signs of SUMMER at Gramercy Tavern, Veritas, and Cape Cod

Menus are morphing into summer-mode, the most exciting season for fresh ingredients. Here’s what I’ve come across in the past week or so: Gramercy Tavern’s cocktail: the Pineapple Painkiller. A super-refreshing mix of fresh strawberries with pineapple-infused rum and lemonade. Get one soon!. See more pics of our light dinner at this link, which happened to include the silkiest and meatiest oysters I have ever had. • Just across the street at Veritas, I discovered the Sweet Pea Gazpacho. What a welcome blend of flavors for summer from Chef Sam Hazen: A base of fresh peas, chicken stock, cucumber, garlic, and vinegar was thickened by a little bread, a fresh pea and cucumber julienne, Greek yogurt, lemon, and chives and topped with extra virgin olive oil and espelette. The surprise ingredient? Cedar smoked trout. Unique and fabulous. This soup was practically a meal in itself, but that did not stop us. We also sampled an array of other seafood delights, like Oysters Escabeche, a giant scallop, bass, and Beef in Transition—steak tartare + peppered sirloin + wrapped short ribs—a transition that I wholehearedly welcome. Decadent! See more photos from the spectacular dinner here. • Over the 4th of July weekend, I was in Cape Cod, my virgin journey. I was quite enamored with the quaitness and air of tranquility that made the weekend a truly relaxing escape. I will have to return and explore some more soon. (any suggestions for dining appreciated!) We had dinner at Summer Stock, a quaint spot next to the Playhouse and art museum in Dennis. My dinner started with a true taste of summer: watermelon slices served atop spinach, with a sprinkling of goat cheese and pickled red onions. They could have left off the goat cheese, as the portions were enormous here! See more interesting combos from our dinner here.

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