Like many of us I’m struggling with balancing social distancing and the onset of summer fun in these strange times, but that didn’t keep me from taking a ride to Rockaway Beach. My buddy and I stayed off the sand for this trip. Instead, we paid a visit to Whit’s End, a gourmet outpost by the sea that’s been masquerading as a pizzeria, since 2013.
Whitney Aycock, a chef perhaps best known in the press for speaking and cooking his mind, turns out some amazing pies, including a salciccia e vongole that rivals the clam pizza at New Haven’s Zuppardi’s. Instead of that pie, we had a surf and turf of a different sort cobbled together from the non-pizza side of the menu.
First up was “quick ass ceviche,” made with seabass and pineapple among other things. Next, came two soft shell crabs beached atop Georgia stone ground grits bolstered by smoked cheese. The whole affair was topped with bits of salty porchetta, peanuts cooked in brown butter, and chive buds. (more…)
There’s nothing quite as summery as a nice plate of ceviche.
Ceviche, that refreshing Peruvian concoction of fish cooked in a lime juice marinade is one of my favorite things to eat during the summer, or really any time of year. I am so enamored of it that I used to cop a small plastic container of ceviche mixto from a sweet Peruvian lady who sold it out of a cooler in Manhattan’s Diamond District. She was even kind enough to bring me a block of a Peruvian shortbread confection known as King Kong from her home country.
Last time I checked my sweet streetside ceviche vendor was gone. I’m OK with that though. Here in Queens, there are many places from which to score ceviche, from full-blown cevicherias to coffee shops that have a side line in ceviche. Heck there are two Peruvian restaurants in walking distance from C+M headquarters in Rego Park that serve serviceable versions.
With winter in full effect you’d think I’d be in the mood for soup. The dish I crave today, though is ceviche, spicy and bracing with a side of that steroidal corn and plenty of eye-opening lime juice to slurp down as a chaser afterward.