A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Jun 30.

Special Feature -

Half A Year In Food - It's six months into this young blog's life and it's been quite an experience. I've met some excellent people and had some very interesting dialogues. I've learned a lot more about the dining experience by writing about it. But perhaps best of all, I've had the opportunity to have some amazing meals. Whether it was dollar dumplings or bank account-clearing extravaganzas, I've really enjoyed sharing my meals of this half-year. I'm also looking forward to what's in store for the next six months, but first here's a look at the best thus far:

Best New Restaurant (over $50 meal)
1) Per Se
2) The Modern
3) Masa
4) Devi
5) Cacio e Pepe

Best New Restaurant (under $50 meal)
1) Una Pizza Napoletana
2) Hummus Place
3) Mercadito
4) Franny’s
5) Klong

Best Appetizer (over $50 meal)
1) Oysters and Pearls (Per Se)
2) Uni risotto with black truffles (Masa)
3) O-toro Tartare with Iranian osetra caviar (Masa)
4) Foie Gras Terrine Marbled with Roasted Artichokes and Green Peppercorns (The Modern)
5) Waltz of Appetizers (Kumamoto Oyster with Apple Mint Gelee, Foie Gras Terrine with Crisp Porcini, Japanese Yellowtail with Wasabi Tobiko, Crisp Portuguese Sardine) (Danube)

Best Appetizer (under $50 meal)
1) Steamed pork and crab tiny buns (New Green Bo)
2) Shrimp Pakoras (Tangra Masala)
3) Venison and Chestnut Terrine (Craft)
4) Roti Canai (Overseas Asian)
5) Herring Sampler (Aquavit)

Best Entrée (over $50 meal)
1) Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, Chorizo and Black Chilis (Babbo)
2) Roasted Maine Lobster in a "Folly of Herbs" with Asparagus and Salsify (The Modern)
3) Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage (Babbo)
4) Homemade nettle gnocchi tossed with tomato comfit, rosemary and buffalo mozzarella (Cacio e Pepe)
5) Chorizo-Crusted Chatham Cod with White Cocoan Bean Puree and Harissa Oil (The Modern)

Best Entrée (under $50 meal)
1) Pan Roasted Sea Scallops (Pearl Oyster Bar)
2) Banana Walnut Pancakes (Clinton St. Baking Company)
3) Mushroom-stuffed Veal with Porcini Risotto (Assenzio)
4) Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Soba Noodle, Soy Beans, Shiitake Mushrooms, Soy-Wasabi Vinaigrette (Bistro St. Marks)
5) Lobster Congee (Congee Village)

Best Dessert (over $50 meal)
1) "Coffee and Doughnuts" (Per Se)
2) "Snickers Bar" (Per Se)
3) Austrian Chocolate Hazelnut Souffle with Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Creams and Apple Sorbet (Danube)
4) Milk chocolate-hazelnut parfait, orange reduction (WD-50)
5) Cantaloupe Mousse with a Glass of Port (Cacio e Pepe)

Best Dessert (under $50 meal)
1) Goat's Milk Ricotta, Rose-Rosemary, and Meyer Lemon with Blackberry Gelato (Otto)
2) Dulce de Leche (Itzocan Cafe)
3) Almond Cookie Ice Cream (Chinatown Ice Cream Factory)
4) White Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Granité (Bouley)
5) Banana Tarte Tatin (Craft)

Best Soup (a surprisingly very hotly contested category)
1) Butternut squash shrimp bisque with saffron (Itzocan Cafe)
2) Hot and Sour Soup (Tangra Masala)
3) Matzo Ball Soup (2nd Ave. Deli)
4) Celery Root Soup with Maine Diver Scallops, Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Chervil (Hearth)
5) Seafood Soup (Rancha la Cascada)

Best Salad
1) Fried Watercress Salad w/ Chicken, Shrimp and Squid (Sripraphai)
2) Octopus Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing (Tab Tos)
3) Roasted beet salad (Babbo)
4) Hearts of Palm salad (Per Se)
5) Arugala, pear and gorgonzola salad (Fornino)

Best Pizza
1) Una Pizza Napoletana
2) Franny’s
3) DiFara
4) Denino’s
5) Nick’s

Best Cocktail
1) Mango-Passion Mojito (The Modern)
2) Per Se Cocktail (Per Se)
3) Monkey Business (El Avión)
4) Danube Cocktail (Danube)
5) Coming Up Roses (The Bar Room at the Modern)

Best Sandwich
1) Sesame bagel with lox, tomato and cream cheese (Russ and Daughters)
2) Classic Vietnamese Sandwich (Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches)
3) Pastrami sandwich on rye (Katz’s Deli)
4) Corned beef sandwich on rye (2nd Ave. Deli)
5) Pastrami spiced turkey sandwich on French bread with Edam cheese, sprouts, cucumbers and house dressing (Take It Away)

Best Day of Eating
1) May 22 - Pizza World Tour
2) Jan. 30 - Three Meals Under $30
3) Apr. 3 - From Jewish to Spanish
4) Apr. 23 - Dumpling World Tour
5) Jan. 8 - Asian Excursion

Best Service
1) Babbo
2) Per Se
3) Pó
4) WD-50
5) Itzocan Café

And finally, here is a list of my favorite 40 meals and my favorite dish at each place.

