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Your most Memorable (good!) Dining Experience - Page 2

post #31 of 46
I dont have one specific time but i have to say that my 6 mothes in thailand that i return from 6days ago is the best food experions i've hade i love the street food in thailand especially North Thailand.

Pad Grapoa Gai is so good. Minced chicken with thai basil, chillis. VERY SPICY.

And then my absolut favourit that i dont know the name of.
Boiled pork lims and intestines served with steamd rice and boiled eggs and the stock from the meat.
slight sweet flavour.
post #32 of 46
We were visiting Manila, Philippines and went to a restaurant by the sea called Wiener Vas (??) and tasted the most beautiful steak I ever have in my entire life so far...!! That was years ago now and I can still remember how it tasted.
Bill and Izzie: Proud parents of a soldier.
Looking back on all the mistakes I've made in my life, all I can say is I've gotten a lot of miles out of stupid.
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Bill and Izzie: Proud parents of a soldier.
Looking back on all the mistakes I've made in my life, all I can say is I've gotten a lot of miles out of stupid.
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post #33 of 46
Thread Starter 
The meal and the atmosphere make the memory :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #34 of 46
This is so true for me. My favorite and most memorable dining experience was not a fantastic culinary treat at all. My husband and I decided to tour the small southern towns surrounding our home-town (orlando), looking for the kind of small-town experience you hear about from your grandparents. We stumbled upon a cute little town called Deland, and ended up eating at what appeared to be the only sit-down restaurant in town called the Holiday House.

It wasn't long before we figured out why it was named that. The food was straight up, grandma's christmas dinner style. Slightly overcooked lamb with bright green mint jelly, ham, turkey and gravy, etc. Forget the arugula and candied pecans, the salad bar was cold pastas, jellos and such. The waitress, who had been there twenty years, took the time to tell us unprompted about the history of the restaurant, about the owners who wanted a place for families to gather and feel like every day was a holiday worth getting together. She told us about the portraits on the walls, all of which had been painted by the grandmotherly owner and featured her own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

I'm not going to say that the food was good. At least, it wasn't my kind of food. But at the same time, I think great food often transports you to a different place or time (like a rustic seafood pasta transports you to southern italy). This food definitely did that. And I will say that the desserts were amazing. We had carrot cake and cobbler and you could just taste that these traditional recipes had been passed down as family and church favorites through the years. My husband said that he half-expected his own grandmother to burst out from the kitchen in an apron.

My husband and I have had wonderful food throughout the americas and europe, but this tiny little restaurant in the middle of a small town is still the dining experience I remember most fondly.
post #35 of 46

Gordon Ramsay

I have had some great dining experiences living in NYC but the one that takes the cake was dining at Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant in midtown. It was my husband's birthday and he wanted to go because we're huge fans of his BBC shows. I was a little nervous because I once was a fan of Bobby Flays, but it turned out his restaurant was disappointing. I didn't want the same thing to happen after Maze but I gave it a try anyway.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about at all. I have tremendous respect for chef Ramsay and the dining experience we had was outstanding. The service was impeccable! There was never any need to try to get someone's attention, they had someone standing at the end of the dining room who's job was to only watch the diners and be available for their needs.

The food was out of this world. We ordered the tasting menu which was comprised of 6 small dishes, most of which I didn't think I would like at all. The first dish was a beet salad and it was my favorite dish, regardless of the fact that I had never liked beets before. Then came my favorite - seared scallops with curry powder on a bed of pureed cauliflower and streaks of raisin puree. Next came my favorite kind of risotto - mushroom and it was perfectly cooked and seasoned. My husband enjoyed a lamb chop with mashed potatoes while I had a duo of beef. One was a filet of brandt beef and the other was a braised short rib wrapped in smoked cow's tongue. Divine! The next 2 courses were dessert and very good.

I was also happy to see that the maitre d' was the same from Kitchen Nightmares, the frenchman he brings into the show from time to time. If anyone has an opportunity to visit one of Gordon Ramsay's many restaurants please do so, you will not be disappointed.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #36 of 46
We were in Costa Rica, and took a boat to a small secluded island that turned out to be not so secluded. Before most of the tourists showed up, we were basically alone on the beach. One of the exceptions was an old shirtless man sitting on a log near the tree line. He had taped up glasses, about half of his teeth, brown leathery skin, rough hands with tobacco stained finger tips, and a big knife in his hand. There was a Javelina (small wild pig type critter) laying in the sand near him, and a pile of oyster and scallop shells at his feet. On the log, there were unopened oysters stacked up, a couple of limes, a bottle of hot sauce, and half an onion. I immediately tried to strike up a conversation with him in broken spanish. We managed to communicate enough for me to find out that he was there to sell fresh oysters, and that they were 500 Colones (1.00) apiece.

