What and where are your fave meals ever? Any price - high or low.
Naples, FL: Keftedes and moussaka at Greek Gourmet
Memphis, TN: Beale Street Burger and homemade potato chips at Corky's BBQ
Las Vegas, NV: Osso bucco on mushroom risotto at Red Square (Mandalay Bay), with frozen lemon mousse for dessert
Anywhere: Petite filet, medium rare, at Ruths Chris
Orlando, FL: clam chowder at my house
Orlando, FL: Zen Experience Roll sushi at Zen, Omni Resort, with frozen lychee mousse for dessert
Orlando, FL: butternut squash ravioli and truffle parmesan fries at Harvey's Bistro
Royal Oak MI: Red Coat Tavern burger with house made onion rings
Tawas MI: Lake perch dinner at Barnacle Bills
Coupeville WA: Mussels at Tobys Tavern
Las Vegas NV: Steak frites at Mon Ami Gabi
London England: Chicken Tagine at some Moroccan place near Covent Garden (can't remember the name) with mint tea
Harrow England: Every single thing we tried at Heritage Indian restaurant
Oak Park MI: Chicken Shawarma, hummus, baba ganoush at Pita Cafe with a raw juice smoothie
Gnocchi with a brown butter/sage leaf "sauce" at a tiny trattoria outside of Trento.
A chili-dog w/ onions and cheese (and a side of cheese fries) on the Atlantic city Boardwalk.
Turkey with sauerkraut at Sara Evosovich's restaurant (gone forever) in Pittsburgh.
Full dinner at Mama Maria's restaurant in South Philadelphia while a HUGE family celebrated Holy Communion for no fewer than five young girls and boys.
Every dinner at the Victor Cafe, also Philadelphia. So-so food, terrific singing.
Crab cakes in Seattle.
This is my current dreamy list...it'll change in a week I am sure.
Philly - Blueberry pancakes, Amish Eating Place @ Reading Terminal Market
Tampa, FL - Chicken on Rice Vermicelli and Spicy Chicken w/ Lemongrass and Onions @ Pho Quyen
Tampa, FL - Naked Burrito Bowl @ Qdoba (I swear that there is something addictive about their rice!)
Israel, near Masada somewhere - BBQ Chicken
Tel Aviv, Israel - Chicken Schwarma
Seafood platter and king crab legs at Sabella’s of Marin (now defunct).
Joe’s burger at Polo’s in San Francisco (now defunct) and at Original Joe’s in San Francisco.
Top sirloin steak at “the best restaurant in Fairbanks” (Alaska), name forgotten).
Praline parfait at Tu Jague’s, New Orleans
Shrimp fried rice at Tu Lan, San Francisco.
Blackened redfish with shrimp hollandaise at Ralph & Kacoo’s, New Orleans. Also the crab platter and crawfish platter.
Filet of sole at Original Joe’s, San Francisco (“We feed heavy, we feed good”).
Apple tart a la mode at Clift Hotel, San Francisco.
Dinners for 3, 4,,5, 6, etc., at Sun Hung Heung, San Francisco (now defunct).
Mystery stir-fry shrimp dish (not on menu) at Tommy Toy’s, San Francisco.
Luncheon shrimp salad at Old N’Awlins in N.O. (sadly defuncted by Katrina).
Fried soft-shell crab at the Old Ebbett Grill in D.C.
Roast smoked pork loin at Kuleto’s, San Francisco.
Alderspring Ranch rib-eye steak. Best steak I’ve ever had; grass-fed; mail order; high demand; get in line.
Home-prepared Dungeness crab louis, with sourdough French bread.
Home-prepared loin and rib lamb chops
1. Laab and khao niaw: small un-named restaurant along the Mekong in Vientiane
2. Mondongo in the market in Huatusco, Veracruz
3. Tandoor oven-made meal in un-named places from Calcutta to Myanmar
4. Lunch or dinner at the Chinese Acadamy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences on Hainan Island, China
5. Italian at the Italian Embassy restaurant in La paz, Bolivia
1. Everything we ordered at Moti Mahal in New Delhi, India (chicken tikka, keema stuffed roti/phulka, etc.)
2. Crepes & croissants in Paris
3. Gnocchi at Spiaggia, Chicago
4. Pizza in Italy
5. Dim sum in SF & Singapore
6. Falafel in San Jose, CA, NY, & Amsterdam (Haven't been to Middle East)
7. Spicy tuna on crispy rice (and other sushi:-) - L.A.
8. Mexican - SF Bay area
9. Eggs Benedict & French Toast - Em Lee's, Carmel, CA
10. "Poke" - chopped tuna or hamachi wrapped in rice and lightly fried nori at AME, SF.