1) Per Se - Oysters and Pearls
2) Masa - Uni risotto
3) The Modern - Roasted Maine Lobster in a "Folly of Herbs" with Asparagus and Salsify
4) Babbo - Black Spaghetti with Rock Shrimp, Chorizo and Black Chilis
5) Una Pizza Napoletana - Margherita Pizza
6) Craft - Venison and Chestnut Terrine
7) Itzocan Café - Dulce de Leche
8) Danube - Maine Day Boat Lobster with Sunchoke, Mango, Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms and a Saffron Curry Broth
9) Sripraphai - Fried Watercress Salad w/ Chicken, Shrimp and Squid
10) Tia Pol - Patatas Bravas
11) Devi - Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops with pear chutney and curry leaf potatoes
12) Pearl Oyster Bar - Pan Roasted Sea Scallops
13) Tangra Masala - Hot and Sour Soup
14) Russ and Daughters - Sesame bagel with lox, tomato and cream cheese
15) Franny’s - Tomato and Mozzarella with House-Cured Garlic Sausage Pizza
16) Hummus Place - Hummus Tahini
17) Khushie - Chicken Kali Mirch
18) DiFara - Plain square
19) Denino’s - Sausage and mushroom pizza
20) - Tortelloni with Ricotta and Ramps in a White Butter Truffle Sauce
21) Cacio e Pepe - Homemade nettle gnocchi tossed with tomato comfit, rosemary and buffalo mozzarella
22) Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches - Classic Vietnamese Sandwich
23) Congee Village - Lobster Congee
24) Shimizu - O-Toro sushi
25) WD-50 - Slow poached egg, parmesan broth, tomato
26) Al Di La - Malfatti
27) Rose Water - Kevin's Farm Grilled Chicken With Mustard Greens, Falafel, and Roasted Pumpkin Seed Sauce
28) Aquavit - Herring Sampler
29) Assenzio - Mozzarella-stuffed Veal with Porcini Mushroom Risotto
30) New Green Bo - Steamed pork and crab tiny buns
31) Mercadito - Shrimp Tacos
32) Taverna Kyclades - Roe dip
33) Otto - Goat's Milk Ricotta, Rose-Rosemary, and Meyer Lemon with Blackberry Gelato
34) 2nd Ave. Deli - Matzoh Ball Soup
35) Nougatine - Slow-Baked Salmon with Pad Thai
36) Overseas Asian Restaurant - Roti Canai
37) Kuma Inn - Edamame in Thai-Chili Lime Oil
38) Shake Shack - Double Shack Burger
39) Nick’s Pizza - White pie with Spinach and Prosciutto
40) Klong - Kee Mao Noodles


Blogger tara said...

What a feast of a half year! Congrats on the milestone, and thanks for this little retrospective. It's quite the tempting list. How did I know Oysters and Pearls would be featured?

2:17 PM  
Blogger Rockefeller said...

A truly fantastic list. A little surprised the Zazus Thai wrap and Cacio e Pepe's signature dish didn't make an appearance, but other than that, I think you're right on just about everything.

6:13 PM  
Blogger BADGE said...

Well done. Here's to good eating in the upcoming 6 months. I can't wait to read about it all.



11:21 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Fabulous! What a fun retrospective and a great guide for anyone looking for exceptional dining exeriences! Thanks.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous chef 'em out said...

There are so many great blogs out there and they are getting better all the time.The more I read , the more I appreciate the power of the internet.
Restaurant reviews and opinions are no longer concentrated in the hands of a few at the major newspapers or magazines.
With all the great writing, photos, design and layout. Who needs food magazines? It is truly amazing to be able to almost instantaneously communicate with people all over the world who share the same interests.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Avatar said...

I've been reading since the beginning. Congrats on your 6 month milestone, and all the best! Here's to continued enjoyment of your culinary adventures.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Lonesome Hero said...

Thanks for reading and writing, everyone. I'm hoping the next six months provide as much inspiration.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Des Moines auto accident lawyer said...

What a great list. Thanks for all of the great foods and recommendations.

6:08 PM  

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