Meals you will always remember
For me, it was lunch at Grandma's 9th floor co-op in New Jersey with the green carpet on the terrace eating the freshest lobster salad and the plumpest, juciest, sweetest, red cherries. She probably got them at the local Pathmark back when Pathmark was top-notch. Crunchier fruit I have not found. She was a great cook though this meal didn't require too much work.
I always measure cherries against the ones I had during this meal. Not surprisingly, nothing comes close.
I tend to think oftentimes that the best meals are those you share with the best company.
A couple years ago, we were informed in early December that this would be her last Christmas as she had come down with a rare form of cancer that people her age don't survive more than six months. I changed plans to go be with my parents as opposed to my in-laws. My whole family came up and were talking about who will bring what, and someone would bring stove top stuffing, etc. I said there's no way she's eating stove top stuffing, and made homemade cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, garlic and chive mashed potatoes and gravy. I was too exhausted to eat much of it, but it was a meal I won't ever forget. (BTW, my mom has now made it almost two years since then miraculously)
While I have other farvorite, memorable meals, my meal at Emeril's Delmonico for a friend's wedding was simply unreal. You see, the friend (who's actually a friend of my wife's) had worked for Emeril as his personal assistant (think The Devil Wears Prada, but he's actually nice to her) for a number of years. So, he closed Delmonico on a Sunday to give her a birthday present which was a late lunch/party for her and all her friends. His wife flew in leighs from Hawaii, everything was on the house, and our friend got to pick what she wanted for the dinner. The appetizers were insane, particularly the buttermilk fried oysters (my wife loved these although she hates oysters) and the foi gras waffles with maple syrup. After too many cocktails and appetizers, upstairs it was for another four courses of unbeliveable food, paired with wines from "my friend, Mario Batali" as Emeril would say. Anyway, stuffed to the gill, we hung out drinking wine and admiring the 5 foot cake, (maybe not quite that big) chatting away with guests and Emeril and his wife. (who are both unbelievably nice and humble people)
You're right on, Terry, about the company. Years ago we were in Northeast Harbor, Maine (Mt. Desert Island) having lunch at a harbor restaurant. My six-year-old daughter wanted to taste lobster, so we ordered her her very own, and watching her chowdown on that meal with her big bib is something we all chuckle about today.
This past May my DH and I were in Paris for the first time and took a break while touring the Louvre. We got a table on the top open air terrace overlooking the courtyard and glass pyramid with a distant view of the Eiffel Tower. He ordered a beer and I ordered a cafe creme. They brought me a large cup of coffee, a little side pitcher of steamed milk and a bowl of the thickest and best whipped cream I have ever eaten. I won't forget that cream any time soon. The company, location and that cream constituted a perfect moment.