We parked our gear close to him, and started purchasing oysters. He did everything with that big knife, and never seemed to struggle. He would open 2-3 oysters, and set them aside. Then he would pick up the onion, and lightly but very quickly bounce the knife off of the cut side of the onion, creating a very uniform crosshatch pattern. A very thin across the top yielded the finest diced onion that I have seen. After putting a little on each oyster, he would give it a squeeze of lime juice, and a shot of hot sauce.

We ate every one that he had, chasing them with ice cold Imperial beer. He walked to a small boat on the beach, and went to dive for more. When he came back he had a few scallops mixed in with the sack of oysters, and we enjoyed those as well. It was the finest lunch I have ever eaten.
Never trust a skinny cook
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Never trust a skinny cook
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post #37 of 46

Most memorable dining experience

You'll not believe it : Coming back from India, our flight was overbooked and we had to buy ourselves a return ticket (later refunded) and there was only an Air France 1st class. We had what I felt (after India) the most memorable dinner ever, with a bottle of Mercurey (Burgundy), Champagne at aperitif and everything... Can't remember what we ate but it was gorgeous...
post #38 of 46

Brought to Tears

My daughter, an aspiring chef, accompanied us on vacation to Colorado just a few short weeks ago.

We were recommended this restaurant called the Caspian Cafe in Colorado Springs where they have live belly dancers that round the tables much like mariachi bands in Mexico. We fell in love with the whole place, owner, staff, food, and of course, the ambience.

This was our third meal there in 4 days. (we always arrived too late to see the dancers).

The meal, fabulous as always, was followed up by expresso and this beautifully adorned creme caramel. My daughter had the first bite. She froze with a look on her face that I have never seen. She put down her spoon and just sat there as her eyes welled up. I wasn't sure what was going on until she swallowed and smiled.

This dessert was so amazing that it made her well in appreciation of what the chef had accomplished. A dessert so good, it made you cry.

My husband and I shared it with her, and I must say, it WAS one of the most amazing desserts I have ever tasted. Mouthfeel, balance of flavors, presentation, temperature, all perfect. Silky velvet, rich, firm, right amount of sweet. Exquisite.

It was a saffron/orange creme caramel (some of you may know as flan).

This dessert rivaled a hazel nut nougat ice-cream I had at Everest in Chicago some time ago, one of my personal favorites. But that is another story.
post #39 of 46
A great thread revived!
post #40 of 46

Restaurant in DC

Ray's The Steaks in DC = awesome.
post #41 of 46

Jamesons

This one's easy - September 2001 I had won a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands and since the trip was to begin three days after our anniversary we decided to go early and celebrate on Oahu. We spent the day at several beaches on the North shore and then went to Jamesons for dinner.

Supposedly the sunset on the North shore is the most beautiful in the world. I don't know if that's true or not but I can tell you the food was very good, the company the best, and the sunset spectacular. Just as the sun was touching the horizon everyone in the restaurant got up and went outside with their cameras and started taking pictures. Very cool.

Aloha,

Willie
post #42 of 46
My two year anniversary with my first love. He took me to the fanciest (and tastiest) sushi restaurant in Austin.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #43 of 46
I have 3 that I can tell you start to finish and these are in no particular order.

1. Le Bic Fin, stellar service and 3 years later I can tell you everything I ate and how all of it tasted.

2. Nobu in Vegas, ate at the food bar with my former boss who is Japanese and never ordered a thing. He spoke and I ate. 3 hours later I was a very happy man. I ate things I would have never even tried and am a better person for it.

3. The Towne Tavern, first date I had with my fiance. Lasted 8 hours and was lunch and dinner in a smoke filled bar with THE BEST sandwiches I have ever had. Still go on a regular basis and they have the best chicken salad sandwich I have ever eaten.

4. Best pulled pork I have ever had and I have eaten a lot of it, was at a place in Chattanooga, Tn. Porkers, get it on a baked potato or the Male Chauvanist Pig. Outstanding place with really good sweet tea as well
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #44 of 46
First off, one that got away, so to speak. We were up in the Seattle area for a Triumph convention maybe 12 - 15 years ago. The official banquets at such events leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality food. So a bunch of us were out driving around taking in the sights. We were out on Whidbey Island, I think that is how it is spelled, and were starting to get hungry. We rounded a curve in the highway and saw this decrepit, tar paper shack type of place that had a weathered old 'Seafood' sign barely hanging from the front of the place. With some trepidation we parked in the rough gravel lot and ventured in.

