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Archive for the ‘Maryland’ Category

July 12th, 2019

The Grove Market, Restaurant, Review, Bishopville, Maryland, The Art of Wining and Dining, Delmarva

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious” ruth reichl

I first wrote about The Grove Market in 2009. This was before I had incorporated photos in my posts. Having photos is wonderful because, we, humans, are so visual. The scenery, the colors, always create an impact in our minds.

A few weeks ago I had guests and we were on the go from the moment they arrived. On Friday evening we met my friend, Cindi, and her husband in West Ocean City and from there we took to 12402 Saint Martins Neck Rd., Bishopville, MD 21813. Tel. 410-352-5055. My guests had no idea where we were taking them. Then, the first impression of the place was the photo above taken. What would you say about this tiny place on a country road not far from Ocean City?

My friend’s husband told them to please choose the cheese pizza because it was the best. They were like….really?

Inside what you will find is a small bar, only beer and wine is served at The Grove Market. And only about 10 tables. We sat in the back of the building.

As you can see, very simple, funky and also whimsical.

The pizza story is not way off. At some point it was a pizza place. The breadsticks served are from the pizza recipe from those years long ago. It was a fish market too.

There is a protocol to get a reservation. You call, if nobody answers leave the message with the time of the reservation and day. And, give another time as well or day. If Leslie calls you and tells you I only have this or that, please take it. This is a special place. The food is outstanding.

Cash only. Depending how much wine or beer you drink the cost will vary. Between $100 and $120 per person to be on the safe side. Be prompt, and you cannot linger. The place is small and others want to experience what you just had.

I have mentioned before that there are 5 ingredients for a good restaurant; quality of ingredients, culinary competence, service, ambiance, and price. The Grove Market has all those. You’ll see when you go.

John McDonald is chef extraordinare. In a very small kitchen he creates unique dishes full of flavor. Many years ago he owned The Garden Gourmet in Rehoboth Beach. He is a wine connoiseur, as well. He truly is excellent and so nice.

Here is our group. Patrick is Leslie’s brother and he is such a character. The restaurant does not have a menu. First the appetizers, then the dinner, then dessert. Out loud so the group of tables in the back need to pay attention. When Patrick danced the Macarena, I knew we would have a good time.

So this is what we had:

Appetizers:

Please have in mind that even though the menu changes here and there, they continue to have many favorites all the time.

Crab Remick was ordered by Cindi. I have had it before and at this time of the year the crabmeat is superb.

Our friend, Jody, ordered the Beef Stroganoff….served with no noodles.

Patti ordered the Cream of Crab Soup. Thick and full of crab, with a hint of Sherry.

And I ordered a salad that could have been shared.

Wine was ordered. But, I was a designated driver so nothing for me.

Now dinner…..Patrick came out again, veryl lively to announce their offerings. A few of us already knew what we wanted. Practically, we always order their duck. A Delaware duck, no less. It was roasted to perfection wih a semi-sweet sauce and chutney. Ross and I did not want to share with anyone and the bones were clean at the end.

Cindi had the lamb. If I had not had the duck that would have been my other choice. It looked fantastic.

Another excellent choice that is usually on the menu are the scallops. Jody ordered them and look how perfectly cooked they look. See the breadstick on the side of his plate. This is what I was talking about at the beginning of the post. How they have kept the pizza dough recipe and added as a bread.

Our friend, Patti, ordered the crabcakes. No fillers just tremendous lump.

Some entrees came with the side dish of cucumbers, onions, breadstick and potatoes. The others had it already on their plates.

A few desserts were ordered. The portions at The Grove Market are healthy ones. But, it is always good to order a few.

The Bumbleberry is a pie of a mixture of berries. There is no such thing as a bumbleberry. It is usually on the menu.

And also, usually on the menu is the Chocolate Silk Pie.

The story goes like this….Do you remember the movie Runaway Bride? It was mostly filmed in Berlin, Maryland. Not far away from The Grove Market. Apparently they were looking for a restaurant to feed their crew and stars. The Grove Market fed them through the duration of the filming.

I can go on an on talking about a restaurant and its food. But, it is the people that share your meal that make it priceless!!

Give it a try. Let me know on my AboutMyBeaches Facebook page how you rate your experience. Until then, Summer 2019 continues.

