So today I had to go to "http://www.idine.com/details.htm?merchantId=116071Off The Hook Bar and Grill" located on 170 Ferry Boulevard in Stratford ct. I went there for a meeting with the owner, Andrew Testo.
Andrew is a very colorful and interesting guy with a great sense of humor and hospitality. I walked into the place, and it was packed!!!!! On a monday night!!!!! great sign of a great restaurant!
I'm about to open the door and one of the staff members spotted me and opened the door for me and with a big smile says, Hi!!!! Welcome to "Off the hook!!! Are you having dinner?, meeting anyone????
I said, yes! An... Andrew (He said) LOL!
Immediately he directed me into the kitchen, and there he was, standing in his red jacket!
I actually felt kind of embarrassed to come and chat about his food among other things, on such a busy night! I thought I would be safe coming on a monday night!
However,, with a big smile he just said, Neil! You made it! Welcome to me home!!!!
We did a tour through the kitchen, Had the opportunity to meet the kitchen staff, really cool place. Simple and right to the point!
The place: a round building with a very New England light house on the top.
With about 10 tables and a bar that sits about 14 people.
one interesting thing is that you can sit at the bar and see the pizzas being made right in front of you.
"This is the Cheers of Stratford CT", a customer sitting next to me says to me. "I come here very often and i you can't beat the great service, great food and amazing prices". He is saying all this as he is savoring his $17.00 prime rib dinner that comes with a salad first, a great service of fries, ketchup, coleslaw and au-jus!
I tried the steamers which were perfectly cooked, The texture was buttery. and the broth!!!!! That broth with garlic, wine and herbs, Oh MY!m to deep the 2 large pieces of grilled bread that comes with the order!! My mouth still gets watery as i am writing this blog
Then of course I had to try one of my favorites! The good old lobster roll! This one in particular, for me is a hidden treasure. I did not want to ask the chef the secret for obvious reasons but I can tell you this much, The lobster meat has this delicious with a light and perfect hint of wine in it i never tried that before in another lobster roll.
Cole slaw and delicious crispy fries;. Simply great!
A perfectly mixed Gin Martini helped me go through all that food!!! LOL
The decor is simple but right to the point. High wooden black ceilings white walls with pictures and t-shirs. a partition dividing the bar and the dining room. A small flat screen and a painted blackboard tells you the daily specials.
The restaurant has an amazing patio (not open yet, but as soon as the weather breaks). This patio sits 40 people and it seems to me those tables will be filled the entire spring, summer and most likely fall.
The menu is simple but very effective. Shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, steamers and lobster rolls are in the mix with burgers, pizzas and prime rib.
Another cool thing???? The prices: very affordable.
Fish and chips $12.00, lobster roll $12.00, fried calamari $9.00. These prices are very reasonable, no wonder why this awesome place is full on a Monday night!!!!!!
So what's special for the spring and summer I ask Andrew?? He says out biggest things is going to be $0.50 clam shelfs and $1 oysters. But most of all you have to come and experience the atmosphere.
This is "a must try" So put it on your list!!!!
What an amazing foodie day!
My husband Billy's friend Lily Lee is visiting NYC from Los Angeles, California.
It was already our plan to visit her in NYC, since I have never met her in person, only through social media.
Lily and Billy met when he was working as a singer on celebrity cruises and lily was a passenger. Lilly is a very smart, well travelled beautiful woman, who loves to go on cruise ships.
However, we did not want to do the "typical" day in NYC, walking, shopping, theater and what not. So last night, when planning our trip, we came up with the idea to make it into a food trip!
Not a better place, New York City1 EVerything is here!
We really wanted to honor our friend and have some sort of a different day.
We decided to take a trip through three different areas of the world, Beautiful Asia in honor to Lily, Romantic Italy, in my Husband's honor, and of course Venezuela!!!!
Our first stop was Chinatown. Thanks to my new friend lily, I learned today what Dim Sum is all about. Lily chose this amazing restaurant by feelings. Yes, just like I said. Feelings!. We would be walking around Chinatown, stopping at different restaurants I suggested, and she would explained to me what kind of restaurant and food it was, Chinese, Thailandese, Cantonese and pekin were some of the words she used to describe this places, she would also say something like: "nope, not here, this one is cheesy". Or this one is not the right one.
Suddenly we walked by this place and she goes:
"This is the right place, lets go" Delight 28 seafood restaurant, in Chinatown
Entering the place was an experience on its own. Billy and I were the only non-Asian people there. It was beautiful to see how entire families sit together and enjoy the amazing food and tea they serve. Lily explained to us that the place is actually used for Chinese weddings (then she proceeded to show us we're they perform the ceremonies) Picture below with the 2 dragons on the wall)
Then she starting speaking Chinese to the server.
Suddenly this waitress with a trolley cart full of small metal steamers approaches our table and started showing us all the goods. Delicious prawns dumplings, chicken wrapped in rice dough, pork ones. Oh my! Every one was better than the next.
The freshness and simplicity of the food and the combination of dipping sauces and the home made tea made my first Dim sum experience, unforgettable!
Lilly also explained dim sum is a Chinese form of breakfast/brunch
Next stop was EATALY (200 Fith ave)
An amazing market where great wines and good italian food are all gathered in this great building downtown manhattan.
Fresh bread, meats and vegetables can be found everywhere along with fresh pastas and charcuterie.
We walked around the place and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Fresh truffles, mushrooms of all kinds, Pameggiano cheese, mozzarellas and more were the stars of this beautiful place
After walking around trying to digest the dim sum, We ended up going to
La piazza, ordered a cheese and meats plate and I ordered a glass of vino Rosso. One of the best I have ever tried.
The prosciutto de Parma was everything I wanted and of course the cheese with the caramelized figs were to die for.
Then a little food shopping was in order before going to our next destination VENEZUELA.
Chinese broccoli, dragon fruit, and leeches were among some of the products I bought.
I love the fresh and inexpensive products you can find in this city
Last stop VENEZUELA.
Now it was my turn to host this dinner. Our friend Michael Avila also joined us at this last leg of my foodie tour. We went to a Venezuelan restaurant called el cocotero.
Among the dishes I order for everyone to try were:
Tequeños: cheese wrapped in puff pastry
Tripe soup (Not one of my husband's favorites, LOL!
Tajadas (sweet plantains)
Another amazing feast to end our tour.
It was the perfect day today. The weather was great, the company even better. I can't wait to do this again.