You knew this was coming, a slew of “best of” posts all over the internet. This is the question I am most curious about.
What was your favorite single dish out of everything you ate in 2009?
You can include a dish of any price range, any cuisine, any country, or even something you made yourself!
The thing that strikes me, is that, unlike years past, nothing is really jumping out in my mind. I’ll give it more thought, look back over old reviews and have my dining companions remind me but I’m drawing a bit of a blank here. I can think of some really good dishes – the lavender duck at Ten01 jumps to mind, as does the ravioli at Tabla, but I’m not quite sure about my favorite dish of the year.
How about you? Only one answer per person, so give it some thought.
Pepper Porkball soup @Ha&VL
Food Dude says
yeah, Mom&Pop Vietnamese “sandwich” shop on 82nd. I use ” “‘s because as they bill themselves as a Banh Mi shop, its the daily soup specials that are the real draw. One soup a day(two on Sundays), sold out by noon usually. Spectacular, and quite frankly, not that big of a secret anymore….
The crabflake soup at the aforementioned sandwich shop, available Thursdays only.
Was there with the family on Sunday morning. Had the yellow flat noodle shrimp soup. Not a better bowl of soup anywhere from any culture. The owners there are so nice and friendly. Feels like going to your grandparents house and have them dote of your kids.
Probably 5 or 6 of my top 20 food experiences of 2009 happened at HA&VL.
It’s so hard to choose just one!
Runners-up are the Seared Scallop with Romesco at Toro Bravo, Wasabi HarGao (steamed shrimp dumplings) in southern China, and a curried coconut seafood rice dish served au gratin in a whole coconut at a Vietnamese restaurant in China.
The winner would have to be Hunanese-style YuTou with SiFen and YuTou, a whole fish head (actually a good third of the fish), one side covered in chopped red chilies, the other with chopped yellow/green chilies, served over glass noodles with taro balls in a delicious and mysterious broth-like sauce. Fiery heaven.
The most memorable dish of the year and, interestingly enough, also the worst came in the middle of an elegant and indubitably expensive multi-course seafood banquet (Think four-star hotel, whole female crab with prized roe, prawns the size of bratwurst, orchids on plates, pickled vegetable sculptures.) was an odiferous pot of authentic ShaoXing Stinky Tofu. It lived up to its name and tasted, if possible, even worse than it smelled.
Deschutes Cuban sandwich simple sloppy unpretentious and I wish I had one now.
Jack Yoss says
Black truffle stuffed foie gras torchon coated in black truffle shavings from a street cart in Periguex. 2 euros.
Really?! only 2 euros?! time to go to france!!! I know the trip wont be that cheap but totally worth it… ill just eat foie and truffles the whole time!
Jack Yoss says
Whoops that must have been the box wine talking. They were twenty euros each and had a whole small black truffle inside. We got to taste those for free as well as any other we liked. The rest were 2 euro to 4 euro each and instead of truffle had a dried fruit paste on the outside. They all are about 4 ounces each which is a steal. Thanks for the link Dude.
Food Dude says
Every time I read another one of the highlights of your trip, I like you a little bit less.
Speaking of which, is everyone reading his blog? Christmas in Paris. Humph! http://yossislost.com/
Yoss must be destroyed…
Food Dude says
Get the torches!
My favorite “discovery” of the year is the yakisoba at Bamboo Sushi. Like many memorable dishes, this has a backstory: I was introduced to yakisoba in the 90’s at an Orange County chain of cheap ramen/soba lunch joints called Port Maru. The yakisoba there was almost dry, not at all saucy — well-seasoned stir fried wheat noodles served topped with chicken karaage and a mound of bright red slivered pickled ginger. No version I’ve had in the almost 20 years since then has lived up to that (my) standard, until I tried Bamboo’s this past year.
So many of the things I ate in 2009 at Laurelhurst Market could qualify as my favorite version of each dish, but I will abide by the rules of the survey and refrain from listing them….
Fennel Ice Cream with Rhubarb Tort–DOC.
Unimaginative, perhaps, but the fish sauce chicken wings at Pok Pok . . .
Food Dude says
Those are darn good
Comfort Foodie says
I 2nd that!
