Archive for December, 2007

Perfect Meal for 2007

Rather than compile a simple list, I’ll post a hypothetical perfect meal where the confines of time, distance, and narrative play no part in compiling the list of 2007′s best dishes. This is an attempted menu, not a preferential ordering; if pressed, I’d have a very hard time ranking them. The long list is also a testament to a great year in dining.

The pastiche of chefs and dishes represented here would render an actual meal schizophrenic – from high concept to base ingredients, a jerky back and forth – but try to imagine eating this wonderful meal on its own terms – a collection of wonderful dishes.

The restaurant names are linked to the original reviews of the meals. I’ve left the original descriptions intact.

If you have a blog, post your “perfect meal” for 2007, link to this blog, and I will link to them below:
1 – CountryEpicure has posted a great looking meal
2 – very good food has posted her favorite meals of the year
3 – Ulterior Epicure has an impressively long list of favorites.

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Manresa (Los Gatos, CA) – The Spoils of Winter

Winter might be associated with depression and death, but it might arguably be the perfect time to enjoy dinner at Manresa. For, in the winter, the restaurant’s predilections converge – seafood, vegetables, and citrus. Dishes incorporate each of these elements seasonally throughout the year but you can enjoy them together in the winter.

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Nantucket scallops, exotic citrus, blossoms with caviar
Nantucket scallops, exotic citrus, blossoms with caviar

While wintertime might seem at odds with the restaurant’s commitment to their garden, Love Apple Farm, roots are firmly in season – parsnip, carrots, sunchokes, beets, and more are regularly available at the farmer’s markets. Citrus is just coming into season – and Chef Kinch possibly has access to more varieties of citrus than most chefs in the world. But isn’t fish always in season? In today’s nothing-is-more-than-a-flight-away world, it is, but the winter brings cold water. The fish, like other animals, fatten up; and it’s the fat that makes them tastier. 1

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The Meals of Others

With this entry, The Meals of Others will become a semi-regular topic with its own category. In this day and age of walled-garden food blogs (re: those that do not link out), I’m happy to showcase other wonderful meals people around the world are eating. The meals, and restaurants, linked to will naturally be those I would like to eat myself. Since I can’t eat everywhere all of the time, it will help spread the word of great restaurants (and great blogs too.)

What recent meals look great?
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Go’s Mart (Canoga Park, CA) – Secret Suburbia Sushi

El Camino Real, stretching across Silicon Valley, is a seemingly endless road that connects one anonymous town to another; with identical strip malls, chain restaurants, and traffic lights every block. But Sherman’s Way, the road to Go’s Mart in Canoga Park, is the same international pastiche of stores and businesses, accelerated 20 years. It’s the horror portrayed in Blade Runner, Snow Crash, and Neuromancer – a future more Brave New World than 1984 – where consumerism runs rampant. Every block advertises tacos, thai, chinese, and sushi – how is anyone to know the wonders that lie behind the back-lit “Sushi” sign at 22330 C-12 Sherman Way?

Go's Mart (Canoga Park) - Shrimp sushi with white truffle
Shrimp sushi with Uni and white truffle

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