Sometimes, the inspiration for blog fodder comes in the form of, well... stealing. In this case, I'm stealing from Jen, who did this brilliant post about the 10 best things to pass her lips this year. I thought that recollecting all the delicious things I've eaten would be a nice way to close out what has been a pretty crappy year.
So, without further ado, I present my Top Ten Tastes of 2006, in (mostly) chronological order:
- Like Jen, I have to put the Buttermilk-soaked Fried Quail with Lemon Confit at Rubicon on the list. It was sublime enough that I have been back specifically to eat that one thing.
- Bacon-Wrapped Chorizo-Stuffed Dates at 4580 in Boulder. Before this meal, I would have sworn that I hate dates. Not only were these incredibly delicious in their own right, they actually opened my mind to an ingredient I previously shunned.
- Chanterelle Tagliatelle at Babbo was positively exquisite -- the first time I understood how pasta was supposed to taste and "bite". Phenomenally good, and one of my loveliest meals with C, ever.
- Then there's Alinea, which was definitely the meal of the year. For the rest of my days, I will never forget the perfectness of Pear: Curry Infused Cocoa Butter Orb with Pear Juice.
- On the dessert end of the table is the Smoked Yogurt that accompanied the bittersweet chocolate cake at Coi. I've heard it's no longer offered because it was too odd for most people, which is a shame and makes me fear losing Daniel Patterson to New York. That stuff was revelatory.
- If I ever taste O-toro like the pieces we were served at Pod, I will consider myself ready to... ready to... oh, come on, who am I kidding? I wouldn't stop eating sushi. But, I would be a damned lucky girl.
- My first (and second... and third) La Spada's Hoagie. 'Nuf said.
- Eating heavenly Festival Bread in Jamaica with hotter-than-sin jerk chicken and washing it all down with ice cold Red Stripe.
- You know how sometimes you listen to people go on and on about how great something is, and then when you finally try it, it's sort of a let-down because you've hyped it so much in your own head? Yea, that's not how it is with Pretzel Croissants from City Bakery.
- And finally, to take us back a full year, the Croquembouche I ordered from Citizen Cake for last year's New Year's Eve party. While it was delicious in its own right, what made it a top-10 contender is the friends I got to share it with.
Now, you may have noticed that there are no wines or spirits on this list; that's because they could make up a whole post on their own. But a couple quick memories include:
- My first sip of Oban, high above San Francisco on the top floor of the Hilton
- A taste of Water's Crest Nightwatch, a luscious eiswein-style offering from Long Island
- The first sniff of Qi (the Lapsang Souchong/Orange/Vanilla liqueur from Lance Winters, Brian Backus & John Scharffenberger) that nearly knocked me backwards with its potency
- A Hangar One Wasabi Vodka Bloody Mary -- perfection with a pickled green bean
- Brewing a pot of Vanilla Rooibos tea, and sharing with my mom
- A dinner with good friends, seeing their reaction to their first taste of a nicely aged Masi Amarone. ..the wonderment that wine could taste like this.
It has been a year of delicious food, and delicious drink. A year of merry-making, friend-making, sadness-making.
Yes, it has definitely been a year to remember.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you, with hopes and wishes for a phenomenal year ahead with joy, prosperity and many beautiful and delicious things.