I know this is tough. We have all had wonderful food. Maybe we have made it ourselves? Then there are two or more that are thisclose. But if you had a gun to your head, what was the very best?
Sea food platter in France when I was a kid. Literally three or four platters stacked on top of each other that you could spin. I can’t remember everything we ate, but there was more than one variety of snail.
For me it was a surprise dish at my favorite NY restaurant. Lupa, Mario Batali’s place in the Village. I have never had a bad meal there. Fried baccala. Gnocchi. Wagyu beef carpaccio. All amazing.
One day my brother and I went there and the waiter recommended the Duck Agrodolce. I hadn’t eaten duck outside of a Chinese restaurant and so was not sure. My brother ordered the gnocchi. A solid choice. But I went for the duck. It was duck and sauteed pears in a sweet and sour sauce.
It was so amazing that after the first bite I had to rest for a bit. My brother asked for a taste. I did not want to give him any. But I did.
He said, damn. I should have gotten that. I could see in his face that the wonderful gnocchi on his plate would now taste of ashes and tears.
I literally licked the plate when I was done. Damn do I miss that place.
I go to Lupa all the time. Best veal saltimbocca in the world.
My clear favorite is the fusilli with bone marrow and octopus at Marea.
Bar none. I see that you are a gentleman of taste. I raise a glass to you, my friend.
The best food I ever ate was having coffee with my grandma and dunking buttered toast in it when I was between 5 - 9. She had these little itsy bitsy coffee cups that the grandkids could use. We would have it together early in the summer morning in Brooklyn. The subway would pass behind the house and we would shake a bit as we ate. It was the best.
This little porcelain saucer my grandma had. So delicate, yet al dente.
I can’t decide and that’s my final answer!
Frogs legs? I’ve had them too, they’re great!
(Really, I can’t remember how they tasted. They probably tasted mostly like whatever butter and herbs they were cooked in. The same with snails. I do remember biting off the tiny leg muscles though.)
I’ve been fortunate to have eaten some really wonderful food, I don’t know that I could choose one thing. My wife and I made a trip to Italy back in 2010, and I remember this wonderful pasta dish I had in a restaurant in Siena. It wasn’t really anything fancy, I believe just a pasta dish with boar meat but it had this wonderful sauce. I’ve never really had its like before, and I still think about it.
There was a nice place over in Kirkland that made a really great cioppino dish, I don’t think it’s around anymore. I still get cioppino when I go out (when I used to go out) but it’s never been quite as good.
Also, I used to go back to Louisiana once a year to see my family in late spring, when the crawfish were in season and we’d just boil up a couple bags full. Throw in whatever you got, you got a stew baby! It was such fun, I hope we get to do it again someday soon.
And that also reminds me, if I ever managed to get straight A’s my mom would take me to Red Lobster and let me order a whole lobster. Yeah I know, Red Lobster right? But I felt like a king eating that, quite a treat for me.
All this thread has done is made me realise my memory is shot.
Same here Krayzkrok!
It also reminds me just how setting dependent food is. I can remember having a fabulous stew in Belgium but I suspect it was the setting, the people, and the great beer that made it perfect. Tasting it again by itself would, I’m sure, be great but not the same.
That’s true, setting and context makes a huge difference, as the home-made burgers shared with friends after a hard day’s work will attest. I think the last dish I had that made me say “holy shit this is good” was this incredible chargrilled lamb dish I had at a place called Amano in Auckland last year. Dear god, it was amazing, but not being able to share it with someone detracted from the experience (although I did send my wife several photos documenting the eating process, which I am not entirely sure she appreciated!).
It was a dessert: Prunes with anise whipped cream, at the Chez Panisse cafe in Berkeley, some time in 1980.
We do like our fancy foods and looking for nice places to eat.
But in the end it was an steak (chuletón).
The article does describe the experience better than I could.
That place is amazing. The next year after we went there we were on holidays around that region with some American friends. That year we were tighter on budget, so we let out friends go to Arzak (three Michelin star restaurant. The Vasque country has amazing food all around and many super high quality restaurants) on their own and they loved the experience (they also enjoy food a lot). But two days later we went again for chuletón at Casa Julian and to this day they keep talking of it as the most amazing thing they ever had.
I’m not even a meat person normally, but that one is special. I’ve been there several times. The best one was just after a half-marathon on somewhat hilly terrain. It felt rewarding in so many ways…
This summer I’m sad I don’t get a lot of vacation time and thus can’t go there (also, the place is small and packed, so probably not open yet due to COVID).
There’s a few London places that do 60-70 day aged steaks from Spanish dairy cows. Bloody expensive though.
A single dish thats the most technically accomplished and delicious is probably impossible to pick out from my experiences of multiple meals from Blumenthal, McHale, Bosi, Knappett, Waring, Robuchon, Aikens, Ducasse, Beck, Ramsey, Jonsson et al. I could probably list about 10 that would make a perfect tasting menu.
The winner is more likely to be something focusing on memories and nostalgia and would probably going to be one of my mums Christmas lunches, or perhaps being taken for a birthday meal menu gastronomique at our favourite place in Benodet during our childhood beach holidays in Brittany, or a first experience of A5 Wagyu and Teppanyaki at the Suntory at the Goodwood in Sinagpore in the 80s.
Mine might be a steak as well - a chateaubriand from Hawksmoor with their bone marrow gravy.
Failing that, I absolutely love a good Jerusalem artichoke soup. The best one I ever had was at a Michelin starred restaurant in southern France, but my mum’s is about 90% as good. I make it pretty often myself but I can’t get it that good.
Honourable mentions to:
The samphire pakoras at Kricket
Prawn balls in (tissue-like) rice paper wrapping at my my family’s favouite Chinese restaurant when I was growing up. Never found anything quite like them elsewhere.
Silver cod at Hakkasan
That sounds amazing.
It is. Incredibly rich and unctuous. I’ve made it myself using their recipe book, and it’s good, but it’s not the same.
I was stuck in Buffalo NY for school without a car. A cousin brought me a duck from Canada. I cooked some rice and had a feast. It wasn’t as if I was starving there, but the cafeteria food and endless snow was depressing.
Probably had better meals before. It would have to be sometime when I had been hungry for a long time, and finally got to sit down and have some food. It honestly doesn’t matter how expensive a dish is. I know that’s the intent of the thread, but I can’t think of anything.