top 11 food eaten in 2011

1:00 PM sians 0 Comments

i know i've promised a few entries during the holidays but between trying out korean inspired recipes,  eating out at new restaurants and christmas vacation, i've slacked quite a bit. but now i'm back with new material :: a couple of recipes and some restaurants i've tried last year that i was supposed to blog about.

but firstly, happy new year!

to be honest, i am a lil overwhelmed by 2012 since there is gonna be some major changes this year but let's not get into that for now. spent the christmas and new year's in louisiana with tons of good food, fantastic weather, fun company and adorable cat + dogs. { i miss them already :( btw i forgot to take a picture with sadie, meagan's cute beagle! >.< }

meet paws, the adorable but highly moody + independent cat and...

...happy, who is a spoiled shitzu but so cute she is able to get away with almost anything.

oh i almost forgot. we managed to find some almost elusive boiled crawfish since it was still too early for crawfish season but they were delicious! ryan and i consumed probably a combined amount of 10-12 lbs of boiled crawfish >.<

since it's the new year, i'm gonna reminiscent and try to narrow down top 11 items i've had in 2011. it was originally supposed to be top 10 but i think 11 is quite fitting since it's 2011 ^^

the top 11 list :: this isn't in any particular order since they are all so different plus it was so difficult to narrow it down. these are probably the dishes that i talk about again and again even months after we've eaten these plates of deliciousness.

one | longman&eagle's chanterelle agnolotti

it's so delicious that ryan and i still talk about it.....a lot. it was from the small plates menu, which we weren't so sure at the beginning because of the veal heart but we were so glad that we decided to be adventurous and tried it anyway. it was fantastic in terms of balance of earthiness from black truffle and chanterelle with sweetness of the huckleberries which makes even something like brussel sprouts taste amazing. 

two | longman&eagle's gruyere donuts

yes, L&E gets two mentions this year. what makes it so special imo is the fact that it's a cheese based dessert and it was just as awesome as it was different. the testament to how delicious it was was that ryan and i were both stuffed after our meal but i insisted on trying this - just could not resist. we were surprised by how light this was since these babies were fried and filled with cheese. the play of savory and sweet as well as crispy and creamy textures made the dish! :)

three | arami's double sake roll

arami has established itself as my most favorite japanese restaurant in the states, at least so far. its sophisticated simplicity with the freshest ingredients is displayed in this special maki roll. the lightness and delicacy in terms of flavors and the restraint of the lemon mayo drizzle amplified the flavors of fresh salmon itself allowing it to shine.

four | boka's ginger kulfi

my friend, andy warrants the greatness of this dessert.  i believe his exact words were 'the dessert will blow your faces off' so i think it would be an injustice to not include this on this list. not because of what he said but that he took the words out of my mouth when i tasted this at the michelin one star restaurant. the ginger kulfi is still the best dessert i've tried in a restaurant. i still stand true to my description ~ their interpretation of a deconstructed smores for grown ups - a harmonious symphony for the taste buds.

five |  avec's chorizo stuffed medjool dates

avec's most popular dish on their menu and with good reason. charles caleb colton once coined the phrase imitation is the best form of flattery and that was what i tried cooking a few months back. bacon always make everything better with its smokiness and saltiness, wrapped around a sweet medjool date that is stuffed with spicy and flavorful chorizo and all these rounded out by the sauce. one of the best things i've ever had so far.

six | shanghai terrace's  peking duck salad

peking duck was the main highlight of the meal that night but what stood out more i thought was the salad which they used the rest of the duck meat in dishes. i fell in love with the salad when i first tasted the flavor of truffle coating the bitterness of greens which is contrasted with its sweet vinaigrette mixed in with the succulent duck which is contained in a crispy wonton cup.

seven | next restaurant's caneton rouennais a la presse & gratin de pommes de terre a la dauphinoise

those french words simply translates to roasted & pressed duck with a side of scalloped potatoes with gruyere. i consider this as one dish since it came together. when next restaurant's first menu, paris 1906 debuted, the pressed duck took main stage and was anticipated as the dish to try which lived up to its tasty expectation. what took people by surprised was the scalloped potatoes gratin and its execution was perfection. the initial thought would be the duck would shadow the "side dish", instead these two dishes stood side by side on the same pedestal, commanding equal love and respect. there was one more dish from next that almost made it to the list certainly deserves a brief mention : brioche with foie gras with apricot jam.

eight | incanto's clams in country ham brodo

this comes across as a very simple dish but it ended up as a yummy rendition that combines clams and the pig - what i guess is chris cosentino's area of expertise. refreshing burst of tomatoes with the taste of the sea from the clams swimming in a savory and smoky broth. just yum! :)

nine | davanti enoteca's mascarpone polenta + pork shoulder with san marzano tomatoes and porcini mushroom

one of the times i had a huge dish envy. i went to davanti enoteca for their sea urchin and crab linguine - while it was delicious but it was outshone by this hearty dish that my friend ordered. creamy polenta paired with melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder braised in a earthy and well seasoned ragu is quite hard to beat. it was pretty amazing to the point that i was staring at my friend's dish while savoring my entree. hehe. 

ten | blackbird's wood-grilled sturgeon

as much as i was not too pleased with the service at blackbird (it felt awkward and uncomfortable, to say the least), this was one dish that stayed in my mind. succulent with complicated layers of flavor to boot. the fish was cooked beautifully with a hint of smokiness from the grill. again, a case of dish envy and although ryan was willing to exchange his dish with mine, i couldn't bring myself to do it even though i was really tempted to. one complain was that the dish was too small. 

eleven | juban's veal chop oscar

this is a very late addition to the list since i only had this just last week during my vacation in louisiana. ryan's sister, meagan made reservations for us at this fine dining restaurant for our christmas present. huge love for this dish - tender and succulent veal rib chop (veal is lean so getting it done right requires precision) resting atop earthy truffled potato mash, topped with sweet and fresh louisiana lump crab. the bearnaise and the glace de veau completes this well thought out and delicious dish. i was smiling with every bite because it was so very good. yummy! await an entry on juban's in the very near future.

there you have it :: eleven dishes that topped my tasted, eaten & loved list. i'd say it was a pretty delicious year last year and i look forward to what food 2012 will bring. ^^

more entries very soon - probably updating you what i've been up to in the month of december in terms of cooking :)

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others