2001-06-16 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

With the summer season, there are many exciting events being slated for
our town. Whether it be the summer moonlit cruises to benefit the 100 Precinct Community Council or the Ancient Order of Hibernians, street fairs, movies by moonlight, or the RMAC outdoor concert series on the fairgrounds at Fort Tilden, there is something for everyone to become involved with during the next few months.

Richard Magnifico and John Baxter will once again be hosting the annual Old-Fashioned Bathing Beauty Contest on the Boardwalk at Beach 116 Street. This event has made quite a splash because PBS Channel 13 Producer, Alex Webb, has contacted John Baxter and hopes to produce and shoot a documentary piece on the contest for PBS on his "Souls of New York" show.

I remember participating in the very first contest and actually winning a prize. I thoroughly enjoyed the camp and frivolity of it all. It brought hundreds of contestants and spectators out to the boardwalk for a wonderful day and to celebrate our rich history. The event is slated for Sunday August 26.

So...Ladies with an attitude, fellas who are in the groove, don't just stand there, let's get to it! Strike a pose, there's nothing to it!

According to New York Attorney Harry Kretsky, "Rockaway City" may very well be our new name. Mr. Kretsky reviewed the documentation that states that in the 1920s the Rockaway community voted and approved to secede from the city of New York and become its own governing entity. Their model for secession was the village of Lawrence versus the city of New York.

At that time, there was no City Council. The Mayor had the authority to pass or veto the secession. He did neither. The case remained dormant for decades. However, according to Mr. Kretsky, it is still valid and legitimate. It all sounds very exciting. The notion that we could possibly be our own governing city, with our own laws, jurisdiction, police and sanitation, etc.,but who would be Mayor of Rockaway City? Lew, I can hear your mind screaming!

John Hayes was in the Palm Garden with his friend, Gerry Benn, from County Limerick. The good host that John is, he was showing his friend around our town. I asked his friend if he'd been up to our beach and boardwalk yet, it's just up the block. John Hayes replied, "Yeah, but
the bar is closer!"

There are two new exciting places to discover on the local restaurant circuit. One is the re-opening of "Tiberio DiMare", the fine Northern Italian restaurant on Beach 116 Street. If you haven't been there in a while, then it's time to re-discover this local dining gem. They recently renovated and moved to their new location just a few doors down; and from the moment you enter, you will marvel at the warm provincial atmosphere.

The walls are washed, exposed brick with crown molding and wainscot. The dining area is much larger than the former location, yet just as intimate and romantic. I don't know where to begin to describe the menu, but their specials are always wonderful. They have an extensive wine list. Try the snapper, soft shell crabs, or the filet minion. You will be greeted and treated with great hospitality and service. So, go in and see Ramone, Rudy, and my favorite waitress, Tina!

Then, there is Patrick's! Perhaps the best kept, but hopefully not for long, secret on the Rockaway restaurant scene. Patrick's! is located at 112-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Here is where even my descriptive words fall short. This is a culinary experience that well, you just have to experience for yourself!

Over the years, I have seen many various establishments at this location, but this one really raises the bar and will succeed your highest expectation. Master Chef Patrick Gardener, who is from St. Vincent Island,
brings with him the best Caribbean Cuisine you will feel blessed to have tasted. As Executive Chef at two tony restaurants on both the French and Dutch sides of the island of St. Marten, Patrick brings a unique diversity
to Caribbean fare. In New York City, he worked at Central Falls in Soho, Lola Belle's, and Tookie's. He has cooked and prepared meals for knighted celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Luther Vandross, and Natalie Cole.
   Unlike any restaurant you will encounter on the peninsula, at Patrick's, you will discover (and here is where taste trumps description!), such entrees as St. Marten Shrimp, Creole Chicken, Sherry Chicken, and Steak au Pouvre, and Callaloo Soup.

On this occasion, I tried the Caribbean Sauteed Kingfish with glazed carmel onions, peppers, and spices on top of the most delicious herb mashed potatos. Patrick uses only freshly grown herbs. He will blend together basil, spinach, parsley to make the tastiest mashed potatoes you will ever have!

"It's all about health", states Patrick, who never uses butter and opts instead for cooking with olive oil. If you're not sure of what you're in the mood for, just trust Patrick! He will prepare something truly divine and you can call him in advance for something prepared to your order. Try Patrick's and you will return again and again....!
   See you...On the Beach!

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