I’ve had some amazing meals this year. Finally made it to the French Laundry, Bouchon and several other Michelin rated restaurants. Have to admit that they didn’t disappoint but funny thing, the one meal that sticks out with me is the noodles at Du Kuh Bee. Simplicity and so satisfying. Or perhaps, whenever I’ve gone, I’ve had my beautiful girls with me.
Food Dude says
Beautiful girls could distort any food memory
Comfort Foodie says
Adobada ( marinated pork ) tacos at Tacos el Gordo in San Diego.
heirloom tomato salad and pork tenderloin at sel gris… yu-mmy!
Ben Waterhouse says
Pork cheeks at Beaker & Flask were by far my favorite single dish in Portland, but the steak tartare at Laurelhurst Market is a close second. But I really don’t think anything measured up to eating skewers of chicken hearts and garlic at a smoky second-story restaurant in a Tokyo suburb.
Taylor Davis says
Having a lovingly prepared meal of fresh picked porcini mushrooms cooked down with the owners olive oil and spread over bread in a thousand year old farm house at the base of Montepulciano
A dessert at Sel Gris, the name of which I cannot recall:
A baked nectarine with a huckleberry sauce and a tiny scoop of Hood strawberry sorbet. And a sprig of mint. Sort of like a peach melba, except totally different.
Grilled cheese sandwich and fries with a glass of champagne after 24 hours of labor. The Providence hospital cafeteria has never tasted so good.
Amazing how that works! For me it was a boca burger and fries at Meridian Park.
Jeff Shultz says
My sister sent me out for a McDonald’s #2 meal (two cheeseburgers, fries, coke) after her first child was born….
It was Popeye’s fried chicken, biscuit and mashed potatoes for me, both times. I rarely want to eat that, but for some reason it does the trick post-baby!
A new thread-what did you eat after giving birth? A grilled cheese and tuna sandwich from Solley’s in LA, delivered to the nurse’s station across from the birthing room. Heaven.
Anything organic and vegetarian. Having spent much of this year auditing and studying carbon emissions as we all look for ways to take on the climate crisis, I have been struck by the reductions we would achieve by eating organic produce and avoiding meat, both very significant sources of carbon emissions. Plus, you lose weight when you eat vegetarian!
I’m going to use this as my choice on the “Worst Trend Of The Decade” thread.
I think (hope) it’s tongue in cheek.
carpaccio at Alu. perfect.
Mixed seafood stew at an Italian seafood joint in Valetta, Malta. Langostine, razor clam, whole octopus, squid, rockfish, mussel, clam- all fresh caught less than 4 hours previous. The 6 bottles of Maltese wine and the Ocean view may have added to the experience.
Heidi Yorkshire says
In January, in Mexico’s beautiful colonial town of Patzcuaro, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Michoacan. The town’s huge market hall is on the smaller of the two main squares, which is also surrounded by food vendors, many of whom are the indigenous Purepecha people. One cool evening, I spotted a woman in a corner of the square, dressed in embroidered white skirt and blouse, typical costume, next to a brazier with a large black and green painted olla on the fire. Every so often she stirred the contents with a roughly carved wooden spoon. A group of people sat on small stools around her sidewalk table. We could see that she was ladeling out a thick liquid, a beautiful color, bright emerald green. She told me it was “atole de elote,” which would mean a cornmeal thickened broth/drink, with fresh corn. Why was it green? Of course, I had to have a cup. The aroma was herbal and heady, licorice and grass, the flavor popped with the kernels of sweet corn. The broth was made with wild fennel, which she said she gathered herself. It was like a magic potion. I almost thought I had hallucinated the whole thing, but we went back the next night, and she was there again.
No brainer for me. It was the beef duo at Daniel in NYC. It consists of a Red Wine Braised short rib with parsnip potato gratin accompanied by a seared tenderloin with Black Trumpet mushrooms. This is his signature dish and was worth the trip alone. Intense, rich, and perfectly presented.
Single best dish was steamed clams from Willapa Bay. We bought a huge bag of clams after a long day at playing tourist at the coast, driving from Astoria to Oysterville, WA on Long Beach. After a long rainy drive back home we boiled them in butter, cheap chardonnay, garlic, and parsley. Perfect finish to a great day, and the simplicity, warmth, and texture of the dish was unsurpassed by any restaurant meal I had all year.
