Recently I shared with some new people that I have a food blog. Of course, they asked where I had eaten some of my favorite meals.
Immediately my brain froze and I couldn’t remember anyplace. I don’t eat out as much as most people think and many of the places where I enjoyed some of my best meals were from many years ago.
Restaurants open and close quick as lightening. Some places that I would mention are no longer open and I want to share restaurants that people can visit now.
The plan is to eat out more often and start a list on this blog of some of my favorite places. It will be a living list that will change over time. This way, the next time someone asks me for a recommendation, I can hopefully remember easier or at the very least, direct them to the list on this blog.
Since I don’t have the list now, I’m sharing some favorite meals of other people. Over the last three years, for the You Pick Six interview series, I’ve interviewed over twenty people about their personal relationship with food and eating. Some meals were at restaurants. Others were not. Many were overseas. Some were in the Boston area.
If you, like me, are always interested in different places to eat and others food experiences, here are 7 favorite meals from 7 different people.
+ + +
Tiny, just-dug, hot potatoes sprinkled with kosher salt eaten from a plastic sandwich bag; a hard-boiled egg (undoubtedly laid that day), also with kosher salt; and sweet coffee eaten in a small, Ecuadorian mountain village at sunrise. Why was it the best? I was hungry. I was happy. It was a moment of purity.
That’s tough. I believe that every restaurant experience or every meal you make at home is different depending on your mood and other factors. My most recent favorite meal was at a small restaurant in Genoa, Italy.
After a day of sightseeing, my boyfriend and I had a drink at a local bar and asked the bartender where to have a good dinner. Instead of just giving us his answer, he asked the rest of the bar patrons and the kitchen staff what they thought and they all agreed that we should go to Locanda Spinola, a new restaurant nearby. Long story short, it was amazing. Homemade pastas, simply prepared fresh seafood and local wine. The service was so hospitable and warm! My boyfriend and I stayed after our dinner (and after the restaurant closed) drinking beer with the staff and talking about restaurants in the U.S. and Italy. It was wonderful.
When I went to summer camp as a kid, I clear as day, remember the counselor going around the fire pit and asking us, “if we could eat at any restaurant in the world, where and what would it be?” All the other kids answered McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc. I yelled out “the restaurant on top of the Eiffel Tower!” Everyone just looked at me, but truth be told, my favorite movie at the time was Superman II and there was scene at the then restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Anyway, fast forward to three years ago and I finally achieved dining at my dream restaurant and a result the BEST MEAL I ever had! My friend and I dined at Alain Ducasse, Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. I’m not sure I have ever or will ever have a better meal!
Whenever my cousin comes to Boston for work, he’ll typically spoil me with a really nice dinner. One of the best ones was at a sushi restaurant called Oishii in the South End where we had so many amazing dishes from squid ink pasta to different preparations of uni. So good.
I eat out constantly in Boston doing research for my travel books and I have had some amazing meals along the way. But my most memorable meal was 10 years ago in Tuscany. My husband and I, along with our three sons, our daughter and my parents toured the Castello di Brolio vineyard. Afterwards we had the tasting menu at the vineyard’s small restaurant. I don’t remember exactly what I had for each course, but it was an authentic Italian meal outside on a perfect summer day in a magnificent setting and with all the people I love.
My Aunt Debbie’s house. It doesn’t matter if she’s making keftedes (Greek meatballs) or homemade phyllo. I have never left her table without thinking that is the best meal I’ve ever had.
Ahh, there have been so many! And actually I’ve realized that when I pay attention and become really present with the food I’m eating and the situation I’m in, even the simplest sandwich in the park with my son can be memorable and nourishing on many levels.
But there is one meal in Bali over 20 years ago when I backpacked through Asia with a friend that remains like Technicolor in my mind. It was chicken satay, eaten at sunset on a beach, with a man playing “Blowing in the wind” on a guitar nearby. The colors, smells, sounds and feel of the air were amazing and distinctive. I remember telling myself to take everything in, moment by moment by moment, because I probably would not be back! So I drank it all in through my senses and wrote a permanent record in my memory.