Best Dishes and Memories, 2006

The food blogs and newspapers are full
of their “Best of 2006” lists, which to some extent is a writer’s cheap
way of saying “don’t you wish you were me” instead of putting actual
work into a fresh column. But after I thought about it for awhile, I
realized I had eaten some pretty special dishes this year, too. Some
were spectacularly delicious; others make the list because of the
memories they invoke:

  1. Michel Richard’s Begula pasta at Citronelle – Already a classic, I know, but it was the first time I’d had it
  2. Roasted marrow – and duck-fat fries (Blue Duck Tavern)
  3. Hangar Steak (Ray’s the Classics)
  4. Peruvian seafood stew (BlackSalt)
  5. Scottish langoustines (Maestro)
  6. Pan-roasted Sweetbreads (Restaurant Eve)
  7. Icelandic lamb (from Whole Foods, cooked at home, except for the one time I overcooked it)
  8. My mother-in-law’s jiaozi and congyoubing (scallion pancakes), rivaled only by those at A&J
  9. Pommes souflées at a smoky bistro near Les Halles in Paris
  10. Macarons au chocolat from Paul in Paris
  11. Pain de compagne from the little boulangerie next to the famous
    patisserie (Stohrer) in Paris, a couple blocks north of Forum des Halles
  12. The Crèpes   Nutella my 6-year-old daughter ate in Paris, for the sheer joy on her face and the way she wore it
  13. (In short, anything in France ….. )
  14. “Pud” with Taylor’s 20-year-old tawny port
  15. Almond tart, with Taylor’s 40-year-old tawny port, at Quinta de
    Vargellas in the Douro, by the pool, at midnight after treading grapes
    on the last day of harvest (but that’s another story …)

(Restaurants noted, unless otherwise obvious, are in the Washington,
DC, area. See the links at the left for my reviews in DC magazine.)

Comments welcome on your favorite dishes of the year.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

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