free hit counter Snacks, please!: Good food

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Good food

One thing I lost to Josephine's hospitalization (besides three pounds -- good! and my sanity -- bad!) was our reservations at Restaurant Eve's Tasting Room. I made them a month in advance, as required, for a Tuesday night (how long would we have to wait for a Saturday night??) And I was SO looking forward to dinner and fancy drinks at a restaurant that WaPo's Tom Seitsama calls "witty" and "imaginative" (and "expensive"...oh wait, no, that was David).

Anyway, another time...maybe 2009.

In the meantime, my three best dinners ever:
1) Po in NYC, in 1998? 1999? This was Mario Batali's first restaurant -- before he got famous (and before Bill Buford revealed what a kitchen bully he is). Anyway, I had the roasted monkfish. It swam over in a pool of light green olive oil and it was yum, yum, yummy.
2) 11 Maple Street in Jensen Beach, 2001? 2002? Not the most happening corner of the world maybe, but the chef had his own organic garden and he put edible flowers in my salad! Fancy-pants! Anyway, I had loup de mer with preserved lemons. The wolf of the sea! (Better than chicken of the sea!)
3) 1789, DC, 2006. Not so much about the food -- although the chocolate bread pudding was quite nice -- but the place. I always, always wanted to go here when I was at Georgetown, but never, in a million years, could have afforded it. Now, you know, I could go every Tuesday night...yeah, right!

Okay, can't stop...

4) Some nameless place in Ollantaytambo, Peru, 2002. The man made guacamole at our table -- and it was AWESOME. And we had bowls of creamy calabaza soup. (That's pumpkin, gringo!) We made friends with an Australian TV anchor at the only other table in the place. I think TV reporters must be smarter in other countries, because he knew an awful lot about our Congress... Plus Canada too! Who knows about Canada?! (Um, well, not me, anyway...)
5) Palena, DC, 2007. Goat cheese cheesecake with a glass of Prosecco. And no children!
6) Elizabeth's, Savannah, 2005? The herb salad with melon shavings.
7) Oooh! How could I forget? Oysters in New Orleans! Bottles of beer and dozens after dozens of really cheap, really sweet oysters. When was that? Maybe 2001? I hope that place is still there.

Okay, there are more, but seven is a lucky number. Must stop here!

And the three worst:
1) The white meal, some small town in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Everything on the plate was white and I think most of it was made out of potato. Very weird.
2) Warm sushi! Central Florida. Need I say more?
3) Oh, this one goes way back... 1988, maybe? There was this place in Hartford called Brown Thompson's that served potato skins, fried zucchini, stuff like that -- and there was crap all over the walls that we thought was very cool. My friend (you know who you are!) and I went for lunch and didn't have enough money to pay the bill. We called almost everybody we knew (except our parents) but ended up running for the door. Ack. I still feel bad about this! You know the nice waitress had to pay for it herself!


Anonymous Alain said...

You know that Art Buchwald got his start writing restaurant reviews, right?

May 2, 2007 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Marymurtz said...

Living in a fairish-sized city in the midwest, I'm sad to say there are only a couple of restaurants here where you can get an artful meal prepared by a real chef. Mostly, it's chain restaurants and passe food.

My husband and I consider a restaurant worth paying a babysitter for if they don't have a kids' menu AND if the menu doesn't include chicken strips.

I am envious of those meals you describe. What a joy is good food!

May 2, 2007 at 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Noah said...

The warm sushi was one of the most replusive meals ever. It was in a cook-on-the-table, not-quite-ready-for-Kissimmee place. The Conley-Rippels kept talking about their sick cat. It was late. The rice seemed unfrozen in texture.

May 3, 2007 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Alain -- You flatter me! I'd be happy to get my end in food writing. In the meantime, my favorite food writer is Calvin Trillin -- I like his essay about the Chairman Mao and their black limousine food tour of NYC restaurants. Trillin imagines Mao is a man with a hearty appetite.

Mary -- Oh, I wish we could eat out like we used to! I have to eat food memories instead. But we don't have bad takeout, which is fair consolation. I'm hooked on this Thai eggplant..

Noah -- Not-quite-ready-for-Kissimmee is a pretty damning description. Wish I thought of it myself...

May 3, 2007 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I was at BT's that day... but we didn't call anyone, did we? No cell phones back then! And in those people who ran out on the bill's defense, they did act responsibily and knew what the meal cost and so we, I mean, they ordered off the a la carte menu because that is all that could be afforded. And then the waiter said "go up to the buffet," but they were young and confused and thought for some reason they could still go to the buffet while paying for their a al carte only.
I'm sure both parties feel bad. One of the party had planned to have lunch there last week, but it is closed!
And it was a good meal. Or so I have heard.

May 3, 2007 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Daav said...

Glad to know I was actually at most of those meals. (Yes, the bad ones too.)

May 3, 2007 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Dear "Anon",
From the PAYPHONE (remember those?), we called our very recently wedded friend and a certain somebody from East Hartford... I believe his name was Dr. Ick.
Those were also the days before credit cards!

May 3, 2007 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had forgotten that detail! Well, I would have, if I had been there.
Just because the two people at that meal were attending a fancy prep school, doesn't mean they were the kind of brats who would have carried credit cards!
Feeling guilty still...

May 4, 2007 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger RandomReality said...

What about the PBP cafeteria??? They had that yummy mustard-crumbed chicken.....

May 10, 2007 at 11:24 AM  

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