Today I was asked if I had a "Top 10" list for this year...you know, best meal, best cocktail, favorite restaurant, which got me thinking....
I have had some great meals...but more because of the company I enjoyed when I ate them.
I have drank some great wine...but more because of who shared those bottles with me.
I have had some great cocktails...but more because of the laughter that accompanied the imbibing.
BUT, if I had to choose...
1. Dinner at Jim's house...
because he's married and I love his wife, and his baby, and the life he never thought he'd have...he does! He is an amazing cook and I am content to play "sous chef" anytime in his kitchen. Some of my favorite meals EVER have been here.
2. Lamb chops and Switchback Ridge Petit Syrah.
Again, with a dear friend who shows me over and over again what it means to treat someone "well". Class beyond words and one of the sweetest people I have ever known.
3. Nduya at Perbacco in San Francisco.
Spreadable salami, which I had only read about prior and have tried everywhere since, but it has never tasted the same. An amazing friendship was born here. [Is that why it tasted so good?]
4. Polenta at Bottega in Yountville.
In a word?
creamy almost fluffy love, cooked by handsome guy himself, with an assortment of Heidi Barrett wines worthy of mini "cheers" in my seat.
5. Crispy pork belly!
Seriously? I've probably had it 12 times this year and each time it has been better than the last. I could eat this off the bumper of a car and it would still taste fantastic!
Praise the Lard!
6. The Taste of Oakville.
Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Opus, Rudd...and the list goes on. A one-on-one with the legendary Bill Harlan discussing social media, ahhh yea, a great afternoon.
7. Tequila, chilaquiles at Mamacita and the Cirque de Soleil production I *starred* in at the gay bar in the Castro with the 2 most fun gals I know, made for one of my very best nights of the year.
8. Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Made in my kitchen by my 6 year old son, with little hands and beautiful eyes, and with a heart 10 times the size of his body. If Thomas made them himself in my kitchen, they could never taste that good.
9. Ribeyes at Ruth's
It's no secret that every single steak I eat here reassures me that steak is my favorite food, that butter makes everything taste better and that a restaurant really can be your friend!:) I have never been treated better at any restaurant, anywhere, in my life.
10. The Super Duper Grouper Sandwich
Served seaside on one of the coldest days in Florida's history. I'm a carnivore to the core and I ate one everyday I was there.
This year I have spent many an evening enjoying meals with those dearest to me. Every time my glass touched theirs, the sounds of "life"resonated to the depths of my heart.
This is "IT" for me.
This is what brings me joy. It's simple, yes. But in a word?