Well, we’re here in 2016, and before I post about my trip to India and other general musings on life, snacks, kale, Gisele and Tom’s (non) eating habits, and the like, I thought it best to review some of the tastiest things I ate in 2015. Without further ado and in no particular order…
1. Rice Salad at Thip Khao (Washington, DC)
I’ve rhapsodized about this before–the crunchy slivers of pig’s ear, and the freshness of herbs, and spiciness that provided a gentle burn throughout. Truly so fantastic.
2. Pizza at Di Fara (New York)
Excuse the atrocious picture BUT, few things will drag one to the depths of Midwood, Brooklyn–this expertly made pizza will do it. The sauce (with tomatoes imported from Italy, of course) is probably the most incredible part of it, not to mention the owner who is in his 80s (above) and still touches almost every pie.
3. Beef & Bone Marrow Pie at Chi Spacca (Los Angeles)
I kept hearing about this pie from my brother, and once I finally tried it, every expectation was fulfilled. It’s unctuous and flaky and super-savory all at once. Go get it, if you can.
4. Corn Arepas with an Egg (Medellín, Colombia)
I vividly remember saying, aloud, at the breakfast table “these are a revelation.” The sweet, slightly charred corn flavor and the rich egg yolk are just next level delicious.
5. Fried Chicken “Coq Au Vin” at Convivial (Washington, DC)
So, the picture doesn’t adequately display how fantastically tasty this dish was, but believe me it was. The rich winey sauce coated the fried chicken, it was so sinful and…now I’m ravenous.
6. Suckling Pig with Orange Sauce at Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
The orange sauce (with a clove of roasted black garlic) and slightly ever so charred cabbage were perfect counterpoints to the crispy, caramelized pork. But, I also must mention that the potato chips seen in the top right corner were inside an edible bag. So yes, I just bit into the whole thing. Magical.
7. Smothered Shrimp and Grits at Narobia’s Grits and Gravy (Savannah, GA)
I wish I could say we stumbled across this down home Savannah spot, but the truth is I’d been dying to try it for a few months, and the moment I knew we’d be heading to this Southern town, I insisted on going there. The smoky, smothered shrimp were so unbelievably fresh and sweet over luscious, creamy grits.
8. Red Wine Braised Artichokes and Parmesan Custard at Vernick Food & Drink (Philadelphia)
Every year, I make at least one trip to Philly, and each time I’m wowed by the food. This dish, one of many at Vernick Food & Drink was so ideal to spoon up on a cold winter evening. Parmesan and red wine go together so well, of course, and I loved the interesting combination here.
9. Khmer Pancake at Ithaca Farmer’s Market (Ithaca, NY)
Back for my college reunion, I made sure to re-live the massive amounts of eating I did in my four years. On weekends at Ithaca’s famed Farmers Market, I almost always ordered a Khmer pancake at the Cambodian stall. Filled with pork, sliced vegetables and vermicelli noodles, it’s absolutely one of my favorite bites this year, and perhaps ever.
10. Pork Sausage with Coconut-Chile Sauce and Lychees at Rose’s Luxury(Washington, DC)
I’ve been wanting to try the notoriously impossible-to-get-into DC restaurant Rose’s Luxury for a year or two at this point, and on a rainy December night we got lucky. This dish was transcendental. Stirring all the ingredients together, you got the pungent red onion, ever so slightly spongy lychees, coconut froth, and meaty thai sausage. Want to make it? Here’s the recipe.
[Rose’s Luxury Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit]