Best of New York: The lobster rolls will grab you at Jordan’s Lobster Dock in Sheepshead Bay

JORDAN’S LOBSTER, 1-800-404-2529 The lobster business is not something you just jump into. It takes years to claw y our way to the top. Located on the banks of Hook Creek just off the Belt Parkway, Jordan’s Lobster Dock has been slinging large marine crustaceans since 1938, making it the oldest lobster purveyor in New York City. Owner Bill Jordan keeps over 10,000 pounds of lobsters under the floorboards in the back of his no-frills restaurant/store. The lobsters, all from Maine and Canada, are then purged of impurities for 48 hours before being steamed for eight minutes and served piping hot. Much like Jordan, who's been in the business for over five decades, the lobster rolls ($18.99) don’t mess around. A quarter-pound of fresh lobster meat, all claw and knuckle, is placed on a toasted and buttered roll. Condiments come on the side. There’s no filler at this Brooklyn gem, just tons of rich lobster meat for a reasonable price.   RED HOOK LOBSTER, (718) 858-7650 If life gives you lobsters, make lobster rolls. When Ralph Gorham and his wife Susan Povich couldn’t shore up funding to develop their building in Red Hook during the credit crisis, they decided to turn it into a lobster pound. Over three years later, the Red Hook Lobster Pound serves two of the tastiest lobster rolls ($16) in New York City. The Maine-style lobster roll is filled with a chilled lobster salad, made with homemade mayo and topped with spring onions, while the Connecticut-style roll involves warm lobster meat with butter and lemon. All rolls are made with 4 ounces of only the best whole claw and knuckle meat and served on toasted JJ Nissen buns, which are shipped in from Biddeford, Maine. Crunchy, meaty, creamy and soft — few summer treats combine as many textures as these sublime lobster rolls.   ED’S LOBSTER, (212) 343-3236 Staten Continue Reading

No record that slain Edgewater woman ever called police about alleged stalking

Months before her severed torso was found in Brooklyn, Jenny Londono was listed in an Edgewater police report as a family member of a man arrested on a drunken-driving charge. A short time later, authorities have said in court papers, that same man stalked her in the weeks leading up to her death.There are no public records of the 31-year-old Londono, who lived in Edgewater and managed an Englewood nightclub, contacting local authorities about the alleged stalking, based on responses last week to records requests. It came out during a recent court hearing that the man charged with her murder is alleged to have followed her on at least two occasions.Raphael Lolos, 40, of Bergenfield faces a detention hearing on Monday after his attorney, Brian Neary, asked for an adjournment to give him time to examine documents that include witness statements. It was Neary who mentioned in court that Londono's mother had made the stalking accusation.Authorities have said in court that Lolos used Londono's credit cards to purchase knives used to dismember her and garbage bags that helped dispose of her body.The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office declined to provide details about the case, including the stalking allegations made in a criminal complaint. Neary did not respond to emails. Londono's family could not be reached for comment last week and did not respond to messages.Londono was a 2004 graduate of Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, where, according to the school yearbook, her nickname was "Jen" and her favorite expression was "Iiyy....!" She was known as a "Veterinarian" and destined to be "Rich and smart."After a recent memorial service, Londono's friends described her as an "angel," a hard-working woman who had been employed at a boutique and just one month before had helped to open the Luna Lounge in Englewood, which appears to have been closed since the discovery of her body. They declined to talk about her Continue Reading

A La Carte: Deb’s Seafood coming, Aldi hiring, Bone Hook opens

Deborah and David Greenlaw have spent the last three years planning, engineering and building the perfect Lehigh Acres seafood restaurant.And now they’re so close to opening they can just about taste it.“As soon as we get a few minor snags rectified we’ll get going,” said Deb Greenlaw, the chef and namesake behind the forthcoming Deb’s Seafood.“We built from the ground up, but we never imagined it could take this long.”Deb’s sits in a blue 3,100-square-foot building at 4306 Lee Blvd., its windows framed by cottage-y shutters and bright-white trim, a red crab sprawled out across its sign. It will have 40 seats, a market for fresh seafood, and Greenlaw’s talents in the kitchen.This is hardly the family's first crab shack.The couple own a trio of seafood restaurants in Philadelphia — Bob’s Crab House, Crab Shack I and Crab Shack II, all in North Philly. They opened the first one 40 years ago, and they’ve had all three for the last 30 years.The Greenlaws built a vacation home in Lehigh in 2006. They found themselves spending more and more time there. They loved the neighborhood, but hated having to drive to Fort Myers for a good place to eat.“So we built one,” Deb said.Deb’s will feature an array of crabs, from local blue crabs and stone crabs to snow, Dungeness and king varieties from northern waters. There will be oysters, clams, shrimp and fish dishes, and an array of soups all scratch made from Deb’s time-tested recipes.“I do a shrimp and crab bisque, that’s every day,” Deb said, “then we have two kinds of chowders, my seafood combo soup —  whatever you want, I can make it happen.”Four years of cooking school and a lifetime in the kitchen have given Deb some serious culinary credentials. She makes all of her salads — from coleslaw to octopus salad — from scratch, same for her dressings, her sides, those soups Continue Reading

