Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Restaurants of 2008

I'm one lucky guy.

Sometimes I get to join my wife (CGG) when she travels.

We had the "Best Meal Ever" at Tru in Chicago when she was there last January on business.

Since it's January, it must mean she'll need to go back to Chicago on business...

The reservation is all set for Alinea. Friday night next week.

When we went to Tru we were truly blown away. We've had some rather extraordinary meals before, but nothing like this. I think it was really the service that set the experience over the top for us. A small upholstered box for her purse, synchronized water pouring, all diners being served at one time. And I do not mean a server with multiple plates up their arm, placing one and moving to the next... I mean four servers walking out with plates and all at once with flourish; everyone is served. Voila!

Impressive indeed.

We went on a three week trip to Europe recently. We wrote about it in our other blog which has now vanished in a puff of logic. We are trying to recover what we can from Journalspace and will be posting our trip here when we do.

Nonetheless, from my waning memory I can tell you that 2008 was our best restaurant year yet!

On New Year's Eve we dined at Cosmos at the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis.
Then we dined at Tru in Chicago.

Then the James Beard Best Chef Midwest 2008 nominees were announced.

We ate at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis.
We ate at 112 Eatery in Minneapolis.
We ate at Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis.
We drove to Kansas City in order to eat at Bluestem.
(And then, the next day for lunch at Arthur Bryant's)
We visited friends in order to eat at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee.

We finished the JB '08 Finalists just before the winner was announced.
(Congratulations to Adam Seigel of Lake Park Bistro and yes, it was fabulous!)

We ate at Osteria in Philadelphia.
We ate at Incanto in San Francisco.
We ate at the River Cafe in London.
We ate at Tour d' Argent in Paris. (Duck No. 1,073,116)
I ate the best Hot Dog I ever had in Paris.
We ate at Quatre Gats in Barcelona.  (Get the Fideoa!)
We ate at Set Portes in Barcelona.
We ate at Ponterossa in Bologna.
Then we discovered the Carpaccio at Saffron upon our return to the Twin Cities.

And soon we will go back again to our favorite neighborhood bistros Levain and Corner Table.

2008 was a very good year indeed!


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