So much for 2009 being a culinary waste land. With the Recession in
full swing and even very good restaurants seemingly dropping like
flies, the year was supposed to be a total disaster on the food-scape.
Instead, this may have been the greatest year of dining in my life,
even without having dined at two of my all-time favorites elBulli and
Alinea. The recession was clearly in evidence with much more casual
dining, but quality, fortunately stayed high. Part of the reason,
actually a good part of the reason for such a high quality dining year for
me, was that it was a milestone year for me personally and with the
advent of my blog, I endeavored to do more because of it. In
addition, the opportunity to attend The Bocuse D'Or in Lyon was one
that I couldn't pass up and I'm glad I didn't. It was unforgettable
both as an event and for its dining opportunities. Madrid Fusión and
Starchefs once again provided great opportunities for dining as well as
blog material. Typically, I have some local restaurants in my top 25.
They were no less wonderful this year than in the past (in some
instances they may have even been better), but the meals above them
were simply too many and too special to top.
Though I might have
eaten more than one exceptional meal at a given restaurant, I have only
listed it once at its highest position. Many things go into play when
compiling a list as personal and subjective as this, including the
food, the decor, the occasion and my dining partners, with all contributing
to the ultimate magic of the meal.
- The Four Seasons
- Ideas (in Food) in the Studio Kitchen
- Per Se
- Le Bernardin
- Eleven Madison Park
- Kabuki Wellington
- La Mere Brazier
- Principe de Viana
- Cafe Boulud
- Momofuku Ssam Bar
- Paul Bocuse
- Los Asturianos
- Toro by Ken Oringer
- Gramercy Tavern
- Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napolitana
What were some of your top meals of 2009? How, if at all, did the Recession effect your dining experience for the year?