I can’t hope to remember all of the restaurants I visited, or the new recipes I tried in 2011. That’s not exactly necessary to create a list for the Best Food of 2011. In fact, it’s probably better to take a less contrived and more spontaneous approach too it. In no particular order:
A. Mister A’s, San Diego, California. This one was memorable for the occasion, and of course the view. Aaron took me here on our first date. He picked me up, took the scenic drive (unintentionally if I remember right) through the park. I tried to conceal my panic as we drew closer and closer to the spot. My mind was in denial until he parked right in front of the building and announced “We’re here”. Why so panicked? Mister A’s as a first date is a pretty big and impressive deal. The sunset came and went. The city lit up. We went through a few courses on the menu, including a shared dessert. Afterwards we strolled through Balboa Park, and topped it off with a birthday cupcake at my house. The quintessence of a romantic evening…
B. David Bann’s, Edinburgh, Scotland. This was Mom’s choice, and it might be the premiere vegetarian restaurant in Scotland. We ambled down the street of what appeared to my untrained eyes as a working class neighborhood. Bann’s was, however, top shelf. After the lunch rush, it was blissfully sedate and quiet. The presentation was phenomenal. Each plate a work of art, for the feasting of the eyes as well as the tongue.
C. Thomas Hill Organics, Paso Robles, California. Thomas Hill has it’s own farm to supply must of the ingredients that eventually end up as someone’s meal. I arrived here after a ~7-hour drive from San Diego and used needing to rest as a convenient reason to stop in wine country. Since I got a ridiculous good price at the motel (yes, I did), I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner. The back patio is lovely and has that romantic appeal. Fountains dimmed the chatter of other diners. The wine list was generous, and the menu sparkling with creations inspired from the seasonal harvest.
Thomas Hill Organics
D. La Foglie, Ortigia, Sicily. After a day of extensive travel and soul weariness, I ventured out of the hotel for a romantic meal for one. I have been to this place twice before, and each time it charms me and induces a homey sort of contentedness. By this point, I was sick of airplane food, and other similarly processed foods. I didn’t realize exactly what I was ordering, but when this (see picture) deliciousness arrived at my table, I could have burst into tears. It was PERFECT. Soup. Fresh veggies and fruit.
West Coast Tavern, San Diego, California
Back Yard BBQ @ Suzy’s. San Diego, California.
Het Podium, Utrecht, the Netherlands