New Frommer’s guide proves that best things in life – or at least in the 5 boroughs – are free

Putting presents under the tree can put a strain on your bank account — so just in time for the holiday season, Frommer's has released its fourth edition of "NYC Free & Dirt Cheap," a guide to 396 easy-on-the-wallet things to do, see and eat in the Big Apple. Author Ethan Wolff gives us his personal top picks, which should make your winter vacation a bit cheaper — even if your gift list isn't! Sculpture Center Though this institution has been supporting and showcasing modern sculpture since 1928, its new home in a former Queens trolley repair shop can feel like a visit to a start-up. Maya Lin's industrial-chic design is of the moment, but many of the touches are timeless. Ceilings soar 40 feet in the main room, and the basement project spaces are like minimalist catacombs. The rough edges haven't been disguised, but the overall effect is still refined, a perfect backdrop for the contemporary sculptures and installation art exhibited here. I love this place — it's a miniature version of what the Tate Modern in London should have been. 44-19 Purves St., off Jackson Ave., Long Island City, Queens, (718) 361-1750. Thurs.-Mon. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 suggested donation, not enforced. Subway: E/M to 23rd St./Ely. G or 7 to 45th Rd./Courthouse Sq. The Bronx Symphony Orchestra With more than six decades of music-making, this entirely democratic group has plenty of experience in bringing Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Mozart to the masses. All the concerts were once free, but funding constraints have made them a mix of ticketed (still inexpensive, in the $7-$12 range) and complimentary. Check the website for the calendar and locations, which hit all corners of the borough. Various locations around the Bronx, (718) 601-9151. Manhattan School of Music With an Art Deco auditorium and six other venues, there's no shortage of places to listen here. Classical music performances are joined by jazz, which Continue Reading

‘The Pint Man’ novelist Steve Rushin shares his list of best Irish pubs to get a pint of Guinness

Lots of local bars boast of serving the best Guinness, so how do St. Patrick’s Day revelers find the perfect pint today? Here’s the scoop from author Steve Rushin, who based his new novel, “The Pint Man,” on the upper West Side’s Emerald Inn. What makes the perfect pint of Guinness? There are all these rules about how to pour — hold the glass at a 45-degree angle, fill it up three-quarters, set it down, let the gas surge and then settle. Then you put the head on it. The head should just crown above the rim of the glass. It’s supposed to take 119.53 seconds. I’ve never seen a bartender timing it. They always use a tulip-shaped glass and say that gives it a better aroma and a base for the creamy head that Guinness is famous for. Does following the rules really make for a better pint? I personally have never cared if it’s in a pint glass, a tulip glass or an old sneaker. A proper pint is a beautiful-looking thing, but it is beer. It’s meant to be drunk, so I’ll appreciate it for a few seconds and then it’s time to drink. Are there different standards from city to city? People say that the farther you get from St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, the worse the Guinness gets. But it’s really down to the bar. Why’d you choose the Emerald Inn as the main setting in “The Pint Man”? I lived a block away from it, and I love that place. A lot of it is sentimentality — my first date with my wife was there. She claims that I was setting the economic bar low by buying her a beer at the Emerald Inn (205 Columbus Ave., near 69th), but she grew to love the place. It’s such a small place — maybe four or five booths in there — but it’s a friendly, happy, almost familial place. Do any celebrities share your love of it? I was in there once when James Gandolfini was sitting at the end of the bar, drinking a Guinness, reading a Continue Reading

Harvesting fun and flavor: Places to pick your own fruits and veggies in the NYC area