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February 19th, 2019

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Exhibit, Fabulous Fashions, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, Day Tripping

Each piece is tailored specifically for the client. “The word ‘haute’ means high, in the sense of high class. “Couture” refers primarily to designers or couturiers and dressmaking that’s made to order.”

For example, above, you see dresses for the Spring of 1948 designed by Christian Dior. The pink one was a new revolutionary “Look” geared to the active life of the day. A little different from what I call active, but what do I know, right? I am just writing a post.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Website? http://www.philamuseum.org

This particular exhibit is called Fabulous Fashions and will be there until March 3rd. From the Delaware Beaches it is about 2 1/2 hours and an easy trip to say the least. Grab a friend and go. That’s what I did. Cindi and I had the best time. Not overly scheduled, just enjoying a winter day in the city.

The starting price for haute couture is $30,000. Long hours of work can hike that price, as will also the embellishments chosen.

For example the photo above shown at the exhibit is called “Sea Fan Fantasy”. Designed by Tina Leser, and American designer for Edwin H. Foreman, Inc. It was hand-painted and spray-painted cellulose acetate plain weave with metallic sequins. Ms. Leser was from Philadelphia and liked to incorporate exotic elements from her travels. This was gown was indicative of the fashion trends of 1947.

Fashion trends keep changing. But what goes around comes around. When I looked at the above fashions I can see them being worn in 2019. On the first photo, the dress with the horizontal stripes was originally designed in 1952 and later on reinterpreted in 2013. In 2013 Francisco Costa, creative director for Calvin Kline and designer Ellsworth Kelly, modernized the look a bit. The original dress was longer and had a light blue band on the bottom.

Anne Fogarty was the designer for the above pictured dress. She started out as a model and was from Pennsylvania. She became well-known for full skirted designs with fitted bodices. She was inspired by Dior. This dress was her own and was so tiny that the Museum needed to make a special manequin.

The evening dress on the left was designed by Ives Saint Laurent for his Fall/Winter 10th collection 1966-67. He was 30 years old and the dress was meant to speak for the moment…”here today, gone tomorrow, young, amused”.

The gold dress on the right, I had never heard of the American designer Vicky Tiel. This dress was designed in 1989. Her signature style was the draping and construction for the glorification of the female body. Her favorite was a low, strapless neckline. She is still active in Paris.


The accessories that make or break a design…texture, color, and design.

The shoes date from 1991 and the purse circa 1955-65.

Major designers also design hats. Here are some from Balenciaga, Givenchy, Nan Duskin, Stephen Jones.

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, was from Philadelphia. Her dress is a classic and was designed by Helen Rose who was an American costume designer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The dress was donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is very delicate now and they don’t really bring it out much. But the next photo will show her headpiece made also by Helen Rose, the shoes designed by David Evins, an American, born in England, with a copper penny encased in the right shoe for good luck, and a Bride’s Manual decorated by the wardrobe department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This was a gift to her from a family friend from Chestnut Hill. She also carried a small bouquet of lillies of the valley.

We took a tour and I recomment it very much. Maybe you should call for the tour hours as they are not offered on an hourly basis. Then, you may want to have something to eat there as well. That is another post in the making.

Until then…check my Facebook Page AboutMyBeaches. Would love it if you decide to Like it.


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October 1st, 2018

Meatless Monday, White Onion Soup Chablis, Recipe, Easy, Comfort Food, Soup, Delaware Beaches, The Beach Eats, Southern Delaware, Recipes Begged, Borrowed and Stolen

 

Meatless Monday is a trend.  In reality you can do this any day of the week.  One day or more than one.  But it is catchy to say “Meatless Monday”.  Leaving the meat behind and for one day enjoy the many dishes that usually revolve around meats.

I have roots in Baltimore.  My husband was from Baltimore.  My sister in law lives there.  I worked in Baltimore for years before moving to the Delaware Beaches.  Way before I started this blog too.  Baltimore is a city of many firsts.  Museums, churches, hospitals, neighborhoods.  Many times it gets bad reviews but I really enjoyed my time there.

Private Collections:  A Culinary Treasure is a cookbook that contains timeless recipes put out by the Women’s Committee of the Walters Art Gallery, a one of a kind museum located in Baltimore.  Beautiful art treasures are displayed in its pages, along with amazing recipes from soups to nuts.

