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I don't know about everyone, but IMO it's a combo of timing and place.
Mine is the night we went to Jax Fish House in Boulder, CO on our honeymoon. Hosea, the head chef there, had just won Top Chef so I was pretty excited to eat at his restaurant. Turns out he was still working there, came out to say hello, and cooked us an amazing dinner. I had fish tacos topped with a pineapple salsa, DH had a seared scallop with a big ol' crab cake. We had a great dessert too, and even remember the cute old couple sitting next to us.
Hard one. Probably this one or this one. Or something that I've cooked.
I must say that doing the cutesy blog entries definitely helps me remember food better.
My first tasting menu ever.
Do you remember your first time trying a specific type of food? Or genre?
That could be memorable.
i have a few.... when we went to hawaii and ate at a hotel right near the water, outdoors at sunset. just a gorgeous view and great meal!
i also remember when we went to germany, we were staying with a friend and took an overnight trip to berlin. we caught the train to berlin like SUPER early, and spent the rest of the day walking ALL over the city. we stopped for dinner and i got a huge plate of pasta bolognese. SOO good after traveling and touring all day!
another is really anytime i go to the melting pot. i just love having a relaxing meal that takes a couple hours where you can really enjoy it.
We were living in Houston and my cousin flew out to see us. We decided to take a camping trip to San Antonio. We went tubing down the Guadeloupe river twice. Then went to the riverwalk. We were in cut offs, t-shrits, just kind of messy looking bunch of hillbilly yankees.
It was so hot.. I mean to this day it was that was the hottest summer of my life. So we really wanted to eat in a restaurant with a/c. We found a place and asked if we were dressed ok and they said sure. Well all 10 of us (brothers were about 6, sister 9, me 10, cousin in their late teens early 20's) go in and to our amazement everyone was wearing long dresses and 3 piece suits, dripping in pearls and diamonds.
What could have been a really uncomfortable situation was not. They were so welcoming and made us feel so comfortable. We laughed and laughed. The waiter was awesome, the food was great. It was just a great time.
A few months later we found out that the restaurant was a the time San Antonio's best and most expensive restaurant.
mr.v: I'm allergic to dairy. Am I okay ordering the lamb burger?
white tablecloth waiter: Yes, that's no problem.
WTW: Enjoy your meal.
mr.v: Uhhh... what's this white stuff on my burger?
WTW: That's organic yogurt.
mr.v: I'm allergic to dairy.
WTW: Yogurt is non-dairy.
mr.v & me: ... No. It's not. ...
WTW: No, it's non-dairy. I'll check with the chef.
WTW: I'm so terribly embarrassed. You're right. Yogurt is dairy. I was thinking of frozen yogurt, which is non-dairy. I'll take this away and be back soon.
WTW: Okay, here's your burger. The chef washed it off with bottled water and then put it back on the grill, so it's totally clean. Again, I'm so sorry about that. Enjoy!
mr.v & me: ... ... ... No tip for you.
On my first trip to Germany, my parents decided to take all of us on a wine tasting dinner. I was 16 (and legal to drink wine with the folks, yay), my sister was 14 (and in her 'alchohol is evil' temperance phase).
Dinner was great, so was the wine. One minor detail, instead of the typical tasting pour the restaurant gave you a bottle of wine per course (6 courses, I think). And had a million waiters that would refill your glass the second you took a sip.
Needless to say, three of us got wasted (my first time being drunk was with my parents!) and my sister was pissed. It was so funny. I remember being in our cottage that night and my dad throwing socks down from the loft where they were sleeping and laughing hysterically. Great dinner and family memory.
My most memorable dining experience involved getting food poisoning then throwing up next to the Berlin Wall.
My most memorable good dining experience was probably at a little place on the Rhine where we drank a "wine carousel" and met people from all around the world.
There are a few.
The first time I had fondue--yes it was The Melting Pot, but it was still my first experice with CHEESE fondue. I love cheese and dipping things into it was an amazing idea...It was also the first time I had chocolate fondue. It was with my best friend not a boyfriend. It was an enjoyable experience to spend the time with my best friend chatting. I do not remember what we were talking about, but it was fun.
Another was my first trip to Bucca di Beppo. When we went to eat there I did not even know what type of food they served and I was actually rather amused by the low carb menu options menu on the wall. It was the first time that I enjoyed dinner with my in-laws. I enjoy spending time with them, but do not like their choice in food generally. That is really why it was memorable to me. It gave me hope that my ILs actually might have some taste in food. Before that we went to Taqueria Arandas and other small hole in the wall Mexican places and Katzs. There were about 20 of us at the table.
Of course the night hubby proposed was memorable. We just went to Fuddruckers with friends. There were about 30 people there. I was the last one to know what he was up to. He convinced my best friends to talk me out of thinking he might be proposing and got one of them to find out my ring size by subterfuge. It was really sweet that he went to all that trouble. I was the last one of the group to see the ring even though I had not left the area to use the restroom--that surprised me more than anything. We had been dating exactly 9 months that day, and it was supposed to be my last day of school, though there were some complications with that.
I'm not a major foodie, or a big wine drinker. My best dining experiences usually involve the people I'm sharing with and being in a new location (usually a vacation).
That said, my fave dining experience was probably at Emeril's in Miami. I had just become vegetarian, and the collard greens were delish ( i can still taste them). The night air was warm, we were the only people that sat outside that night, and we were looking at the beach. I was with my H (then boyfriend) and it was our first vacation together. There were good mixed drinks, and H really enjoyed his meal as well.
I don't know if these are my MOST memorable, but they are the two that first come to mind.
1) The very first time I had sushi. It was in college and I was studying in Chile. We went to this fabulous little restaurant on the coast and ordered one of those big wooden boats full of deliciousness. It changed my world.
2) The weekend we got engaged, DH made reservations at Topolobampo, one of Rick Bayless's restaurants in Chicago. I had been wanting to go there for ages, and he had to make the reservation a few months in advance. It was incredible. Food was awesome, we saw R.B., and I was just so touched that DH picked the perfect place and kept it a secret for our big weekend.
Actually, the time I went to Langers and bit into the pastrami sandwich and tears flooded my eyes because it was so dang good is also a contender.
Five-course tasting menu at Aqua in San Francisco, 2005. I only mention the year, because we went back the following year and it seriously disappointed.
Or probably the pork tenderloin at Firefly (also SF).
The best restaurant ever. The cook makes all the food in front of you and the wine list is amazing.
Honestly? A ham and cheese crepe in some small town in southern France. I was 16 and on a French club trip. I don't remember the name of the town, but I can remember exactly how that crepe tasted. It was like the best thing I had ever eaten up until that point in my life, so it just stands out.
In Chicago, I was 15, it was my first trip to a city without my parents, and I had a deep dish pizza. It was late in the evening, spring, a great breeze, and I was staring at the skyline with the biggest, messiest piece of pizza in my hand. I had so many things running through my head. (Imagine growing up in a small midwestern town of 800, then being dropped off in the middle of a city, with a load of cash, a booked hotel room, and absolutely no adults to tell you what to do.) I wanted to do everything, see everything, and eat that delicious deep dish pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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