Best Tastes of 2016: Restaurant Edition

I really wanted to post this last week but Joey was adamant that I wait until we made it through the very last day of 2016 and HEY, he was right, because our very last meal of the year made it on this list and wouldn’t have otherwise.  He’s wise like that.

We were all over the country this year and so were the best meals we ate.  Burgers in Hawaii, po’ boys in New Orleans, miso butter in Chicago, cheese plates in Portland, roast chicken in D.C., Italian in Vegas.  Not to mention lamb sliders, Detroit-style pizza, steamed buns and, of course, ice cream right here in Denver.  2016 was, by all means, a delicious year!

P.S. Sorry I don’t have pictures of every single one of these dishes.  Sometimes it’s dark in restaurants and sometimes I feel like enjoying the moment without my iPhone camera 🙂

Best Toast:

Avocado Toast from Black Eye Coffee CapHill in Denver, CO (January 10) // cashews, housemade flax seed bread, cilantro + bacon

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Best Burger:

HĀNA BURGER from Hāna Ranch Provisions in Pāʻia, Hawaiʻi (January 20) // house-made ‘ulu brioche, caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, cheddar

Best Entrée Plate:

Crispy CHICKEN Breast, 3 CHEESE-MAC & CHEESE with SAGE & BUTTERNUT SQUASH from Tables in Denver, CO (February 14)

Best Slider:

Colorado Lamb Slider from Root Down in Denver, CO (April 1) // Harissa Aioli, Irish Cheddar, Arugula & Garlic-Mint Yogurt

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Best Sandwich:

Seared Gulf Shrimp Po Boy from Killer PoBoys in New Orleans, LA (May 2) // Marinated Radish, Carrot, Cucumber, Herbs, Special Sauce

There Denver (July 16)

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Let’s be mature about that category, okay?

Steamed Bun Trio from Night Shift in Denver, CO (August 4) // pork belly PB & J, pork belly, curried cauliflower

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Best Ramen:

Spicy Chicken Ramen from Uncle in Denver, CO (August 18) // spicy sesame broth, scallion, bean sprouts, soft egg

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Best Chicken Dish:

Roasted Half Chicken from Tail Up Goat in Washington, D.C. (September 11) // semolina toast, aioli, cipollini onions

Spaghetti & Meatball at Roma Deli 1 & Restaurant (September 22) // I think this might be self-explanatory 🙂

Sweet Potato at The Nickel in Denver, CO (November 4) // poblano chile, hazelnut, toasted crepe, shallot

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Best Tastes of 2015

I try my best to do some sort of recap/superlative list at the end of every year and while I won’t bore you with a month-by-month list of 2015 highlights — I’m saving that torturous activity for Joey 🙂 — I thought I’d dole out a list of the best tastes!  Just know that this is a post where I act like everything was the best thing I ever ate.

Best Food Lover’s Cleanse Meal: Roast Chicken with Butternut-Tahini Purée

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This is where it all began with roasting a whole chicken and that butternut-tahini puree is life changing.  I would (and did…) eat it by the spoonful.

Best Family Recipe Meal: My Uncle’s Red Beans and Rice

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We made this for Mardi Gras and it was our best batch yet!  Need to restock on pickled pork so we can make more this winter.

Best Vegan Meal: TIE between the Roasted Veggie Bowl and Garlic Mac N Cheese

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I’m not ready to disclose how many times I made both of these meals this year…Read More »