I have posted this recipe before, but just in case you missed it, here it is again.  It is a different type of onion soup but the combination of ingredients makes it a winner.

ONION SOUP CHABLIS

1 lb. white onions, sliced very thin

1/4 lb. butter

2 cups chicken broth (your choice of unsalted or salted, or even a mixture of both)

1 cup Chablis

1 tsp. salt

pepper

2 cups medium cream (half and half will do too)

Swiss cheese, freshly grated

In a large soup pot saute the onions in butter until soft and transparent but not brown.  Add chicken broth and simmer until the mixture is reduced somewhat.  To tell you the truth, I skipped that step.

Add the Chablis, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Stir in cream, heat, not boil, and serve.

Garnish with plenty of cheese.  The marriage of flavors is awesome!! You’ll see. Enjoy!

Serves 6.

Remember that with any recipe you can always make it your own.

 

 

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June 2nd, 2018

Fenwick Island Eats, Our Harvest, Delaware, Small Plates, Shareables, Large Plates, Bar, Gluten Free, Vegan, Southern Delaware, Restaurant, Review, Relaxed Dining, Casual Atmosphere, Delaware Beaches, Good Food? Will Travel!!

 

When we share a meal with friends, it is so much more than food (really?)…and, when we share it with girlfriends, and for purposes of this post, like the Swirl Girls, then it is really priceless.  Some of us have known each other for years while others, are getting to know each other very fast.  Here we were trying to figure out which table would be the best one.  Right after Memorial week-end we had the place to ourselves since we arrived early.  We did not want a big table.  We like to be cozy in order to get that conversation going.  The group had just gone to watch the Book Club, if you get my drift.

The majority of us had not yet dined at Our Harvest.  This restaurant located at 1106 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, DE 19944, opened last year.  Every day, at 5:00 p.m., you can come in and experience a way of eating that has become so popular in the U. S.  Telephone is 302-581-0377.  No reservations are accepted.  The website is http://www.ourharvestde.com.

As the season progresses please have in mind when you would like to eat.  You have to have a plan because it gets crowded at the Delaware Beaches.  If you arrive and there is a wait, you could have cocktails, relaxing in their bar or in any of the very comfortable leather sofas.

There is an open concept kitchen.  You really can see how the kitchen is running.  I have to tell you that I probably should have come to try Our Harvest last year.  I love their sister restaurant, Liquid Assets, in Ocean City, MD, and I did not want to like this one more.  Guess what?  They are completely different.

The menu was presented and our server knew the menu well.  She explained the concept of eating small plates and shareables.  At that moment all we wanted was some wine.  Having watched the Book Club, wine was very much consumed by the characters.  It was time to relax.  The wine that you see at the table was from South Africa.  A full bodied Merlot called Immortal Hero.

At first you are a bit overwhelmed because you, actually, do not know how much to order for the table.  And, we all have our likes and dislikes.  We managed to do a good job and we were all very pleased with how the evening was progressing.  Could not believe Jane Fonda looks that good at 81… I know, I know.

We all decided to have a small plate to start our dining experience.  Every time I see the offering of a Grilled Caesar Salad, I order it.  Years ago I had it at a restaurant in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Since then, a few have gotten close at how good that one tasted so I wanted to see how this one would be, more so because it had Boquerones which are white anchovies.  They are very mild and usually they are marinated in vinegar.  It gives the salad a kick.  I will have to say that this Caesar was excellent.

Others ordered the Salt Roasted Beets & Two Cheeses.  Served on a wooden plank it had whipped ricotta, Stracciatella, local greens, black pepper and beet vinaigrette. Stracciatella cheese is produced from Italian buffalo milk in the southern Italian region of Apulia.  They use a stretching and shredding technique.  This particular small plate could have been shared by two people.

We ordered the Spring Harvest Flatbread.  A crispy crust filled with local peas, ramps, morel mushrooms, local asparagus, ricotta, gruyere mornay, green garlic pesto and crispy capers.  Ramps are a special type of wild onion, found in eastern Canada and U.S.  And a Gruyere mornay is a bechamel sauce that has Gruyere cheese added to it.  It was delicious but to tell you the truth we probably ordered too much.  Not that we did not eat it, by the way.

