Showing posts with label best meal ever. Show all posts
Showing posts with label best meal ever. Show all posts

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What Was the Best Meal You Ever Ate?

Instead of one guest blogger, today a number of our friends are chiming in about memorable meals.

Courtesy of Lorna Barrett
Afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales hotel in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario, Canada.  It was perfect.  The food was perfect, the tea was hot, and the ambiance was sublime.  I can't wait to go back.

Tea sandwiches (cucumber and goat cheese (forgot which kind), salmon sandwiches, egg salad, and ham with mango chutney).  The BEST scones in the world.  The raisins had been soaked in jasmine tea.  And incredible chocolate desserts and tarts.  Yum!

Hands down, the best meal ever was at a company Christmas party. This wasn't any old Christmas party; this particular party was held at my husband's (former) employer's home. This gentleman happened to be good
friends with one of the top chefs in the area and the chef came to the house and cooked the best food I've ever eaten in my life. We ate on china and drank out of wine glasses he brought in, and were served by waitstaff handpicked for the occasion. An amazing meal.

Restaurant Jean-Georges at 1 Central Park West, New York City. Unbelievably delicious!

I’ve bitten off my share of the Big Apple, enjoyed amazing meals in Paris, Rome, London, New Orleans, and San Francisco, but none of the noshes I’ve nibbled have compared to my late aunt Mary’s Thanksgiving dinner. Born in Italy, she brought her love of food to America, along with her giant bread board and fluted pastry wheel, and every November, she helped us all celebrate out blessings by serving foods from both lands. Mary’s incomparable Italian wedding zuppa with homemade mini-meatballs; her hand-rolled gnocchi; and her fragrant stuffing with Italian chestnuts joined a thirty-five pound turkey and it’s more familiar trimmings of mashed potatoes, gravy, and buttered green beans to make a meal I long to enjoy again. I can recreate these dishes, but they will never be quite the same as when my beloved aunt made them with her own two hands. As far as restaurant meals go, I've enjoyed so many that it's nearly impossible to narrow the field. Among the most memorable, however, was a dinner I savored one spring in Anchorage, Alaska, when Simon and Seafort’s kitchen served me the best dang salmon I ever tasted.

Always the best meal ever was at my grandmother's house on Christmas and I still serve it today to my family.  It's roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and string beans (sliced then by the end of a potato peeler) cooked in salt/butter water.  Apple pie with ice cream or icebox sugar cookies for dessert.  Granted, I have to make everything gluten-free for me now, but I still serve the family "the meal" and everyone looks forward to it.  Yum.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

There have been so to choose?  I think I'd have to nominate my first dinner in Paris:  boeuf bourgignon, followed by tarte Tatin for dessert, in a small bistro on the Left Bank (no, I'm not making this up).  I was a very conservative eater until my early twenties, and French food changed all that, fast.

I knew my palate had finally grown up when I found myself enjoying a country pate with whole-grain mustard and cornichons--and I had refused to eat liver, mustard or pickles at all up until then.

Gorgonzola stuffed gnocchi in a hole in the wall restaurant in Florence, Italy with tiramisu and espresso for dessert. Oh, and the carafe of house wine (red) that went with was delightful, too. Sigh...Jenn

I don't think I've ever had a bad meal in Paris. But I couldn't possibly narrow it down to ONE best meal, no matter if it's in the US, Europe, or wherever I've been. I've been fortunate over the years to travel widely and enjoy it and have dined well so many times I've lost count. Calories be damned. :)

Some of the best meals I've ever eaten, I cooked. (My grandfather was a chef and my grandmother was a baker). Because of my health problems, I don't cook much anymore but a few of my faves are the Chicken Fricasse (sp?) from McCall's Cooking School made with cream and topped with herbed biscuits (McCall's Cooking School is 3 huge 3 ring binders of  recipes I collected back in the 70s. I am missing some of them as it was one of those "recipes of the month deals" and I quit collecting too early--grrr). I also have the family recipe for Sauerbraten, red cabbage and German potato salad, finished off with strudel. These recipes were handed down from my grandfather (born in Germany). We often have it on Christmas as it a pretty labor intensive meal and I can get some help in the "German" kitchen from my grown kids. That's probably my favorite.

Now it's your turn!  What was the best meal you ever had and where was it?