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Jan 15, 2009 06:17 PM

What was your Best Meal ever?

The best meal I have ever had was our anniversary last year. My wife and I went to Smith and Wollensky's in Boston. We were in a mood to celebrate (34th anniversary) and up to that point, the best steakhouse we had ever tried was Ruths Chris. The castle in Boston was the perfect ambiance, and the steaks we had (dry aged) we absolutely fantastic! The wait team got in to the act and we all had a ball! We spent a lot, (~$300) but we don't do it often and had a great time. Then we spent the night at the Copley Plaza

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  1. Four years ago, we went to Manuel's on the 28th in downtown Orlando while on vacation.
    We arrived at just in time to enjoy the sunset--simply stunning as was the cuisine. Our servers were most accomodating and not at all stuffy as we had read about in other reviews. We thoroughly enjoyed the prix fixe meal selections with wine pairings for each course from appetizers to dessert. The duck confit was a rich blend of tastes and textures. The filet mignon with rosemary in lemon herb butter was exquisite. Their chocolate lava cake was a chocoholic's decadent dream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Bliss!

    Manuel's On the 28th
    390 N Orange Ave # 2800, Orlando, FL

    1 Reply
    1. re: kattyeyes

      Don't actually remember, but I'm pretty sure it was my first one.

    2. I think there are 2 types of "best meals ever", neither being better than the other.
      1) Fine dining in fine clothing with silk pocket squares, linen napkins, a bejeweled and radiant lady, both equally enraptured, and the ambrosia and nectar and fine service begins.
      2) Conclusion of a rigorous, week-long, mano-a-mano showdown with nature in a hostile & challenging environment, successfully punctuated by a hot shower and a hot meal of just about anything.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        A few years back my Husband I went to Blance on Martha's Vineyard and my husband still calls that his BEST Meal to date.

        Mine is harder for I have so many great meals so I will itemize them:

        Best Burger Les Halles
        Best Pasta and Sweetbreads at Babbo's
        Best Steak Peter Lugers
        Best Oyster Tuna's in Ft. Lauderdale (they top it with horseradish cream and two types of caviar)
        Best Lobster Lobster Dock in Boothbay Harbor Maine - Just so fresh
        Best Stone Crab Joes in Miami
        Best Sushi 15 East, that was a truly GREAT night, what an experience!
        Best Fried Clams Umbertos in Little Italy

        Thanks for the Boston info, will give Smith and Wollensky's a try this summer

        1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

          I went to Umbertos for a first date with the man I have now been married to for 17 years! It was my best meal, but I can't tell you one thing I ate that night. I guess my point is my best meals are usually because of the company, not just the food. Enchant her and it won't matter where you go.

          1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

            bgg - post on the Boston board - other CHers might direct you to other steakhouses as well.

          2. re: Veggo

            I'd say there's one more type of "best meal ever"--categorized by memories of homemade fare shared with family who are no longer here. I still remember writing in my diary (and I never kept one long) about a meal I had in about 8th grade when both my grandparents were still alive. We had a delicious turkey breast and turnips and all the fixin's and, in its own nostalgic way, it was also one of my best meals ever...and even if we were just eating a ham sandwich, what I wouldn't give to be sitting down to eat a meal with my grandparents again. :)

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Point well taken. Perhaps your category should be first of three. Nicely nostalgic.

              1. re: Veggo

                to veggo's point:

                six of us were on a small island off the coast of south korea. we were staying at a nondescript yoguan in a fishing village no one has heard of. i spent the day as an apprentice on a local fishing boat, others hiked all over the place. we met back at the inn and shared dinner in a small room with a dirt floor. the room's only light came from a bare bulb hanging from a cord in the ceiling. the owner served us course after course of the freshest seafood i have ever encountered. it was a feast. when over, we asked her to do it all over again.

                few things beat catching fish when you're sailing, dropping the hook at an isolated anchorage just before sunset and cooking up a storm on the stern.

                i like restaurants a lot. i just have a hard time picking out one restaurant meal as the best.

            2. re: Veggo

              "2) Conclusion of a rigorous, week-long, mano-a-mano showdown with nature in a hostile & challenging environment, successfully punctuated by a hot shower and a hot meal of just about anything" - oh, yes! You just brought back a truly ancient memory, of going with an anti-drug group I was hanging with (along with a bunch of other inveterate stoners) on a two-day hike through Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows. Not too awfully mano-a-mano nor rigorous, but a lot of walking at high altitude. After we'd come back to town, the program's director, a very nice if bossy older woman, treated us all to a proper roast beef dinner at Sonora's best restaurant, with the rare prime rib and the roasted potatoes and the Yorkshire pudding and all. No wine, of course, but even the veggies among us tucked right in.

              I can usually pluck one meal out as the best of any given year, but the best EVER? I've had too many really good ones, of too many different kinds, to answer that one.

            3. Last week my five year old daughter asked me to prepare an artichoke and makizushi: We shared the artichoke petals, heart, and the rolls 50-50. I had a nice red and she had water. What could be bettter?

              9 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                family meals are my favorite. important now, much more important down the road as memories.

                what kind of red goes with artichokes?

                1. re: steve h.

                  i've actually enjoyed Chianti, Cab Franc, and Nero D'Avola with artichokes, though i typically prefer to pair them with white (Gruner, Gewurz) or Rosé.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    nero d'avola with artichoke is not intuitive to me. i like the wine and i like artichoke. i'll give it a shot this march in rome. thanks for the tip.

                    1. re: steve h.

                      funny you should say that - i'm pretty sure the reason i even thought to try the pairing was because Lidia Bastianich suggested it with her recipe for Carciofi Alla Romana (Roman-Style Braised Artichokes)...i hope it works for you!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        it works! we paired the wine with a home-cooked meal at our rental. we sourced the food at the campo,
                        thanks for the tip.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      son chris is 33. we get together on holidays, cook up a storm, discuss past meals and assassinate the character of whomever we want. your daughter is five. lots of good times ahead. keep us posted.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        steve h., Thank you! Exactly how I feel. And I intend to do just as you and chris, although I will be 87 when she, my sweetheart, is 33. Your post brings me luck. Abrazos!

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          we're contemporaries. but hey, you knew that.

                2. "Best meal" for me is a bit of shifting sands - it's about absolutely the right food at absolutely the right time in absolutely the right company, (etc). Oh, and my tastes and desired experiences have changed over the years and continue to evolve.

                  So, a lamb shawarma lunch at a small kebab takeaway/cafe on Manchester's curry mile with no more company than the morning newspaper was "best meal" last week. Another recent "best meal" was at a Michelin starred place in Chester in the company of the love of my life. I wouldnt like to put one meal above the other.

                  1. A little over a year ago, four of us went to Peter X. Kelly's X2O in Yonkers, NY. We each ordered an app, entree & dessert. Not only were my three selections excellent, but I got a taste of my 3 dining companions choices (which were equally good.) Once you throw in the service & Hudson River view, it adds up to #1 restaurant experience I've had.