hit the spot before I strolled the downtown to Congress Park to taste the spring water known for in the area.

Meeting my friend at Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquors where she got off work but not before I tasted New York State made sangria and sparkling wine.

With other friends taking the train from Boston for an overnight visit the plan was for a festive Paella dinner. After wine, a generous portion of charcuterie and realizing it was late our Paella dinner was tabled until Sunday brunch. Made from scratch with each the chicken, shrimp and chorizo cooked separately we all watched and helped prepare as we sipped on our cups of Spot Coffee, an upstate coffee roaster.

New Jersey
The Cortile at Solevo

Dinner on Sunday night in Saratoga had us paying a visit to get this, a new Italian restaurant Solevo Kitchen & Social. For an appetizer we ordered the tasty Eggplant Chips drizzled with Calabrian Chili Honey and basil. My friends ordered the Sunday Sauce, rigatoni and meatballs in a San Marzano plum tomato sauce and Gnochhi with wild mushrooms, arugula, rosemary in a brown butter sauce.

After seeing several Items I’d already had that week I went with The Cortile, a mix of prosciutto, sweet peas, ground veal in a plum tomato & cream sauce with tagliatelle. Red wine and my Pinky Ring cocktail accompanied our meal and all were satisfied for our walk home.

Back to Jersey then back to Arizona

After a fun visit upstate I made my trip back down to New Jersey Monday morning. Deciding to raid my sisters cabinets and refrigerator for late lunch and early dinner I opted not to order….Italian food for dinner. Despite my best efforts to taste my niece and nephews Chicken Parmigna their like me very protective of their food. Early Tuesday I was on a plane back to my current home, Scottsdale.

More New Jersey and New York eats on my next visit east. See my Instagram for pictures of my visit @SandyWass

 

Pomo Pizzeria celebrates its 9th anniversary with what else…a pizza party

Hard to believe it was 9 years ago when Phoenicians fell in love with Pomo Pizzeria. Since then the original location at The Borgata has re-located up the street to Gainey Ranch, a Gilbert and downtown Phoenix location have opened and owner Stefano Fabbri has opened Mora Italian, Luna Gelateria and Meat the Ball. The pizzeria also has racked up numerous accolades for it Neapolitan style pizza.pizza

What better way to celebrate than throwing a pizza party which is what will happen on Thursday May 9th. From 5 – 7 p.m. at the three Pomo locations the public is welcome to join the free party.

Party goers will taste dishes from their happy hour menu, Aperol spritz’s and non-alcoholic punch.

Gilbert: 366 N. Gilbert Rd. #106

Phoenix: 705 N. 1st Street #120

Scottsdale: 8977 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Meat the Ball to open at Biltmore Fashion Park next week

Stefano Fabbri, owner of popular Phoenix restaurants Mora Italian and Pomo Pizzeria announced he’s opening a new restaurant, Meat the Ball. The full-service restaurant will open Thursday March 21st at the Biltmore Fashion Park.

Meat the ball
Photos courtesy of Kassidy Mcdonald at Evolve Marketing and PR.

The menu will include an impressive line-up of meatballs made with sausage, veal, salmon and more. In addition to meatballs the restaurant will offer appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts.

“I’m thrilled to introduce Meat the Ball, a mini restaurant with a big personality centered on the quintessential meatball and its street food friends. We will have authentic recipes prepared with locally sourced and organic products to celebrate today’s healthy dining, Italian style,” says Fabbri.

The 1,500 square foot restaurant will look like a 50’s style diner and decorated with pop-art and a retro theme.

Meat the Ball will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Biltmore Fashion Park is at 2502 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. For more information visit their website.

Spinelli’s Pizzeria offers CBD infused cocktails and pizza

The pain relieving extract from the marijuana plant, Cannabidiol (CBD) is showing up on restaurant menus and in food products. The non- psychoactive ingredient won’t get you high but will help you with physical and mental issues. Spinelli’s Pizzeria on Mill Ave. has introduced CBD infused pizza’s and 6 infused specialty cocktails.

“I truly believe in innovative forms of treating pain and mood disorders and I’m so proud we’re the first bar and restaurant in the area to offer CBD extract to our guests,” said Christopher Palma, owner of Spinelli’s Pizzeria.