Can't recall name of dish: Soft shell crab, Aqua SF; Lamb, Cafe Boulud, NY; annual Summer party at my friend's (out of this world Indian food)
#1 The French Laundry (Yountville, CA) filet, but whole meal was over-the-top
#2 The Greenhouse (Mayfair London) Scottish beef
#3 Alan Wong's (Honolulu, HI) chef's tasting menu (several times)
#4 Chef Mavro's (Honolulu, HI) 11-course tasting menu (except for the kobe beef)
#5 Dondero's (Poipu, Kaua`i, HI) filet (best ever for filet, regardless of Waygu, or Kobe, or kobe)
#6 Brigtsen's (NOLA) everything
#7 Blackberry Farm (Walland, TN) everything, BUT the kobe beef
#8 Prince of Wales (San Diego, CA) the Kobe beef
#9 Tante Louise (Denver, CO) pecan-crusted soft-shelled crab in garlic butter
#10 Vincent's on Camelback (Phoenix, AZ) duck tamales
#11 Binkley's (Cave Creek, AZ) almost every dish
I could go on, but CH probably has a limit on the lines allowed in a post. My list of faves, would go on, and on, and on...
Smoked Mullet - Ted Peters (and several long gone spots) - St. Pete, Fl.
Stuffed Pompano - Tio Pepes - Clearwater, Fl
Smoked mussels w/ creamy mustard sauce -?? whitewater outfitter - The Forks, Maine
Wild blueberry pancakes bigger than the plate - long forgotten spot in interior of Maine
Fresh salmon - 1 wk in San Francisco '81, first time I had had it. Once was not enough!
BBQ - eastern Carolina style - Miltons (closed), Rocky Mount, NC
Duck, with roasted pear & vanilla infusion @ Revolver, Findley, Ohio
Everything @ An in Cary,NC
Lobster - Beal's lobster pier, Southwest Harbor, Maine
Just about anything cooked outdoors over a campfire
Muffulettas - Central Grocery - NOLA
I miss Cuban! Numerous locations in Florida.
Now I am too hungry for words!
Where to start? There are so many...
My first baklava, made with wild honey served at an impromptu outdoor restaurant with clothed tables set up on river rocks in the Cilician Gates located high in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey. The baklava was made with walnuts and a rich dark honey like semi-liquid amber. It lives in memory!
A wonderful poached salmon with dill sauce served on KLM airline flying from Amsterdam to Geneva. It was delicious, but... NEVER eat fish on an airline. I was sick for days. But it tasted so good.
Hot chocolate at Schiphol Airport. I've drank my way through hundreds of cups trying to find its match. Apparently there is none.
A steak dinner I cooked myself. Danish beef, Turkish (Kavakledera) wine. The best steak of my life. My taste buds ache for it.
A feast of mezes and ouzo on the patio of the Dionysus Restaurant facing the Acropolis in Athens. The food was wonderful, and watching the lights of the Son & Lumier show play across the Acropolis as we dined is a lifetime memory. Unfortunately, there was a soccer game on Greek television that night, so NO taxis were running and we had to walk back to our hotel.
Abalone dinners I used to fix by the carload when my husband scuba dove for dinner twice a week. Along with the abalone, keyhole limpets, sea cucumbers, mussels, barnacle stew. The bounty of the deep! And now I have a creek in my back yard instead of an ocean. I made a wrong turn somewhere!
A full kaiseki dinner at an upstairs Japanese restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco decades ago. It was sublime!
My first Caesar's salad made by Caesar himself at Caesar's Hotel in Tijuana when I was a kid. I especially remember the egg, the croutons, and what a nice man he was.
The really terrible hamburger I had in a Movenpik (sp?) restaurant in Zurich, because Swiss Air shipped all of my clothes on to New York (we were going to Boston), and I couldn't dress appropriately for the fine restaurant where we had reservations. That trip was also memorable because the only room sevice menu in our room was in Japanese! Apparently in Switzerland, they serve their hamburgers with a cup of runny cole slaw trying to escape the bun. I am not fond of Zurich.
Street food! Great, great street food. Kababs from a cart in Turkey, souvlaki from street vendors in Greece, wurst from "walk-ups" in Germany, and the best tacos of my life from fly filled glass carts on the streets of Tijuana when I was a kid. 3 for a dime. Coulda been dog meat, coulda been cat meat, coulda been rats, but it was deeelicious! Anthony Bourdain, eat your heart out.
