2002-03-02 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
By Susan Hartenstein

Have you discovered Patrick's yet? If not, why not? Right in our neighborhood, close at hand, Patrick's Caribbean International Cuisine provides a menu of delectable dishes to compete with any restaurant in this city, and at reasonable prices. Diners are offered a choice that includes not just Caribbean delights. If your taste runs more to the mainland, you may select such items as Maryland crab cakes and even a Rockaway Beef Burger. The menu even sports fettuccini primavera.

Patrick Gardener is co-owner and chef. He is a man whose pride and passion for creating the finest cuisine show in the end product. His credentials are impressive; his attention to quality, freshness and pleasing his customers mark the difference between good food and a memorable dining experience.

Chef Gardener was born on the island of St. Vincent. His first cooking teacher was his mother. Formal training began on the island of St. Martin. He learned from experienced and demanding European chefs. Gardener's culinary education was thorough, extensive and in a variety of cuisines. As part of it, he worked at a French-Italian restaurant in St. Martin as well as at The Holland House on the Dutch side of the island. He had classes in top restaurants in New York including The Cobb Room. In turn, Gardener taught cooking at Lola Belle's. The impressive list of restaurants at which Patrick has cooked include De Laivio's Italian and La Vie en Rose in St. Martin, Central Falls in Soho, Lola Belle's, Lola's and Toukie's, Robert De Niro's restaurant on Houston Street.

Fresh, healthy ingredients are insisted upon in Chef Gardener's kitchen. They are combined in such a way that none is overpowering, but are blended into exquisite delights for the palate. His callaloo soup, made from coconut milk, young taro leaves and other tuberous plants, is to die for. The roti are varied and wonderful. Codfish fritters are covered with an incredible mango sauce. Indeed all Patrick's sauces are marvelous, as are all his desserts. The delicacies go on and on – from salads to appetizers to entrees, side orders and desserts like cheese tart with almond marinated in Amaretto and special beverages like peanut punch.

Convinced yet? Salivating sufficiently? Patrick's dining room adds a perfect ambiance – wood paneling and two fireplaces. Perhaps because it is tucked away at 112-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard you haven't discovered it. Give yourself a treat and go in. You will go once and return again and again. The People's Laundry and the Rockaway Artists Alliance will be presenting a poetry night in Patrick's in March. Watch this column for details. Hours for Patrick's Caribbean International Cuisine are 5 – 11 p.m. for dinner, 7 nights a week.

Open call to artists – Deadline Alert: March 6 is the submission deadline to participate in RAA's exhibitions and special events for Art Frenzy and Remembering. These two huge spring shows are open to all artists – members and non-members: visual, performance, literary. Contact RAA for information, including submission guidelines. Email: RockArt116@aol.com. Rockaway Artists Alliance is also in the telephone book.

The following is for a dear friend of RAA from his family: In loving memory of Robert Eugene McLoughlin who passed away following a massive stroke on August 28, 2001.

He always delighted in singing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" or "Waltz Me Back to Rockaway." His rendition of "The Thing" at the American Legion and Hammel Senior Center helped everyone enjoy happy times.

Bob was always there to help and always with that grin. He is missed so very much and will forever be remembered, with love and the fond knowledge that we shall meet again.

Sleep peacefully. Love, The McLoughlin, Russel and Gallagher families and his loving wife Mary.

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