the best things i ate in 2016
What a year! I'm looking at my 2016 calendar now and giggling at all the dinners in late January. Avvie's due date was Jan. 19th, but she wasn't born until Feb. 2nd. In that weird interstice, we probably went out to eat almost every night, including a lot of my favorites like The Eddy, L'Amico, and Brick Lane Curry House. In case you're wondering, spicy food doesn't seem to make a hell of a lot of difference when it comes to inducing labor.
Obviously our eating out habits slowed a bit after she was born, but I'm proud of the fact that we still schedule both date nights as well as dining excursions for our whole family. I'm a lot more aware of which restaurants have high chairs or changing tables now, but I would say, on the whole, my appetite for dining out hasn't decreased one bit. These are my best meals of 2016.
The spicy rigatoni vodka at Carbone
Few pasta dishes make my heart flutter the way this one does. It's rare that I order the same thing at a restaurant every time, but I can't stray from this perfect rendition of vodka sauce.
Cookie and cream balls at NoMad
Unfortunately I think this is off the menu now, but Oreo-anything is my favorite, so these are just dreamy.
Panini at Il Bambino
I have been so grateful for this place for opening because a) it's only two blocks from our apartment and b) they've always been super accommodating when I lug the stroller in. In addition, the sandwiches are insanely good. When I was breastfeeding and ravenous all of the time, I could probably eat two in one sitting, which is really saying something. My personal favorite is the meatloaf, which is one of the two pictured above.
The tasting menu at Shuko
Not eating sushi while pregnant was acutely painful. But the phenomenal tasting menu at Shuko, especially this toro and milk bread dish pictured above, was well worth the wait.
Agnolotti at Lilia
Missy Robbins is one of the best chefs working in the country today and no dish shows off her skills more than this sheep's milk-stuffed pasta delicately slicked with saffron and honey.
Brunch at the Crimson Sparrow
My favorite brunch in America just might be here, at this delightful spot in Hudson, NY. They don't serve it every weekend, so check their calendar to see when it's popping up next. You choose four small plates from a selection of maybe a dozen and every single one is superb.
Margarita pie at Emmy Squared
If you're a pizza person, I'm sure you've seen this pie on Instagram a few thousand times. But, it lives up to the hype. Crispy crust, gooey burrata, and fresh basil. Heavenly.
Everything at Olmsted
This place is like Narnia with its beautiful back garden. The menu changes all the time, but you seriously can't go wrong with anything. If the whipped yogurt is on the dessert menu though, do it. Above is the fondue made with Harbison cheese.
Macaroni and cheese at MET Back Bay
Made with four cheeses, served with a crispy crust AND in a skillet, this is baked pasta perfection.
Lamb carbonara from Blanca
This tasting menu was great fun, as is everything in the Roberta's empire. My favorite course was this flavor-packed bite of spaghetti.
French toast at E.A.T.
This is the platonic ideal of french toast. It's so fluffy and baked so precisely, you even have to order it ahead of time.
Croque Monsieur at Tartine Bakery
We only had a few hours in San Francisco this fall, but we made the most of it. The famed Tartine was at the top of my list and everything -- from the breads to the cookies to the lunch entrees -- lived up to my very high expectations. While not traditional, considering it's open-faced and has tomato, it's still one of the best I've ever tasted.
The baked ricotta and roasted kabocha from Loring Place
Last, but certainly not least: my favorite chef, Dan Kluger, opened his restaurant Loring Place this fall (coincidentally, just down the block from Il Bambino). Everything on this menu is farm-to-table dreamy, but this ooey-gooey appetizer is what I'll be craving all winter long.
And that's a wrap! What were your best meals of 2016?