Like Bill Hunt, my list could go on and on, but here is a very limited list. My main criteria is if I dream about it at night.
Soft shell crab po-boy at Uglesich's, New Orleans (now defunct: but lives on in my dreams forever!) We also had fried oysters with their special remoulade, and fried green tomatoes.
A gigantic bag of boiled crabs in Delaware, fresh, simple and truly all you can eat.
Oxtail Daube with mashed potatoes and a great Rhone Valley wine. My hubbie slaves for 2 days to make the Daube.
Gorging on donuts at the Donut Plant in NYC early in the morning. This is always followed by a food crawl through the LES and Chinatown. But it starts with donuts.
Giovanni's shrimp truck on the North Shore of Oahu.
Pho at Pho Lien in Montreal. (number 4, rare beef and brisket).
Fried pork tenderloin biscuit at the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen place in Chapel Hill NC.
Per Se, NYC
Eating unfamiliar raw seafood that had just been plucked off the ocean floor by women divers (who dive without equipment) on the beach with my mother on the island of Jeju, South Korea. Served on tupperware lids with raw garlic and chile sauce.
Anything my mother cooks, Korean or not. (A lifetime of meals!)
19 course tasting menu at Moto, Chicago (which I turned into 20 courses by requesting a second helping of one of my favorite dishes). Excting, fun, intriging and delicious.
Cuisine Bankok in Montreal, although I wish they'd bring back the duck curry dish...
Masala Dosa at Bombay Choupati, Montreal. Counting the days until they get back from holiday!
Feel very lucky that it is so hard to narrow my list down...
Egg Fu Young at the random Nicaraguan restaurant (I asked for vegetarian and they came up with an EFY replica that was outstanding)
Fresh Bluefish at the Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant in Morehead City, NC.
Minneapolis, MN- Egg Roll Vermicelli Salad at Quang
Minneapolis, MN- Curry Tofu Hotpot at Penninsula
My house- Chili Ramen, drained of the water, mixed with the seasoning packet, a raw egg, and broiled eel.
Burger- The Burger Joint Le Parker Meridian NYC
Meatball - Cafe Martorano Fort Lauderdale
Oyster Omlet - Poogans Porch Charleston SC
Meatloaf - Jestine's Kitchen Charleston SC
Heirloom Tomatoes - Craft NYC
Fried Shrimp - Prossers BBQ Murrells Inlet SC
Love Apple (tomato) - Tantra South Beach
Mmm lets see.
A feast of indigenous Anatolian dishes at Ciya Sofrasi (not the kebab house) in Istanbul.
So-fresh-that-it-dances sea mullet from any decent fish market in Turkey, fried by my dad and served with a parsley lemon juice olive oil dressing and a very simple lettuce salad.
A meal of sweet shrimp sashimi, seasoned rice and glazed oxtail at Donguri, NYC
Tapas, more specificaly the pork belly at Jaleo, DC
Escargots, duck confit and the prune dessert alongside with a nice self brought wine at Le P'tit Plateau, Montreal
Soup dumplings at New Green Bo, NYC
Doner sandwich at Hosta (with some ayran) Ankara, Turkey
And most recently frogs legs and banana brown sugar tart at Herbsaint, NOLA.
Green Chile Pork: Roaring Fork, Scottsdale, AZ (single best thing I have ever put in my mouth)
Biscuits and Gravy: Flying Biscuit Cafe, Atlanta, GA (back in the day)
Gnocchi: Enoteca San Marco, Venice, Italy (they melted in my mouth)
Fried Mussels: Thessaloniki, Greece
Every taco at Bien Trucha in Geneva, IL
Eggs and beans for breakfast at St. Martins Lane in London, England (the craving will not go away)
Carnitas at Chipotle
Paco tuna rolls: Ghenki in Atlanta, GA
Coq au Vin crepe: Le Creperie, Chicago, IL
Gelato in Monte Carlo (I know... strange)
* St Thomas VI, Craig & Sally's - the entire dinner was excellent, so much so that we returned another night and I got the recipe for the savory cheesecake.
* Key West, FL, Pisces - The first place I had a white wine I enjoyed. The fois gras, the grouper, the desserts, the wine...
* Key West, FL, Alice's - the duck, the duck, the duck.
* Miami, FL, Azul - in Jan '04 we had a fabulous dinner and were treated like kings.