I actually lost sleep last year over an amazing flourless chocolate cookie, first sampled at Nuvrei. The post and recipe are at http://thelunacafe.com/bittersweet-chocolate-toasted-walnut-cookies-perfecta-mundo/.
I don’t make it into the city much, but when I do happen to be downtown I head straight to the Original for the voodoo doughnut burger. I was suprised that it was even written up in the New York Post, and yet a lot of Porltand people haven’t really heard of it or have been. I wish I could just wrap myself in that burger, I think I am going to make a special trip tonight and get one.
At home. One Dungeness crab. One bottle of Sancerre.
That’s my menu for New Year’s Eve, although I am having a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, a small salad, and a hunk of good bread. Cheers, and Happy New Year! Things are looking up.
Food Dude says
But…but…but what about the cheese? (Anybody else live in Seattle in the late ’90s and listen to 107.7 The End?)
No cheese, and it was all good!!
Chorizo and shrimp(s) stuffed Branzino fillet at the River cafe in Brooklyn. The artistry in presentation was incredible and unlike anything I’ve seen in Stumptown.
Suckling pig with gigante beans, artichokes and salsa verde was quite good last night at Perbacco in SF
The best (new) thing I ate this year was the kaeng hung leh stewed pork belly at Pok Pok. The flavors in that dish are out of this world.
Jeff Shultz says
Breaded & fried razor clams…. at my aunt’s house in Warrenton, OR. The tradition definitely adds to the flavor.
David’s foietella for xocolati. Heaven
-Papardelle w/ wild boar ragu at Giorgio’s (the most underrated restaurant in Portland)
-Chorizo sopes at Autentica
-Chicken wings at Pok Pok (yes, I only tried them for the first time recently)
-Short ribs at The Slanted Door in San Francisco
Mike Thelin says
Crab with brown butter and amaranth at Castagna
Twice cooked pork belly at Lucky Strike
Grilled corn with poblano chili aioli at Beaker and Flask
Seared foie gras with candied radishes at the Robert Reynolds Chef Studio
Pan fried sweetbreads with spatzle at Joe Beef in Montreal
Soup dumplings at Yang Sink in San Francisco
Wood-fired oyster roast at Cochon in New Orleans (Thanks to Lizzy C. for the recommendation!)
that corn at beaker and flask was AMAZING! best ever!
The lamb, roasted in an horno and accompanied by my first taste of malbec from nearby Cafayate, at a little open air restaurant in Amaicha del Valle, Tucuman, Argentina. This simple meal once again demonstrated the primacy of quality ingredients. Without that lamb, there is no way I could recreate this meal at home, although I have started to see malbec from Cafayate here in Portland.
In second place might be a repeat appearance of the lamb popsicles at Vij’s, although I realize that’s so 2005. Still as good as ever though.
Blood sausage mac and cheese at beaker and flask.
Bottle of Perrier Jouet, Grilled Ham and Tillamook Cheddar here for our NY Eve Dinner, (Worked late)
I had plenty of great dishes in restaurants in 2009, but my winner was a home cooked dish. I’ve been trying my hand at recreating family recipes (now that my mom has gone digital and passed along two generations of cookin’ knowledge). The zucchini moussaka that I made following my grandmother’s recipe with fresh monster zucchini from the farmers market in September was awesome. Too bad all my guests loved it, because I only had enough leftover for one additional meal. :P
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
That Zucchini Moussaka sounds wonderful. Share the recipe?
The Sopressata pie at Ken’s Artisan Pizza.
I second that emotion…………..
I have to say that the charcuterie I had at Metrovino the last week of ’09 was by far the best thing I had all year. There had to be like 10 items on it, each better than the last. The jalapeno jam with the homemade bacon was probably the highlight, but the fried shortrib terrine was jockying for top dog also.
The Short Rib Rendang with coconut rice at the Fatty Crab in NYC. I had it for lunch when I was there in November and have not been able to stop thinking about it since. I even attempted to make it at home two days later. Failure. Tangy, sweet, fall-apart ribs just sticky with shredded coconut and pounded lemongrass. Mouth watering…
Stella Mac says
The Foie Gras Bon Bon at Beast is my favorite thing of 2009. And probably 2008