1) Aperol Spritz, home, 100-degree day. Folks, I was feeling beaten, bruised, and lightly sunburnt, having spent the day with my five-year-old at the local pool. After a shower and the exchange of my wet suit for a maxi-dress, I recovered with this classic Italian cooler made with Prosecco, club soda, and slightly astringent Aperol. Good news: I’d snagged the giant bottle of Aperol at the Duty Free in the Florence Airport for about half of what I usually pay at home. Bad news: I had to lug a giant clanking bag through two airports (oh well, it wasn’t the first time).
2) Oysters from Pura Vida at the New Rochelle Grand Market. I knew my sister was coming to town, so I loaded up on these ultra-fresh, brimming bluepoints at my local farmers’ market. They’re gorgeous and, at a dollar per, reasonably priced. We ate them as we opened them, standing at the sink like animals. I was too lazy to make a mignonette, too. Don’t judge.
3) Pretzels at Peekskill Brewery. I still get an irrepressible little thrill whenever I see soft pretzels on a menu. Why? I can’t tell you—we’re talking flour, water, and salt. Sure, the pretzels at PB were skinnier and blonder than the ones I make at home with lye, but, man, with a beer, did they ever hit the spot.
4) Simple Sour at Peekskill Brewery. I’m in love with Peekskill’s sour beers in warm weather. The light, acidic tartness leaves the Simple Sour (and, for that matter, the Amazeballs Pale Ale) with a refreshing crispness that visits the palate, then has the decency to leave. These are great summer beers, great food beers, and great beers for people who prefer wine to beer.
5) Fried Chicken at A Place 2 Go in New Rochelle. Look, I can fry chicken as well as the next guy, but I choose not to make the God-awful mess, especially in warm weather. What I like about the chicken at A Place 2 Go is that its version is more about moist, flavorful chicken than greasy, floury batter. It’s well seasoned and well poised between lean, meaty breast and deep-fried coating.