* San Francisco, CA, Boulevard: Mr CF and I had snuck out of a dinner meeting and had dinner just the two of us with a bottle of Stag's Leap Fay we had just bought in Napa
* San Diego, CA, Market - the entire dinner was wonderful, and the sorbet at the end was a surprise, rose and strawberry.
* Las Vegas, NV, Le Cirque - an anniversary dinner, it was wonderful.
* Las Vegas, NV, Joel Robuchon - wow
* Scottsdale/Phoenix, AZ, Lon's at the Hermosa - we had dinner outside in a lovely setting, didn't hurt to know that at home they had 7 inches of snow and it was still snowing.
* Indianapolis, IN, Peterson's - my go-to place. For fabulous steaks, fish, service and dessert.
* Bloomington, IN, Tallent Restaurant - wonderful food - makes me wish I lived there.
* Minneapolis, MN, Vincents - great food, all of it.
* New Orleans, LA, Cafe Marigny - my first trip to NO for a Food and Wine event. Cafe Marigny was hosting a Vitners dinner for Estancia and Mount Veeder. We had so much fun
* New Orleans, LA, Victor - at the Ritz Carlton - another wow
There's more, I'll probably be thinking about it all night!
I would have to second Joel Robuchon in Vegas.
Our 10 course tasting menu was delicious. The scallops were fresh. The steak was delicious. Even my husband, who is not a foodie, agreed it was money well spent.
My children would say it would have to be fresh sushi combo for breakfast at the Tokyo fish market at 7am for breakfast. It truly was the best sushi meal we ever had. Not just the fish and the uni were fresh. The sushi rice just taste 10X better than any sushi we've had in north america. We went to the fish market for breakfast very morning despite the long line up and wait.
Can you imagine if hounds planned a trip for an individual... just told him/her where/when to visit each place and let him "Eat His Way around the Chow World"
Los Angeles - glazed old fashioned donut - K's Donut Emporium
Beverly Hills - Urasawa
West Hollywood - creamy seared scallops w/ crispy beluga lentils drizzled with an orange and parsley oil reduction - the dearly departed Le Dome
West Hollywood - The Griddle Cafe - Recess Time pancakes, Black Magic pancakes, Apple Cobbler french toast, and Creme de la Creme French toast
Kona, HI - crab stuffed opah - The Mauna Loa main restaurant
Tamworth, England - Sticky Toffee Pudding - some pub in town
Los Angeles - Blackberry Cobbler - Cynthia's
Grilled sardines on the quayside in Portimao, Portugal; best fish I ever had!
And a few years back, I made contact with a researcher for Gourmet magazine. He invited my wife and I out to dinner in Toronto. We first went to a Chinese restaurant, where we had abalone, shark's fin, soft shelled crab, lobster, steamed fish, and more. No booze, and the bill came to just over $600. Then he asked us to come along to the Courtyard Cafe, where we had another dinner about an hour later - rack of lamb, foie gras, some truly decadent desserts. A couple of bottles of wine, and the tab came to over $800! Luckily, he picked up both bills, but I've never had a pair of meals come close to that!
The one in my profile - Cin Cin in Auckland (2003, before it changed to a more accessible menu). I couldn't tell you exactly what I had because it was all fairly complicated (the app was roasted veggies, the entree was a barramundi-like fish, the dessert was just insane), but my wife will tell you I was moaning throughout.
Distant seconds and thirds:
- a porterhouse at the Ritz in Cleveland (with a 1987 Silver Oak Bonny's Vineyard)
- porcini risotto at Cesarina in Bologna
- polpo in chipotle at Harry's in Zona Rosa (boosted by them allowing us to watch hockey on the TV) and octopus with garlic at Gusto in Rome
- numerous three-hour dinners at the San Angel Inn in Mexico City - usually entertaining executives
- dinner at Archaelogico on Via Appia starting with a simple appetizer of lardo with lemon zest and finishing with an awesome poached pear in wine with a local gorgonzola
- walleye at Jax in Minneapolis
- first time at Meskerem in DC - first experience with Ethiopian
And on the lower end of the price scale:
- many white clam pies at Frank Pepes
- the sirloin tips sandwich at The Fours in Quincy (with Harpoon IPAs served by Kenny and Mike)
Fried chicken at the "Henne" resto in Berlin.
Torched salmon & green asparagus nigiri at Mr. Hai's in Berlin.
Any tasting menu at Margaux, Berlin.
Fresh caught lobster at the Turks & Caicos.