With the First Lady tending her own vegetable garden and a new organic farm opening on Governors Island, farming is adding new territory this summer. City dwellers can get their hands dirty and reconnect with Mother Earth, too, by exploring several pick-your-own fruit farms within driving distance of New York. “People love to go out to pick their own fruit because they’re getting healthy food that’s locally grown, the kids are having fun, it’s an educational experience and, of course, it’s always less expensive to pick your own,” says Blake Semmer, founder of, a Web site that lists PYO farms in the tristate area. For those looking to escape the city in search of fresh, cheap produce, check out these nearby farms. You can head out for a day trip or stay for the weekend and enjoy nearby sites and family-friendly activities, too. LONG ISLAND Located in Wading River, the Davis Peach Farm (; 631-929-1115) offers visitors the opportunity to pick delicious summer peaches, as well as apples, apricots, nectarines and plums, on 64 acres of land right off the Long Island Expressway. Staying for the weekend? There are a variety of accommodations nearby. The Inn & Spa at EastWind (; 631-929-3500) provides a luxurious and relaxing environment where guests can enjoy world-class spa treatment and wander the estate’s 25 acres. Rooms range from $199 to $299 a night. For a less pricey but equally beautiful lodging option, check out the Farm Bed and Breakfast (; 631-369-1094) in Calverton. It’s a spacious, 15-room farmhouse built in 1850. Room rates run from $110 to $150. Nearby activities include horseback riding, golfing, canoeing, fishing, biking and hiking. And when youngsters grow tired of fruit picking, head to Out East Family Fun (; 631-208-9397) in Riverhead, where the kids can enjoy water slides, play miniature Continue Reading

Get cracking: The price is right for an old-fashioned lobster feast

These days, a sandwich costs about $8 bucks - the same price as a fresh lobster feast. While other foods remain pricey, the premium crustaceans are currently New York's biggest bargain. "Lobsters are cheap right now due to oversupply," says Louis Rozzo of F. Rozzo & Sons, which has been delivering seafood to top city spots like Le Bernardin for 110 years.This is the time of year, says Rozzo, when Atlantic Ocean fisheries from Nova Scotia to Long Island are up and running. In fact, he says, his wholesale prices to restaurants and markets are down from $7.75 for chicks (the industry term for lobsters around a pound) to $5.40. We might not always be able to snag them at that price, but these spots come close. The Lobster Place The city's go-to shop for live lobster has got to be this Chelsea Market fishmonger, which opened an outpost on Bleecker St. a few years back. You can pick out your creature - $8.95 a pound - and they'll steam it for you for a buck. They also offer lobster bisque or rolls in split-top buns to go or stay: Sandwiches are $16.95, down $2 from previous peaks. 436 W. 16th St., (212) 255-5672, and 252 Bleecker St., (212) 352-8063. Blue Moon Fish This Mattituck, L.I.-based operation brings their locally caught lobsters to city green-markets twice a week, sending seasonally inspired shoppers home with the superfresh bounty for an amazing $8.25 a pound. Saturdays at Tribeca Greenmarket, Greenwich St. and Chambers and Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn; Wednesdays at Union Square. DBGB Kitchen and Bar Star chef Daniel Boulud's chic but casual new Bowery sausage and beer spot - named after famous rock club CBGB's, which closed in 2006 - lets the rest of us afford the great French chef's food. It features 22 draft brews, burgers from $11 to $16 and a Chop-Chop salad with romaine lettuce, avocado, cucumbers, radishes and chunks of delicate lobster claw and tail meat, all tossed in a watermelon and ginger-sesame dressing for $16. 299 Bowery at Houston St., (212) Continue Reading

Travel deals of the week: June 14-20, 2009

SOUTH BEACH SUITE To lure travelers south, the Riviera South Beach in Miami is slashing suite rates by 50%. All suites are equipped with gourmet kitchens and guests can enjoy the hotel's pool, beach club, breakfast bar and spa and yoga room. Available through June 23. NEW YORK ARTS The Glen Falls House in Round Top, N.Y., is offering an Arts and Culture Weekend plan. It includes a two-night stay, meals and ticket to the Altamura Center for Art & Cultures and the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra. A minimum two-night stay is required; available Aug. 21-23. Rates start at $162 a person.  UNEMPLOYED ADVENTURE For those recently laid off, Intrepid Travel offers 15% off its more than 400 trips around the world. Trips include lodging, land transportation, guides, activities and some meals. The offer is good for anyone who can provide proof of being fired after September 2008. Must be booked by Dec. 31 for travel before July 31, 2010.  TENNIS TIME The Grand Dutchess Inn in Red Hook, N.Y., is encouraging travelers to pick up a racket with its Tennis Tune-Up. The package includes four hours of on-court tennis school, an hour of video analysis, lunch and free court time. Available Sundays through Thursdays until Sept. 30. Tennis camp starts at $149 a day and room rates begin at $130 a night.  EXTRA CASH Visit three Choice Hotels this summer (or stay in the same one three times) and get a $50 cash card. Hotels include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites and the Ascend hotels. Available through Aug. 13. Must book through or call 1-800-4CHOICE. PARK YOURSELF IN VIRGINIA The Skyland Resort, at Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, is offering a Family Fun and Adventure package with breakfast and Luray Caverns admission for two adults. Available weeknights through September 2010. Rates Continue Reading

