So I got to thinking, how many restaurants have I dined at that are truly and deliciously wonderful?
- La Caille, outside of Salt Lake City, is a French chateau with beautiful grounds, swans, and other elegant creatures, ponds and bridges, and amazingly prepared French food that manages to be un-fussy yet complex and delightful. Absolutely one of the best meals of my life. I was there for a work function and couldn't even talk to people (as I am loathe to do anyway when I am eating a fabulous meal), I wanted to savor every single moment of my Asian noodle soup, my filet, and creme' brulee', truly a savory meal.
- Squatters in Salt Lake City is a Slow Food movement brew pub, brewing beer that is not Mormon-ized into watered down malt. I usually have the pork carnitas, my husband opts for the beer-crust pepperoni pizza.
- Franck's - Salt Lake City, amazing saucework, this Franck. We had a perfect meal outdoors at the end of summer with my in-laws.
- Grappa - Park City, UT - amazing Italian food, just don't drink the grappa, which is quite possibly the only alcohol I will now turn down.
- Blind Dog - Park City, UT - sushi, sushi, sushi ... in a landlocked state, yes, but amazingly fresh and beautifully prepared
- Joe's Shanghai - Chinatown, Manhattan - Soup Dumplings ... nearly, quite possibly the ONLY thing, that even comes close for me, than sex
- Amada in Philadelphia, tapas and sangria, exotic flavors I've never tasted before, but hope to again.
- Davio's, also Philadelphia, I had a frenched chicken with a sauce to die for. Amazing Italian food.
- Supper - Philadelphia - I had a pork medley that was awesome, pork belly, pork brat, pork loin, heirloom tomatoes, fresh, fresh, fresh
- Artisan in Paso Robles, CA, fresh, seasonal food cooked perfectly.
- Emeril's in Orlando, the tasting menu was a surprise after a surprise after a surprise, it just kept coming, ragu, steak, I can't even remember all the deliciousness, but remember it as a great meal with great people.
- Oriental House, Scottsbluff, NE - I know, Nebraska, that's where you go to find good Asian food. This restaurant was my first taste of Asian as a child (the granddaughter of a Japanese citizen); it closed down for a decade or so, then came back into my adulthood with an amazing likeness of what I first remembered great Asian food to be.
- Peohe's, Coronado Island, off San Diego - fresh seafood, halibut that made me weep with delight, chocolate lava cake (before it became faddy and overdone).
- Tao, Las Vegas - before our wedding, we ate here with Josh's family, a truly amazing feast of sushi and other Japanese treats, my father-in-law being my benefactor of many great meals
This clearly will be more than one blog entry, because I've been fortunate enough to eat at some amazing restaurants. Maybe not Michelin-star, but still, cooks making the best food they know how to, fresh ingredients, lots of love and passion, you don't need to be a Michelin-starred chef to make fantastic food for me. Cheers to every great chef who cooks for love.