"Special Chin. Noodle soup" at my fave Chinese place in my hometown (now defunct)
Homemade Caprese in Tuscany: fantastic tomatoes, superfresh mozzarella & basil, killer olive oil
... any soup / seafood / noodle dish in Thailand..
agree with everyone else -- where to stop????
- oatmeal frittata at hugo's in west hollywood, ca
- portobello & goat cheese omelette at americana in del mar, ca
- dutch apple pancake at the original pancake house
- a toasted kossar's bialy with onion, tomato, cream cheese, & nova from zabar's in nyc
- muesli, fresh fruit & yogurt, seated at an outdoor table looking at the ocean at the outrigger resort in palm cove, queensland, australia
- the yearly thanksgiving feast at my place
- sesame-crusted wasabi tuna steak at the river palm terrace in edgewater, nj
- poached sea bass at prime restaurant in atlanta, ga
- "protein roll" at station sushi in solana beach, ca
- hot dog, fries & a yoo-hoo at the recently closed callahan's in fort lee, nj
- the "baseball plate" with tuna, extra tahini and extra spinach from the pump in nyc
- eggplant or chicken parm at piero's restaurant in dumont, nj
- seafood & cucumber salads in takeout containers sitting on bondi beach in sydney
- spaghetti marinara & pizza with mushrooms at the now-defunct leonia pizzeria in leonia, nj
- cheese & mushroom risotto at orso in nyc
- weekly sunday night family dinner at the now-defunct china chalet in closter, nj
- pizza margherita at grimaldi's in brooklyn, ny
- assorted sushi at east restaurant in teaneck, nj - hardly the best, but at age 15 it was my first sushi experience, and made me an addict for life
- brisket & matzoh ball soup at my mom's house in jersey
- well-done home fries with plenty of ketchup, or cheese fries with gravy, from a jersey diner
- chocolate/sour cherry twist from sno:la frozen yogurt shop in beverly hills
- hummus, pita, and fresh oranges on the bus headed to the dead sea in israel
- my dear departed aunt selma's matzoh brei. she wasn't exactly known for her culinary skills, but man, that woman could pan-fry some unleavened bread!
My all-time favourite meals (so far):
-Eggplant pizza at La Pizza in Cannes, France. It was the first night of our honeymoon and were hadn't eaten much for over 24 hours. With a glass or two of wine - perfect.
-The 'Saveurs de la Riviera' menu at Chateau de la Chevre D'Or, Eze France. Also on my honeymoon. Fantastic food in a stunning setting.
-Lunch on the patio of a villa near Cortona, Italy last summer. Bucatini all' Amatriciana, a glass of Chianti and gelato crema for dessert. Simple perfection.
-Au Pied du Cochon in Montreal just last week. I went for the first time with a group of seven other enthusiastic food lovers. Great friends, fantastic food - what could be better?
-My mother's Christmas dinners. The same thing every year (turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, mince pies) but that's just the way we liked it.
Miami, FL: Azul @ Mandarin Hotel - everything, we went for Wine dinner week last year Catena Argentine wines, they paired the menu with the wines, tiny tiny portions that kept on coming seared baby squid, crab claws with Chardonnay, big ole tenderloin cooked to perfection with Malbec, and the dessert were tiny petit fours of pure chocolate bombs served with Cabernet Sauvignon it was worth every penny. Well marbled beef and dark chocolate with full bodied red wine, is my personal happy meal. Very beautiful setting. V expensive. I've heard they have a great happy hour that is moderately priced but have not been.
Coral Gables, FL: Ortanique on the Mile - I used to find myself here waiting for traffic to die down on my way to Broward their Kobe burger is phenomenal, appetizer portion of the short ribs with truffle gnocci's really rich, satisfying and just enough. Very inventive cooking never boring. Moderate to high
NYC DB Bistro - Kobe beef hamburger stuffed with short ribs and foie gras. Sex on a plate. V expensive.
Miami Graziano's on Bird Road - they have 2 restaurants -1 which is a pizzeria, and a traditional parillada (Argentine grill). I lived in Argentina in 2000 so I was a little whistful. The Lomo steak (tenderloin), morcilla (blood sausage), fried provolone, with a bottle of Malbec. Go with elastic pants the portions are generous.
There's a lot of beef in my favorites, I should eat more seafood.
Oh and another favorite - Lobster caught off of Fort Lauderdale beach - brought home and grilled on the weber with butter and garlic - with heiniken and Key Lime pie!! Only oysters would have made this better.