Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Meals of the Decade 2000-2009

It is time for the best fine-dining restaurant meals of the decade. This list is heavily skewed to great restaurants that, despite their reputation, exceeded our very-high expectations. Note that we barely made it to Italy this decade, but on that trip we stayed pretty rustic preferring to experience small local trattoria on the advice of locals. Our hit rate here was pretty darn good. We did make it to Paris, Laussane, London, Barcelona, Geneva, Delhi, Bangalore, Shanghai and Tokyo, all of which provided amazing and sometimes bazaar experiences. Here is the list:

  1. Alinea-Chicago (4 times) each time surprised and satisfied.
  2. French Laundry-Yountville (4 times) each time satisfied, not always surprised
  3. Le Bernadin-NY (3 times) surprised and satisfied
  4. el Bulli-Roses, Spain (1 time) surprised more than ever
  5. The Bazaar-LA (1 time) lovely twist on a restaurant
  6. Drolma-Barcelona (1 time) One concept to relate: goat leg sous vide
  7. L’Altiere Joel Robuchon-NY and LV (3 times) The man
  8. Urasawa LA (2 times) Sushi in the hands of a master architect
  9. O ya-Boston (1 time) Rich from sushi to turf
  10. Bastide (under Lefevbre, now closed)-LA (2 times) Pasta with cinnomon scallops
  11. Babbo-NY(4 times) Beef Cheek Ravs., short ribs, rabbit 3 ways, ragu
  12. L’Arpege-Paris (1 time) vegetables sous vide with intense flavor, crazy choices
  13. SPQR-SF (1 time) the best potatoes we ever ate, and moore
  14. Ubuntu-Napa (2 times) The other best vegetables in the world
  15. Daniel-NY (1 time) Less formality than the Classics, no compromise on food. first frog legs
  16. StripSteak-Las Vegas (2 times) amazing rib eyes overshadowed by duck fries
  17. Cut-LA (2 Times) T bone
  18. Quince-SF (3 tImes) 11 course custom pasta meal
  19. Manressa-Los Gatos (2 times) Daniel West, with his own farm
  20. WD-50-NY (1 time) Wylie makes crazy good food
  21. Central Michel Richard-Washington D.C. (2 times) I cannot even imagine better chili
  22. Arola-Hotel Arts Barcelona (1 time) Tapas of love
  23. River Cafe-London (1 time) Sole soul
  24. Spago-Beverly Hills (1 time) Friend of chef took us to 3 hour lunch
  25. Michael Mina-San Francisco (1 time) 3x3x3
  26. Stonehill Tarvern-Orange County (1 time) lobster pot pie I could eat every night
  27. Topolobampo-Chicago (2 times) Mexicago cuisine as
  28. Momofuku Ko-NY (1 time) Joel Robuchon East
  29. Cibreo-Florence (1 times) It wasn't Offal, but it was
  30. Le Suite in Laussane. It was just very good, with amazing views, and I wore sweats. (Pretended I was an Italian basetball star.)
Can't wait for the winners of the next decade.

Check www.foodcrunch.com for the most disappointing meals of the decade.