I Was Busier Than You Thought I Was
I'm just about ready to shout out a big ol' Hallelujah now that 2006 is coming to a close. I feel I would be nothing but a stanky twat, though, if I didn't at least mention the restaurants I visited this year, but never got around to writing about. This is either because I never had the time to get around to it, or because the restaurant sucked balls. All restaurants are in SF, unless otherwise indicated. So here you are, dearest loves:
Auberge Provencale (Cannes, France) -- An old, old restaurant in Cannes. Picasso used to eat there. Despite being relatively touristy (but not nearly as bad as most other places in Cannes), the boulliabaise was remarkable.
Aziza -- Loved it, loved it, loved it. This, despite the fact that neither Jon nor I are super crazy about Moroccan food. I can't wait to go back, especially because one of my favorites works there now.
Berthillon (Paris, France) -- Perfectly delicious ice cream in rocktastic flavors like wild strawberry and cacao. I actually had a dream about it the other night.
Bistro Jeanty (Yountville) -- An institution for a reason.
Bloody Mary's (Bora Bora, French Polynesia) -- Gimmicky restaurant where they have a list of the celebrities who have eaten there. Still, Jon and I had perfectly cooked fish there and it was truly delicious, a big change from the rest of FP where the fish was CHEWY. What the fuck?
Bushi-tei -- Some things were delicious, others were just OK. Not worth the price (and if *I'm* saying that...).
Cafe des Phares (Paris, France) -- Worthwhile if only because we got to make out with David. My croque madame wasn't half bad, but Jon's onion soup sucked ass.
Can Ravell (Barcelona, Spain) -- Tapas bar. Mmmm...tapas and cava.
Canteen -- For brunch. Highly disappointing. My dish, eggs atop black beans and chorizo was so watery that I hardly found it edible.
Caravella (Ventimiglia, Italy) -- Should you find yourself in the south of France, for the love of God, hop a train to the first stop in Italy and eat here. Five people. Five plates of pasta. Not a single bite left. Bless the sweet Italian angel on the street who directed us there.
Chez Panisse (Berkeley) -- Every meal I've eaten there (upstairs only) has been as kick ass as you would expect, except for one this summer where the food wasn't up to it's usual fabulousness. I'm also not so crazy about the relatively cold service one receives when dining at the Chez.
Citizen Thai and the Monkey -- Fun and relatively good for a pretty decent price. Largest selection of Thai street food I've seen outside of Thai House Express. I'd go back if I was in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't make a special trip.
Crema Toscana (Barcelona, Spain) -- Delicious gelato. I want some more now.
De Kas (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- A restaurant in a greenhouse. Really fresh and really fab.
Dosa -- Delicious. I got especially wet over the fiery fruit salad. The service, however, was lacking. We were brought a check without requesting it and were not even offered a dessert menu (our dining companions and were self-conscious, thinking this was because of their baby who was with us but he is a perfect angel baby -- really -- so I'm sure this was not it, but rather just a shoddy oversight).
El Bulli (Cal Monjoi, Spain) -- It's coming. Promise.
El Raigon -- A surprising delight. Fun wine list to boot.
Farmer Brown -- I really want the food there to be better, because I believe in what they are doing, and I want them to do well. Still on a scale from 1-10, they've got about a 5 with me right now.
Felix (Cannes, France) -- If you find yourself in Cannes, it's not a bad option. Not earth shattering food either, mind you, but the fish was yummers.
Foreign Cinema -- One of the best brunches in the city, hands down. Fried eggs deglazed with balsamic (!). I did not eat dinner there this year, though, since my dinner experiences there in the past have been crappy.
Frontera Grill (Chicago, IL) -- Appetizers and drinks only. We were thrilled to find out that the hype is warranted. It was taste-o-rific.
Front Porch -- Loved the Smithfield Ham plate, but didn't love much else.