Wow. Not at all what we expected from the appearence. The next available seating they had for a party of 8 was in like 7 weeks. Turns out that at the time it was one of the premier seafood restaurants in the area, booked solid for months. They didn't do walk ins. Oh well. I think we ended up at a Pizza Hut or some such. Sigh.

Eating fish did turn out very well one night, though. I was in Pasadena visiting my little sister and her two kids, some sort of business trip. I offered to take them out to dinner, she suggested this sushi place she knew.

Again, outside appearence can be tricky. We ended up at this place in a strip mall between a beauty parlor and a bail bond place. Uh, nice, I thought. And it was. I have yet to this day had any fresher, more flavorful tuna. It was a small, very clean and elegant place run by an elderly Japanese couple. They were very nice, feeding the kids some 'krab' salad with a smile, my sister and I shared the aforementioned awesome tuna roll. I think I ordered some sort of salmon roll, again amazingly good. The next few rolls I didn't actually order, it was a 'trust me' situation. I wish I could remember exactly what was in them, they were SO good. It might have been eel in one, deep fried squid or octopus in another, I can't recall.

What sticks in my mind is that he presented me with the best of his craft with obvious enthusiasm and pride in his work. And when he scooped up some of the mundane 'krab' salad to make a roll for the kids it was with the same obvious pride and enthusiasm for his work. Oh, he did make me a roll with some real crab, now that I think about it. I ate a lot of sushi and spent a lot of money that night. Well, Hewlett-Packard eventually covered it, no sweat. It was a business expense, honest!

The attitude of that couple running the place was just amazing, it made the night. One of the best experiences I've ever had of someone else fixing my food.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #45 of 46
eating leftover fried rice on a boat in Sydney harbor staring at the Opera House. I guess it had nothing to do with the food but it did taste good!
Source for the best butchers block.
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Source for the best butchers block.
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post #46 of 46
Focusing solely on food (but granted good atmosphere, company, and such):

1. Roan Kikunoi, Kyoto, chef Murata Yoshihiro, lunch
Why? Not only was everything totally spectacular, but we went in wondering if in fact the whole kaiseki thing was a bunch of pretentious nonsense, which is what it looks like if you read about it. Instead, we spent two hours eating unbelievable food and having Chef Murata chat, crack jokes, and entertain us -- and see us out at the door when we left. We came out thinking, "why have we never had this sort of dining experience ever before?" It was also my birthday, the kids were in school and dealt with, and that was the first time we'd had a chance to eat a really great lunch while in Japan... which helped, but the restaurant really is spectacular.

2. Kichisen, Kyoto, chef Tanigawa Yoshimi, dinner
Our first real kaiseki dinner, wife's birthday. Tanigawa did almost 100% of the service, chatted, entertained, explained, helped in every way, the ultimately gracious host. Every dish was exquisite, the linkages between courses stunning. Why is this not #1? Because we already knew it would be that good -- with #1, we really thought we might be blowing a wad of cash on something we'd end up chalking to experience.

3. Blue Ginger, Wellesley MA, chef Ming Tsai
I've eaten at better US fine dining restaurants, frankly, but the company has been almost invariably horrible. I love that Ming Tsai does interesting, complicated things and doesn't make a bit pretentious fuss about it. I also love that he's in the restaurant, saying hello at tables, using his celebrity status to make people have an even better time, rather than figuring he's above it all or whatever. The combination of kimchi and mayonnaise (kimchi aioli, he called it) with hanger steak was beautifully executed, and I still remember precisely how it tasted and felt in the mouth. Lord knows what I was supposed to drink with it -- it shredded the wine! -- but it was lovely food.

4. Oishii Sushi Bar, Chestnut Hill MA
Ate with a Japanese pal from Tokyo who'd been suffering for three years in Texas behind mounds of meat which he hates. He didn't want to eat Japanese food, but was polite about it. I made him order, so he picked a lot of things that seemed either so familiar and friendly that he couldn't pass them up or so peculiar (without being just bizarre, like Philadelphia Maki) that he couldn't resist. So we had a sort of back-and-forth between classic nigiri-zushi and things like uni-tempura. After the first three bits, my friend sighed and said, "that's very good fish." After that, we just sort of slowly munched along and ate and ate and ate. In the end, we didn't eat such a huge quantity, but every single bite was savored. Truly great: best sushi in America that I have eaten (no, I haven't eaten at Masa or the like).

5. Commander's Palace, New Orleans
Wife very pregnant with our first. We ate everything in sight, the service was excellent, and the food was the best we had in New Orleans --- and that's saying something. Not perhaps the best restaurant in New Orleans, and in some ways we did have better but chose the wrong dishes, but we had the best total experience here. The bread pudding souffle probably had something to do with it.
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