Summer’s Hot 100: What to do in New York all season long

As gas prices soar to all-time highs and the economy continues to suffer, getting out of the city for an extravagant summer vacation may be out of the question. Luckily, there's no need to leave. From the biggest names in summer concerts to seaside dining in Brighton Beach, and from Shakespeare in the Park to a dip in the 76-foot floating pool docked at Hunts Point, we've compiled the must-do list (including off-the-beaten path gems) for a great summer vacation right in your own backyard. Running Week takes the city by storm today through Saturday, with the New York Road Runners hosting free running-themed events and races, from fitness learning stations and the NYRR's 50th-anniversary race to Friday's Run to Work event, which challenges New Yorkers to cut their carbon footprints by pounding the pavement. The Open Air Book Fair this coming Saturday is a street fair with thousands of books, records and CDs for $1 apiece, plus clothing, shoes and accessories from the Housing Works Thrift Shop for $20 a bag. All proceeds benefit Housing Works which provides housing, health care and job training for New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. Madison Square Garden takes a walk on the wild side with "Walking with the Dinosaurs," a live show from July 30-Aug. 3, based on the BBC series and featuring 15 life-size, roaring dinosaurs. Don't miss the thunderous T. rex, Utahraptor and stegosaurus - plus the brachiosaurus that measures 56 feet from nose to tail. Tix are $35-$99 at  Art by the Ferry on Staten Island displays more than 200 local artists' paintings, ceramics, crafts and sculptures on the sidewalks and in the storefronts of St. George, while musicians and dancers perform in the streets and in front of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the Staten Island Museum and Borough Hall. June 14, 15, 21; or (718) 447-3329. Rock 'n' Roll Camp at St. John's University in Queens starts June 29 and runs Continue Reading

Setacci has a sift spot for Italian cuisine

Setacci, an Italian restaurant, is settling into a comfortable space at 420 Hudson St. (at Leroy St.), a spot most recently home to Chick Inn. Proprietors Lisa Cannistracci and Joseph D'Angelo (Spigolo) say the name of their West Village newcomer means "to sift," suggesting that it will be serve "the best of the best" of flavors and dishes from all over the Boot. Look for pastas and entrees like roasted parsnip ravioli with chanterelle mushrooms and toasted hazelnuts, as well as garlic-crusted rack of lamb with celeriac puree. Target opening is Tuesday, March 21. RELOCATED: Tocqueville, formerly situated at 15 E. 15th St., is now serving in bigger quarters at 1 E. 15th St. Chef Marco A. Moreira's contemporary French-American cuisine and his devotion to seasonal ingredients remains pretty much unchanged. NOW SERVING: Jacques, at 20 Prince St. (near Mott St.). It's the sister restaurant of Jacques Brasserie on the upper East Side. Cuisine at the NoLiTa newbie is French with North African accents. FEZ FRIENDLY: Hidden in western Carroll Gardens near the waterfront, tiny Marra-kech opened earlier this year at 144 Hicks (between Union and President Sts.). The spot does both Moroccan and Mediterranean: In addition to spinach pies and hummus, traditional tagines, cooked in their namesake clay pots, are on the menu. BOTTOMS UP: Think of it as a sports bistro: Clark Station, named after the subway stop around the corner, offers beer, burgers, pasta and other fare along with plenty of sports TV and a basement with billiards and Foosball. (There's half-priced drinks for students till midnight, too.) It's at 72 Clark St. at Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights. ... Taking over a nearby spot that's hosted several (unsuccessful) bars, Abilene is giving southern Carroll Gardens another chance at a hip watering hole. Decorated with vintage gear, it's at 442 Court St. between Second and Third Places. Local beers like Six Point Craft Ales (Red Hook) and Blue Point (Long Island) Continue Reading