Hotel Costes (Paris, France) -- Painfully hip. Just popped in for some caviar and champagne. That's right, bitches, that's how we do.
House of Prime Rib -- So. Much. Fun. An institution. The baked pototo cart really rang my bell. The beef was tender (I even ate some -- I mean, what kind of pussy would I be if I didn't?) and flavorful, and my fish entree was very good as well. The accoutrements can't be beat.
Julia's Kitchen (Napa) -- Ugh. Such a disappointment. Service was non-existent and Jon's antelope was such a let down.
Kantjil and the Tiger (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- Indonesian. Very blah. Wouldn't go back.
Laduree (Paris, France) -- Treats, treats and more treats. I am still kicking myself for not buying pounds of their pillowy strawberry marshmallows.
Le Bangkok (Cannes, France) -- A Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai restaurant. Sounds like puke city, right? Not at all. Stick with the Thai food (the title should be a tip off) -- it was better than any Thai food I've had in SF.
Le Cinq (Paris, France) -- We only ate breakfast here, as we were staying in the hotel and it was the most perfect breakfast a princess, um, I mean, girl, could ask for. Little stools so your purse or newspaper doesn't rest on the ground, impeccable service, yummy chocolat chaud and croissants flakier than your sister. Plus, when I told the waiter how much I would miss the croissants when we checked out of the hotel, he had the kitchen box up four for me to take on my journey. Worth every fucking penny.
Le Petit Zinc (Paris, France) -- Le Petit Crap is more like it.
Le Vesuvio (Cannes, France) -- Pizza and pasta and crap. What Jon's family wanted that night. Yawn.
Linareva (Moorea, French Polynesia) -- A restaurant on a boat! Great drinks, potentially delicious food if those French Polynesians could learn not to overcook their fucking fish.
Nopa -- I was there with a very large party for a birthday (we're talking 30 people) so I can't really pass judgement unless I go under more normal circumstances. I was underwhelmed during the large party visit.
N. V. Restaurant and Lounge (Napa) -- Don't bother.
Olema Inn (Olema) -- Good limeade. Good oysters (except the preparation with Buddha's Hand -- keep the fucking pith out of that shit, please!). Otherwise AWFUL.
Pierre Herme (Paris, France) -- Mmmm...macarons...ate so many that I needed a shot of insulin. Totally worth it.
Pinotxo (Barcelona, Spain) -- A tapas bar in the Boqueria that was so dreamy I almost fell off my stool in orgasmic convulsions.
Pizzaiolo (Oakland) -- Fucking amazing. If we didn't have so much good pizza in the city, I would be there every night.
Pizza Paradiso (Georgetown, Washington, DC) -- Tasty. To be honest, I don't remember much, I was just thrilled to be eating a meal apart from the 80 kids I was chaperoning.
Poleng Lounge -- Fab food. Crappy seating. Sucky service.
Range -- Glorious. I suck for not writing about it. I love every bite I've ever eaten there.
Restaurant Barceloneta (Barcelona, Spain) -- Here's the thing: everything in Barcelona is closed on Sunday. Restaurant Barceloneta was the only place we had read anything decent about that was actually open. The Palermo prawns were pretty delish but otherwise it wasn't a terribly memorable experience.
Small World Catering (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- Yummy sammiches and cookies.
Tres Agaves -- Incredible bar. OK food. I'm eager to go there to get my margarita on, but not so eager about the eats.
Villa Mahana (Bora Bora, French Polynesia) -- The only fine dining on Bora Bora. Chef Damien Rinaldi Dovio hails from Corsica and serves lobster and foie gras in his precious little restaurant. It's certainly no French Laundry, but it was pretty impressive compared to everything else we were getting on Bora Bora.
Honorable mention: Luna Park's new delivery service. A gift from the Gods. I can get s'mores whenever the fuck I want now. Doesn't get any better than that.
There you have it. See you later, 2006, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Happy Fucking New Year!
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld