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Best Dishes of 2005


bilrus
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It's December now and time for annual traditions. The malls are decorated with lights and garland. Rudolph has already been on TV. The neighbors all have giant inflatable reindeer and snowmen in the yard (at least out in the 'burbs).

And every media outlet in the land is spitting out their best-of-2005 lists. Why should they have all the fun?

This is a tradition. And amongst this group we should be able to come up with a pretty definitive list.

These are the plates you’ll remember until your dying day. Or at least well into January 2006.

Here's my list (at least so far):

Pork Belly with Chili Basil – Bangkok 54

Scallops with Mushroom and Potato Puree – Corduroy

Fried Ipswich Clams – Blacksalt

Hot Chocolate with Housemade Marshmallows – Blacksalt

Maine Lobster Ravioli with Freshly Grated Ginger Glaze Bisque Jus – Maestro (A repeat from my 2004 list.)

Tuna wrapped in Speck – Komi

Scottish Langoustine Cassoulet with creamy grits, pickled ramps and baby vegetables – 2941 DR.com dinner

Here's to adding more to the list in December.

Edited by bilrus
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What fun to flip through my food memories of the last year!

Long-braised short ribs-Citronelle

Falafel with lots of garlic creme and Egyptian salad-Amsterdam Falafel

Foie gras cappucino with corn nut foam-minibar

Carnitas-Tabard Inn

Chile verde-Cashion's

Sardine and strawberry on cracker-Arzak (San Sebastian)

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In no particular order:

Philadelphia Cheese Steak - Mini-Bar

Calotte of Beef - Cityzen

Corn-Nut Crusted Scallop with Mini Tamale - Restaurant Eve

Lambchopper with Small Salami - Cheesetique

Hot Meatball Sub with Provolone - Italian Store

Fish Taco - Taqueria Poblano

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The current gnocchi presentation at Palena

The cookie plate at Palena

Scallops at Ray's

Hot Chocolate at Ray's

The lamb at Firefly

The spring rolls at Firefly

The bittersweet panna cotta at Firefly

Prosciutto at Dino

penne with the lamb meatballs at Palena

beluga pasta--Citronelle

Toigo's corn

A BLT with heirloom tomato's from Wheatland; smoked mozzerela from Blue Ridge and bread from either Takoma Bakers or Atwaters.

Imo's pizza (St. Louis)

Amaghetti's special (St. Louis)

Billy's Bakery Cupcake (NY)

Edamame ravioli at Buddakan (Philly)

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I'll have to second the Scallops at Corduroy, that's a blockbuster dish. :lol:

Second Place

Pork Belly at Restaurant Eve

Third Place

house cured duck leg with veal tongue, chorizo, and summer beans at Palena

Honorable mentions go to:

Komi Tasting Menu (the whole thing)

Lamb Shoulder dish at Firefly

Edited by Tweaked
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Wow, this is going to take some thinking about as I have had many very good meals this year. One thing that immediately pops to mind is the tripe dish that I recently had a Eve.

I am going to have to come back and edit this...

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- Everything at minibar, especially the zucchini seeds and the Philly cheesesteak

- Duck with foie gras at Alinea

- fig dessert at Restaurant Eve

- artichoke panini at Palena

and, in a whole separate category:

- Purple Haze (with fennel pollen and lavender) at Firefly

- Hooligan at Firefly

- La Tur at Dino

- Cora Robiola at Dino

- Torta Basilico (the one with pine nuts) at Dino

- Rogue River Blue at Cashion's

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One thing that immediately pops to mind is the tripe dish that I recently had a Eve.

The slow-braised tripe with merguez sausage I had at the tasting room at Restaurant Eve (for my birthday) was probably the single best dish I had in all of 2005, at least so far. And the wine Mr Thrasher paired with it was a brilliant accompaniment. Too bad I don't remember what it was.

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In town

Cod with warm potato and olive salad - Tallula

Shiitake mushrooms with tea oil and red wine vin - Blacksalt

Prosciutto - Dino

That fig dessert - Eve

Ginger salad - Mandalay

Crackers - Komi

Scallops with carrot vinaigrette - Signatures

Out of town

Beer and cheddar soup (made with Victory Golden Monkey and Neal's Yard) - Django, Philly

Skirt Steak with poblano-plantain crema - Lolita, Philly

Steak tartare - Petit Louis, Baltimore

BBQ beef sandwich - LC's, Kansas City

Jalabee - Jalabeewalla, Dehli

Tempura - Simon Kitchen, Vegas

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In & Out of Town:

Gruyere and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with a Fried Farm Egg And  Bacony Potato Foam

~Marigold Kitchen

That's the one I meant to refer to above. I only stole two bites from my wife's plate and it is still at or near the top.

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what a great thread - I do it for music so why not for food!

things that immediately spring to mind - I'm sure there will be more.....

pork belly at Corduroy

mint chocolate chip ice cream at 2 Amy's

olive oil gelato with se salt at Otto, NYC

amuse of chilled watermelon soup w/ tequila at TIALW

Jamon Iberico at Meson Cinco Jotas, Madrid

The Corleggy aged goat cheese my folks brought over from Ireland last week

3 Carabineros (a large prawn), served with greens and a blood sausage dressing, Arzak, San Sebastian

The mozzarella w/ home made pesto at Bucks

Black pudding w/ foie gras at Eve

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In town (no particular order):

Foie Gras two ways – Matisse

Mishima beef tartare with mustard oil – 2941

Fresh tomato and goat cheese salad – Marcel’s

Fennel soup w/ smoked salmon – Maestro

Out of Town

Bistecca – Sostanza, Florence

Crab cake – Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia

Pizza - Il Pizzaiulo, Florence

Everything - Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence

BBQ platter – The Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC

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The Number One Dish of 2005:

Dreamy, dreamy Derek.

Gets my vote. And the gin concoction with star anise he created this summer. Easily my cocktail of the year.

First runner up is the scallops and chanterelles at Corduroy. Almost as dreamy as the chef who created it. (where's the embarrassed icon when you need it?)

Second runner up is the Vidalia Soubise with Foie Gras, at Corduroy.

Third runner up is the salad with wild mushrooms, poached egg and lardons at Circle Bistro.

Fourth runner up is the salt and pepper head-on shrimp at New Fortune. We can eat the hell out of those.

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Out of Town

Scampi Crudo with olio and salt

La Cantina Venezia

Dinner at Anice Stellato, Venezia

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Il Pozzo, Sant'Angelo, in Colle Toscana

Testa

Lupa NYC

Steamed Juicy Pork Buns

Yeah Dumpling House, NYC

In Town

Ankimo

Kaz Sushi Bistro

Szechuan Dry Fried Beef

Joe's Noodle House

Cod Fritters

2 Amy's

At Dino (where I have eated the great majority of my meals this year)

Formaggio di Fossa and Erborinati (cave aged cheeses)

Robiola Incavolta

Osso Buco

Ribolita

Edited by deangold
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Out of Town

Scampi Crudo with olio and salt

La Cantina Venezia

Dinner at Anice Stellato, Venezia

When you were in Venice did you happen to go to Alle Testiere several blocks off San Marco square or Le Calandre in Rubano which is just outside of Padua? Also, didn't I read somewhere that you've been to Romano Dal Forno's in Cellore? I was there on Friday. It may be best to contact me off the board so I don't take this thread in another direction. Thanks.

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When you were in Venice did you happen to go to Alle Testiere several blocks off San Marco square or Le Calandre in Rubano which is just outside of Padua?  Also, didn't I read somewhere that you've been to Romano Dal Forno's in Cellore?  I was there on Friday.  It may be best to contact me off the board so I don't take this thread in another direction.  Thanks.

[We can always start a Venice thread in Intrepid Traveler, so no worries]

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My Top 2005 Dishes (In Town):

Tuna with Italian Black Truffle

Banana Tempura with Black Raspberry Ice Cream

Kaz Sushi Bistro

Tuna with Hijiki Rice

Vidalia Soubise

Grape Sorbet

Corduroy

(oh, hell - any soup or ice cream/sorbety that Tom makes!)

Spicy Scallop Roll

Kotobuki

Proscuitto Crudo

Pappardelle al Cinghale

Dino

Roasted Fish with Green Onion

Tempt Asia

Super Grilled Cheese

Stoney's

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It was the year of cheese plates and charcuterie. Also:

Hudson Valley Fois Gras Three Ways - BlackSaltpost-46-1133926825_thumb.jpg

Mushroom Cigars - Citronellepost-46-1133926903_thumb.jpg

Fried Green Tomatoes with Lobster and Crab Hash - Charleston (Baltimore)

post-46-1133926985_thumb.jpg

Double Baked Ginger Scallion Lobster - Chinatown Cafe (Baltimore)

post-46-1133927174_thumb.jpg

Need I say more?

post-46-1133927248_thumb.jpg post-46-1133927311_thumb.jpg post-46-1133932278_thumb.jpg

Venison - Restaurant Evepost-46-1133927455_thumb.jpg

Roast Suckling Pig - Komi and Hollywood Eastpost-46-1133927598_thumb.jpg

Venison Carpacio - Sonomapost-46-1133927812_thumb.jpg

Lamb t-bone, medjool dates, chantarelles - CityZenpost-46-1133928132_thumb.jpg

Scallops with Chantarelles and Chocolate Tart - Corduroypost-46-1133931668_thumb.jpg

Stuffed Rockfish - Suicide Bridge(Hurlock, Md) post-46-1133931837_thumb.jpg

Lamb shoulder, fried oysters and cheese plate at Firefly

Pizza Margharita at 2Amys

and Mini-Wontons in with chili oil-TemptAsian

post-46-1133932540_thumb.jpg

Edited to add the etherial shrimp siu mai at Kotobuki

Edited by crackers
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Observation:  this is the second straight year Meaghan and bilrus have latched onto a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, last year at Eve, this year at Marigold.

Actually it was a salad at Eve last year, but same concept.

Bacon + X = good

Bacon + egg + cheese = really good

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Roberto's "duck stew" is really an interesting creation. My wife and I have thought about a lot of dishes we've had in restaurants on both sides of the Atlantic and I'm inclined to believe that this may be the most spectacular of all. Perhaps not even the infamous "pressed duck" at Tour d'Argent in Paris approaches this. Certainly this is the more challenging to the diner. I know that night when it was served there were at least two almost simultaneous exclamations at our immediate table of, "My God. This is unbelievable!" The reaction around the room was immediate: "Fear Factor has come to the Lab!!!" At least two more "Oh, my Gods." At least one confession: "And it tastes damn good, too!" From several seats down I remember a friend noting that he felt he should feel truly guilty liking it as much as he did. Then he looked at his wife and she may have enjoyed it even more! I thought I noted fear in his eyes at this realization! I'm sure there are a number of levels of understanding the reactions to this dish, all very personal. From the warm, juicy slab of foie gras which Roberto thickly sliced to top off the exquisitely chunky mixture of offal and testicles this was a very real test of one's profession for their love of food. Extremes of taste, pleasure and possible guilt all represented in a rather nondescript cup of indulgence.

Perhaps, in 58 years, a dish without parallel. And, at our dinner. Wow!

Edited by Joe H
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Thinking back over the year, these are the dishes that stick out in my head...

Heirloom Tomato Salad - 2 Amys

Suckling Pig or Speck-Wrapped Tuna (it's always a hard choice) - Komi

Duck Confit - Corduroy

Mint Chip Ice Cream - 2 Amys

Pav Bhaji - Heritage India

Minestrone Soup - Circle Bistro

Not a dish, but just as important...

Wine Pairing - Komi (RIP)

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Suckling Pig or Speck-Wrapped Tuna (it's always a hard choice) - Komi

Why Choose? They both kick ass.

Wine Pairing - Komi (RIP)

I had a nice wine pairing with the tasting menu last weekend. What did Twain say about exaggerated demises?

Edited by bilrus
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So many dishes on this list are brining back memories of tastes that I have been lucky enough to have had over the course of 2005.

Here are a couple that came in just before the finishing line.

Boudin blanc at Marcel's

Porcini-Green Lentil Soup (white truffles added) at Citronelle

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It would be a sin not to add to my best things eaten list, Frank Ruta’s

Peeky Toe Crab Casserole

With fluke, purple potatoes, leeks and sea urchin sauce

The dish is a blazing star.

The exoskeleton of the sea urchin- the fragile shell of coral and spines- turned into a delicate ramekin.

I have neither the words nor craftsmanship to tell you simply about this temptress of perfume and brine.

It’s clean like a virgin ocean, yet creamy and rich as divine sea protein.

The textures fluctuating between subtly starchy, fluffy to bold and buttery.

If this wasn’t umami, I firmly resolve to find out what is.

Edited by Meaghan
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It would be a sin not to add to my best things eaten list, Frank Ruta’s

Peeky Toe Crab Casserole

With fluke, purple potatoes, leeks and sea urchin sauce

The dish is a blazing star.

The exoskeleton of the sea urchin- the fragile shell of coral and spines- turned into a delicate ramekin. 

I have neither the words nor craftsmanship to tell you simply about this temptress of perfume and brine. 

It’s clean like a virgin ocean, yet creamy and rich as divine sea protein. 

The textures fluctuating between subtly starchy, fluffy to bold and buttery.

If this wasn’t umami, I firmly resolve to find out what is.

Who eat, shoots and leaves??

I know, I'm very funny.

I forgot to tell you something about this dish, though:

Look!!!!

post-26-1136682209_thumb.jpg

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