Guests can add a single dose of CBD oil to any cocktail, soda, beer or slice of pizza for pizza $5. To add to a whole pizza it’s $10. Spinelli's Pizzeria

6 CBD infused specialty cocktails are available for the month of February and are described below.

The Drug Mule– Tito’s Vodka, Agwa de Bolivia, Goslings Ginger Beer, fresh mint, CBD Extract $12

CBDITO– A Tito’s vodka mojito with CBD Extract $12

Cucumber Lemonade– Hendrick’s Gin with homemade lemonade and CBD extract $12

Wake & Bake– A Jack Daniel’s cocktail infused with CBD extract that taste like waffles and syrup $9

The Caregiver’s Daughter– This fruity cocktail made is made with Southern Comfort and infused with CBD extract $9

Doobie Snack– Malibu, melon liquor, Crème de Banana, pineapple juice and CBD extract $9

Spinelli’s Pizzeria is at 420 S. Mill Ave. Tempe 85281. For more information follow Spinelli’s on Instagram and Facebook

Mora Italian ends 2018 with 4 course menu on New Year’s Eve

As Phoenix restaurants fill up with New Year’s Eve reservations diners decide where to dine for a final meal of 2018. Mora Italian offers a 4 course prie fixe menu starting at 4 p.m. The Italian influenced menu offers guests a wide range of flavors from Chef Scott Conant and his culinary team. This will be the only dining option at Mora on NYE.

The modern Italian menu is as follows….

First (choice of)

Radicchio & Endives- blood orange, pignoli, black olives

Porcini & Artichoke Soup- fontina crema, truffle focaccia

Seacat Gardens Little Gem- black truffle & parmesan dressing, anchovy crumble

Second (choice of)

Pasta Pomodoro

Foie Gras Gnudi- masala reduction, crispy duck

Rigatoni Nero- king crab, squid bolognese, bottarga breadcrumbs

Third (choice of)

Beef Shortrib Daube- chestnut zuppa, celery root, parmesan

Roasted Turbot- hazelnuts, capers, tomato, brown butter

Pumpkin Parmesan- black truffle fonduta, frisée, pickled fennel

Dolce (choice of)

Budino- white chocolate, peppermint

Chocolate Torte- pickled blackberry compote, mascarpone gelato

Blackberry Sorbet- saba, basil Genovese

The multi course dinner is $65 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25.

For more information and to make a reservation please got to their website.

Mora Italian is at 5651 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014 (602)795-9943

 

Fellow Osteria & Pizzeria at Skysong is now open.

I reported in May the owners of Clever Koi we’re opening Fellow Osteria and Pizzeria in Scottsdale. Today is opening day and the foodies in south Scottsdale couldn’t be happier. Fellow Osteria joins New York Bagels & Bialys and Bitters Bar and Food at Skysong at Scottsdale and McDowell Rd.

Born & Raised Hospitality partners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano realized the potential the south Scottsdale neighborhood has with the new development going on. Townhouses along McDowell Rd. and a revitalized Papago Plaza coming soon this popular neighborhood needed good dining options.

The menu was designed by chef Claudio Urciuloli of Pa’la and offers a taste of the Italian countryside. Sourcing rustic pasta grains to a garden out front the partners have gone to great lengths with this ambitious project.

The all day eatery will offer food, wine, beer and craft cocktails with coffee and ice cream from Sweet Republic.

I will be visiting Fellow Osteria next week and you can follow me on Instagram @SandyWass to see what’s up.

Fellow Osteria is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

 

Downtown Gilbert’s Pomo Pizzeria offers new Rimini style pizza

With all the restaurants opening in downtown Gilbert in the last few years and more opening soon you have to stay on top of your game. Pomo Pizzeria recently updated their Gilbert location with new menu items and a new style of pizza. The Phoenix location went through similar yet different changes a few months ago.

Rimini style Crudo e Rucola pizza. All photos courtesy of Evolve Public Relations and Marketing

The new menu offers new antipasti, bruschetta, salads, soups and pizza. The new pizza is Rimini style from northern Italy. This style is has the dough rolled out thinner the their award-winning Neapolitan style pizzas. The thinner crust give the pizza a crisper texture. The Rimini style comes in four different toppings Regina, Parmigiana, Crudo e Rucola and Salsiccia e Funghi.

The beer, wine and cocktail list has also been updated as well.

Guest can take advantage of the new happy hour twice a day 6 days a week. Tuesday thru Sunday it goes from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and reverse happy hour from 9 p.m – closing.

Pomo Pizzeria in downtown Gilbert is at 366 N. Gilbert Rd. 85234 and opens 7 days a week at 11 a.m. For more information and to view the menu visit their website.