Friday, January 03, 2014

My Top Tastes of 2013

Hawksworth, Vancouver

Hands down, my favorite meal of the year- great fresh fish, interesting combinations with a heavy Asian influence.

·       Hamachi sashimi with passion fruit, jalapeno, coconut, lemongrass ice cream, sea asparagus, radish,
puffed rice and white soy  

  Salmon belly nori with 3 dipping sauces- carrot chili, beet ginger, orange ginger
Burnt caramel glazed pork belly with green papaya, grapefruit, crispy shallots, and mint.
 KFC  - Korean fried cauliflower with sesame and cilantro

Ava Genes, Portland

A boisterous Roman inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients- arancini stuffed with local cheese; melt in your mouth short ribs with apples, horseradish and a hairbender coffee rub from Stumptown. The “Giardini” vegetables were my favorite, including Brussels sprouts with farro, pumpkin seeds, and anchovy.

Bon Appetit was impressed as well… “i used to judge a chef by the way he or she roasted a chicken. but now that farm-to-table is the standard, it's more about what they can do with a carrot. at the trattoria-inspired ava gene's, the second restaurant from stumptown coffee roasters founder and budding restaurateur duane sorenson, green-thumb cuisine becomes masterful.”

Babbo, New York

Batali’s flagship is a solid as ever- hadn’t been in ten year but it surely held up….
·         Pig Foot “Milanese” with Rice Beans and Arugula
·         Beef Cheek Ravioli with Crushed Squab Liver and Black Truffles

Mission Cantina, New York
Danny Bowien, of Mission Chinese fame, recently opened Mission Cantina on the Lower East Side, and delivers an interesting interpretation of Mexican food. With house-made  Oaxacan cheese, and nixtamalized Anson Mills corn for the house tortillas, these guys are serious. Taco fillings the night I dined there included skate wing tempura with cucumber, avocado and cabbage, crispy fried tripe and mussel escabeche,  beef tongue with charred onions, tomato pickles, and peanuts.  Chicken wings are slathered with mole spices, sesame, and chili vinegar, and the oaxacan cheese us served with marinated rapini.

Local favorites included Heritage, Rappahannock and Merroir, Dutch and Co (whose perfect egg may be my favorite dish of the year), Pasture, Belmont Food Shop,  BlackSheep, and Charlottesville’s Whiskey Jar who hosted a Southern Foodways Alliance dinner last summer that hit every mark.

Other notable restaurants included:

Pok Pok, Portland; Proper Pie, Richmond; Secco, Richmond; Pine State Biscuits, Portland; Meat & Bread, Vancouver, Eataly, NY; Joe’s Shanghai, NY; Peter Chang, Richmond; Screendoor, Portland;  Morimoto Sushi, Boca Raton

Oysters at Rappahannock

Home of Soup Dumplings

Morimoto in Boca Raton

White Gazpacho- my favorite at Broad Appetit

Magpie's Rhubarb Cake with Chevre ice cream and mint gazpacho

Whiskey Jar's Moonshine Punch

Whiskey Jar's Trout and BBQ chicken

Traditional Arab Meal 

Pine State Biscuits

Voodoo Donuts

Screendoor's Chicken and waffles

Meat & Bread, Vancouver

Hawksworth, Salmon Belly

Hawksworth's Hamachi

Hawksworth Pork Belly

Chef Hawksworth

Heritage's Pork Belly

Babbo's traditional Alto Adige chestnut dessert

Mission Cantina

Tacos at Mission Cantina


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