“Friendship is a delicious meal to be shared off one large plate.”  So, we decided to order our large plates.  This particular dish I truly loved.  It was called the Vegan Feast.  It was a whole wood fire roasted head of cauliflower, benne cashew crumb, and a lemon garlic vegan aioli.  At first we thought it was cheese but it was the benne cashew crumb. Cashews are lower in fat than other nuts. You can find online a lot of recipes for this vegan seed.

A very popular dish at Our Harvest is a whole Amish air chilled chicken…Arnold Palmer brine, (sweet tea and lemonade brine chicken, I believe), wood fired with lemon and rosemary.  Liquid Assets has an amazing chicken, as well.  Both chickens are completely different and delicious in more ways than one. We ordered TWO.

Needless to say, no need for dessert.  We decided that definitely we would be back.  Thanks to our server and also to the hostess that so graciously explained to me how the restaurant worked.

And so I end my post with this quote from John Lanchester….”Hospitality is central to the restaurant business, yet it’s a hard idea to define precisely.  Most, it involves being nice to people and making them feel welcome.  You notice it when it’s there, and you particularly notice it when it isn’t.  A single significant lapse in this area can be your dominant impression of an entire meal.”

Until next time….

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March 8th, 2018

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Orchid Extravaganza until March 25h, Events, Flowers, Gardens, Day Tripping

Finally the sun has come out.  Buds are on the trees, weeping willows are getting greener.  Some signs and hints that Spring is around the corner.  Well, you know, we had a few nor’easters to take care of but, hopefully, we should almost be finished with winter.

My young second cousin, Natalia, stayed with me for some time after the devastation of two hurricanes in Puerto Rico.  Right before she lef Southern Delaware the weather in Southern Delaware was gray and miserable, so I took her to Longwood Gardens.  Their Orchid Extravaganza is going on and it is gorgeous.  If you get a chance, it is there until March 25th.  The address is 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PAQ 19348.

When you think about it, it is very accessible, only a couple of hours away.  You can spend the day.  The area offers so much, plus a little bit of a change of scenery.

Flowers have a positive effect on humans.  I try to fill my vases with flowers as much as I can.  When I see them I have a different disposition altogether.  Longwood Gardens open year round.  Please check their website, https://www.longwoodgardens.org

It is that time of the year, so if you are ready to get into the spirit of Easter, make a visit to these beautiful gardens.

Discover your own backyard.  Have a great day!

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May 22nd, 2016

What’s Going On? Puttin’ On The Ritz, Event, 23rd Year Anniversary Celebration, Fun-Fundraising, Atlantic General Hospital, Meet Me at the “Speakeasy”, Berlin, Maryland, Maryland’s Eastern Shore

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I could not believe it!! No rain! Can you imagine?  We have been so inundated with rain that I was not sure how this event was going to turn out.  But, as it happens, on Thursday, May 19th, the skies were clear, the moon and the stars were out and the location was mesmerizing.

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It was going to be a celebration of the 23rd year anniversary of Atlantic General Hospital located at 9733 Healthway Dr., Berlin, MD 21811.  Tel. 410-641-1100.  Website?  http://www.atlanticgeneral.org.

We were meeting at the “Speakeasy”, where the event was taking place.  This is the farm of the Host and Hostess, Mr. & Mrs. Buddy Jenkins.  Atlantic General has been celebrating its anniversaries with an annual event.  Fun and Fundraising for the hospital.  This year’s theme was the Roaring 20’s and with 500 people of their supporters, family and friends in attendance it was certainly a memorable evening.

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Most of the attendees wore 1920’s dress code…..long pearls, fringes…it was a time of excess.  Games and crafted cocktails.  You picked your own glass at the entrance and fill it to your hearts desires.  The tent was huge and it was very well appointed.  The center pieces were gorgeous, as well.  No detail was left out.

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LA Catering from Liquid Assets located at 94th & Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Maryland did a spectacular job with their catering.  Besides their restaurant in Ocean City their catering side of it can work magic for any of your events, small or large.  As you can see they fed 500 and there was no shortage of food throughout the evening.  Tel. 410-524-7037  Website?  http://www.ocliquidassets.com.

We are located on the eastern shore so seafood is regarded as a main staple at events.  Surrounding the Speakeasy there were stations where attendees could fill their plates and come back for more.

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Oysters on the half shell, shrimp, smoke scallop salad, smoked salmon, crab claws!!

