Well. In looking back at all of the meals I’ve had in 2009, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly lucky. And a little bit full. But seriously. I ate amazing meals in two country this year (Hong Kong and the U.S.), and within the U.S., I ate in tons of cities including San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City, Sonoma, Sacramento, Bodega Bay and Pebble Beach.
There were last meals at some favorite restaurants and first meals at some new restaurants. There were lots of old favorites and some old solid stand bys. Many meals at NOPA, Nopalito, Beretta, A16, SPQR, Fish & Farm, OTD Bush Street, Poleng Lounge, midi, Frances, Quince (old and new, thank you very much), Starbelly, Maverick, and Humphy Slocombe (yes, I consider those delicious ice cream cones a meal!)…
And then a delicious meal at Canteen with a dear new friend, seven courses of beef in the Tenderloin, an amazing warm summer night dinner at Park Chalet, and a fun fun FUN meal at El Dorado Kitchen.
Meals in my old SF neighborhood: Rex Café, Pesce, ZA Pizza, Café Meuse, U-Lee, Nick’s Crispy Tacos, Okozu, Polkers…
Meals in my new SF neighborhood: Beretta, Bar Tartine, Range, Monk’s Kettle, Contigo, Incanto…
And of course, some of the best meals were meals had at home! Dad’s home, my home, Tatiana’s many feasts, crabs in Defne’s new home, Sabine and Rohit’s house, many meals at Chad and Grace’s house-especially while Chad was in between gigs, my Michelle’s houses—my sister, Huie and Mah, Jen and Troy’s house, and lots and lots and LOTS of meals at Sarah and Evan’s house. To all of my friends and family that fed me—THANK YOU!
I had great meals in Miami at Sra. Martinez, Area 31, and at my dear friend Jorge’s house. Great meals in Washington, D.C. at Oyamel, Urbana, Tabard Inn, Proof, Circa, and then drinks at Marvin and The Gibson (again, yes, it counts as a meal!)
There were beautiful weddings were we of course indulged in delicious food—Mark and Serene, Nancy and Greg, and Bahram and Kristin.
Special events/meals including the Share Our Strength SF Gala dinner, Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, Cochon555 and the SF. Chefs. Food. Wine Event.
And New York meals…who could forget the many many MANY New York meals? Blue Ribbon Sushi, Momofuku Saam, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Milk Bar, Boqueria, Harrison, 10 Downing, and The Breslin. There was also the brunch at Spotted Pig where I truly learned the meaning of “it’s a small world.” I can’t forget about my NY liquid dinners—Bobo, Jane Ballroom, Randolph, Whiskey Ward, PDT, Pegu Club, Employees Only and Summit Bar.
There were also some awesome Brooklyn eats: Prime Meats, Diner, Clover Club, Char No 4 and Marlowe and Sons.
If I had to pick my Top 10 Meals of 2009? Oy vey. Not a particularly easy task…but nevertheless. Amongst the many amazing experiences and meals, here are some of my favorites (in chronological order…)
1. One of my last meals in Hong Kong at the very start of 2009 at Tai Woo in Kowloon. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
2. The special pre-opening meal at midi restaurant in San Francisco with my friend Michelle...it reminded me of why I love the restaurant industry so much. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
3. My 30th birthday weekend in Sonoma—so many delicious meals over the weekend, but especially my birthday dinner prepared by my dear friend Wendy. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
4. Pebble Beach Food & Wine weekend! From a special meal at Peppoli restaurant to the L.A. Michelin stars dinner…it was an amazing weekend, in a beautiful setting and with some good friends. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
5. My Chinese French Laundry experience at Jai Yun restaurant with good friends, both old and new. That meal completely changed the way I think about Chinese food. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
6. My Last Supper at Postrio. Delicious. Sad. Happy. Sentimental. Anger. I had so many feelings that night. But at the end of it all? I realized I was one of the lucky ones--I had been part of something special. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
7. My dear friend Bahram’s wedding—which was not just a one night affair. It included a whole four days of festivities, fun and good food. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)
8. The many, MANY meals at Incanto…from taking two good friends, Seis and Lisa, to Cucina Poverna with good friends on a warm Sunday night, to a last minute Girl’s Night at the Incanto bar, to taking pals Defne and Joe there, to sharing the Leg of the Beast meal with a special 13 year old. I am never disappointed, I always love taking friends in to experience all that Chef Chris and his team have up their sleeves. (Read about that meal here in this old post, and here and here and here.)
9. My TWO Thanksgiving dinners. Because one just isn't enough. And I'm surrounded by people that love me (and good food.) (Read about both of those meals here in this old post.)
10. My TWO Christmas dinners. You can't have just one Christmas dinner after having two Thanksgiving dinners. (Read about both of those meals here in this old post.)
Ok. So that’s maybe a few more than ten meals. But hey, how is a girl suppose to choose from all of those amazing meals? 2010 is already starting off with a bang, and I know it’s going to be just as hard at the end of this year to choose ten amazing meals. But hey, I think I’m ok with that. I’m up for the challenge. In the meantime, thank you to everyone for sharing so many wonderful meals with me. Here’s to many more amazing meals in the new year!!