Ten on Tuesday
Ten of the Best Meals I've Ever Eaten
- Dinner at the Chateau Castel Novel, Varetz, France. The best meal of my entire life, hands down. There were seven courses, including, among other things, liver pâté, roasted quail, and some sort of amazing soufflé of I don't even remember what.
- Lobster picnic in Yarmouth, Maine. Family laughter, lobster, and drawn butter. Nothing else needed.
- Lunch at the Maison Robert in Boston. The specifics of the food entirely escape me, but it was really good. I do recall this mystical engraving in the ladies' room: O mickle is the power of plants herbs stones and their true qualities shit fuck. Words to live by.
- Sunday brunch at the Snow Squall, South Portland, Maine. A diversity of eggs, including Benedict, something with spinach, sausage, pancakes, all far too yummy.
- Dinner at my oldest friend's wedding. Cajun(ish) chicken grilled on site, some sort of delicious wild-rice salad, all in the open air, with champagne. No warmed-over mystery meat to be found.
- Christmas dinner at my stepgrandmother's: they all blur together, and they were all fabulous. Turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, peas, pearl onions, and, later, pecan, apple, or pumpkin pie to die for. (In one memorable instance, fraught in the midst of her cooking frenzy, she used cashews instead of pecans. Such was her culinary grace that even cashew pie was actually pretty good.)
- Morning-after-wedding brunch for a coworker/friend of Grant's and his new bride, outside Rochester, New York. The food at the wedding itself was unremarkable, as best I recall, although since there was an open bar for at least six hours I wouldn't imagine many people noticed one way or the other. (Since I don't drink I had the intriguing experience of being the only cold-sober person in a room full of inebriates, many of whom were one passing zephyr away from face-planting into the carpet.) The brunch, however, was something else. The variety of food bewildered, but I only remember the crab legs. I had never had crab legs before, much less for breakfast.
- Dinner at Max's, or maybe it's Maxwell's, somewhere near Newfane, Vermont. What sticks in my mind are the grilled endives. We would never have thought of grilling an endive ("And just what were you doing in the lettuce patch? We saw you talking to that Romaine!"), and now we do them at home as soon as grilling season starts.
- Brunch at Margo's in Shelburne Falls. Sadly, it's now defunct. We fondly recall the sweet-potato home fries.
- Dinner at Candeloro's, Manchester, Vermont. I've known chicken mole, I've eaten my share of chicken mole, and this was the most spectacular chicken mole I've ever encountered. Apparently they marinate the chicken in rosemary and lime juice. (I think it's rosemary. Or maybe garlic? This is why I would never make it as a chef.)