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Softshells!!  My favorites!

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Cheeses and Charcuterie!!

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Lisa & Cindi checking it out!

Lisa & Cindi checking it out!

Seafood Paella.

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Sushi!!

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Dessert!!  That sweet ending that completes a meal….Have you had the doughnuts made in house at Liquid Assets?  They are to die for.  At the event they gave them a little twist.  You could customize them.  They were warm, perfect to hold in one hand or on your plate and then the sweet condiments on top.

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I took a look at the cakes….could they possibly be the cakes that have been the talk of the town?  Yes!!  I could not believe it.  I am going to learn more about the two guys that are from Brooklyn and call themselves the Brooklyn Baking Barons.  The cakes featured the other night were Honey Whiskey Cakes, accompanied by local strawberries.  They were so good that at the table we all went back for seconds.  They are the perfect size…guilt free shall we say?  They will be opening a store front in Berlin, I believe on or around Memorial Week-End.  Check them on Facebook.  From their website they ship nationwide.  http://www.bkbarons.com.

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Cannot wait to taste a new flavor….the Limoncello Cake with homemade Limoncello….Justin Noble, a friend of theirs said this new cake is out of this world.

It is that time of the year to fund raise at the Maryland and Delaware Beaches.  People have big hearts here.  Lucky to call it home!!

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January 10th, 2016

West Ocean City Eats! Bull on the Beach, Horn & Shell, Raw Bar, Canteen, West Ocean City, Maryland

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It just opened about one month ago, but already some of my friends are becoming habitual frequenters to this new place to eat in West Ocean Cit, Maryland at 12611 Ocean Gateway.  It is right next to West O Bottle Shop.  Tel. 410-213-7020.  Website? http://www.hornandshelloc.com.

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It is a casual place.  Come as you are.  It is serving Small Plates, Crafted Signature Sandwiches, Daily Soups, Greens, Oyster Shooters…a Shell Bar!! Desserts!!

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Arriving for a quick lunch, Cindi and I ordered oysters.  Salty and cold!!

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We decided to eat Tapas stye; choosing from their Shares & Tasters Small Plates.  An order of Beer Brined Wings…Brined and grilled and then dunked in the fyer to finish.  We wanted them well done!  We chose the Mojito Glaze.

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Black Skillet Corn Bread was dense, rich and warmed on the Pit.  It was served with 3 housemade spreads on the side…savory butter, sun-dried tomato pesto, and cheddar cheese spread.

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Our third taster was K.H. Beef Plank…Paper thin, super rare Pit Beef, pickled red onion, greens, shaved parmesan, chimichurri, and crisp bread.

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Thanks Nikki for your suggestions and for taking care of us so well.

Talk to you later.

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October 29th, 2015

West Ocean City, MD Eats!! Fat Fish OC, Restaurant, Review, Opens Daily, Good Food?, Will Travel, Ocean City, Maryland

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It was warm, it was sunny, we probably could have eaten outside.  Arriving with my partner in crime, Cindi, to Fat Fish OC located at 12703 Sunset Avenue, Unit 7, Ocean City, MD 21842.  Tel. 410-390-5006.  Website?  http://www.fatfishoc.com.

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You can find it on Facebook as Fat Fish OCMD….please Like the page because Fat Fish is very active on FB and also they are opening other restaurants….you might not want to miss out on all the specials coming up as the Second Season continues at the beaches.  Hey guess what?  They do deliver.  Fat Fish opens at 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

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The restaurant is not big.  It is so cute and very local, indeed.

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Meet Joe, the owner, as he was getting ready to chow on the daily special…Today’s Bruschetta Burger.  I saw with my own eyes.  1/2 lb burger, pesto, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil on a brioche bun.

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But, get a little closer…you want to get a good look at it, don’t you?  Here it is.  Yum!!

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Cindi ordered the Blue Crab Tacos.  Their tacos are well known and one of the most ordered items, as well.

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And I ordered the Fat Fish Sandwich…Tempura battered tuna and shrimp, wasabi, mayo, red onion, lettuce, tomato and cilantro crema.  Look how beautiful it looks.  First I ate the shrimp and then followed with the sandwich.  Awesome indeed!

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Would you like to check the menu?  Please visit http://www.fatfishoc.com/menu/

So now you know about this great local place.  Worth the trip.

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