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Best Meals of 2018

The year is quickly drawing to a close so I’m starting to think about our trips this past year and am planning for next year as well.  This past year, the highlights were definitely our time in France and Fiji but we had several wonderful weekend getaways as well.  Of course, food is always a big “thing” during our trips and below is my list of favorites from 2018.  Next year, I’m looking forward to steaks in Argentina, tacos in Puerto Vallarta and pasta in Italy.

Three Michelin Star Lunch at La Chevre d’Or in Eze, France

This was definitely our best meal of 2018 (at least it was my favorite!).  Chevre d’Or is located in the cliff side village of Eze, half-way between Nice and Monaco.  I planned Sunday lunch here during our visit to the French Riviera this past summer and fulfilled a bucket list restaurant dream.  This was one of those multi-course, 3-hour lunches and we went full board with wine pairings, multiple rounds of amuse bouches, and pre-lunch cocktails on their terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.  This is absolutely a frou-frou, dress-up kind of restaurant but the food, wine pairings, service and view all lived up to the hype and was worth the splurge and once in a lifetime experience!

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Wine overlooking the Mediterranean (with my classy lipstick smudge)
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Amuse bouches
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View of Cap Ferrat and the French Riviera from our table
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Me before walking in (we had to climb up several steps to reach the restaurant in the village as our cab driver wouldn’t drive up to the hotel valet for some reason).  I wore flats and put heels in my bag just in case this happened and was glad I did.  Couldn’t imagine climbing cobblestone stairs in heels!
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Dessert (one of many) was a whole roasted fig with mascarpone ice cream…sigh….

Lunch with a View of the Eiffel Tower at Au Bon Acceuil, Paris, France

Before we headed to the Riviera, we spent two days hustling and bustling around Paris.  On our second day, after 4-5 hours of walking and sightseeing, we decided to try an impromptu lunch at Au Bon Acceuil by the Eiffel Tower.  We had dinner at this restaurant 10 years ago and popped in this time with no reservations and somewhat under-dressed in shorts and sandals. However, the waiter didn’t seem to care as we opted to sit on their small patio by ourselves and enjoy a 3-course lunch with a bottle of French red and an unbelievable view of the Eiffel Tower. We sampled braised octopus, roasted lamb and slow-cooked pork with desserts as well. So glad we decided to splurge on this lunch! It was our favorite meal in Paris.

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Just a little day drinking in Paris with the Eiffel Tower behind me
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Pork with cabbage

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It looks photoshopped but it’s not!
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Does anyone get tired of Eiffel Tower shots?

Indian Food Extravaganza at Rasika in Washington D.C.

I had to be in Washington D.C. for work and my work event was on a Friday morning so I asked my husband rather last minute if he’d like to fly up Friday morning, meet me when I was done and spend the weekend in D.C seeing the monuments and museums and he was game. I insisted that we have dinner at Rasika the first night.  I ate here several years ago with a law school friend of mine and was bowled over – she and I still talk about how good the food was.  I like Indian food but Rasika takes it to the next level.  This is not your average Indian food restaurant that serves things buffet style.  This is upscale Indian and is also one of Barack Obama’s favorite places.  It is the most complex, layered, subtle and yet powerfully spiced and flavorful food ever.  Of course, we did their massive tasting menu which gets you 3 appetizers and then a sampling of 4 different Indian dishes each with rice and naan.  We were so full.  We were so busy eating that I only got one very goofy picture of my husband when the sample platter came – he was happy!

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Sunday Brunch at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans, LA

We met some friends in Nola in February for the first weekend of Mardi Gras and we all did Sunday jazz brunch at Mr. B’s Bistro before they flew home.  I love Mr. B’s Bistro and it’s on my “must do” list when I visit New Orleans.  I have tried a few dishes here but the one that keeps me coming back is the very messy, very buttery and very saucy BBQ Shrimp.  The name is a misnomer because the shrimp are not grilled and they are not in BBQ sauce.  They are big head-on and shell-on shrimp simmered in a buttery sauce with lots of black pepper and cayenne and paprika.  They are addictive!  We all had to share some hot pecan pie with vanilla ice cream afterwards, too.

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Hot buttered pecan pie
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French Quarter, Nola
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BBQ Shrimp
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Eggs Benedict with rabbit sausage and greens
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After brunch we hit a few Mardi Gras parades

Birthday Dinner at The Terrace Restaurant, St. John, USVI

In April we spent a week in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we rented a house on St. John.  Our trip was originally going to be spent half in the USVI and half in the BVI but the BVI still wasn’t ready for visitors after the 2017 hurricanes, which hit this entire area hard.  We were glad to come back and help the economy by spending our tourist dollars here.  We arrived on my birthday so we had a wonderful dinner at The Terrace Restaurant, which overlooks Cruz Bay and features a French-Caribbean fusion menu.  We had some wonderful oysters rockefeller, champagne and fresh local seafood and caught an amazing sunset from our rental house before we headed to dinner overlooking the harbor.  It was a great birthday dinner and way to start this vacation.

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Steve at the Terrace with boats in the background
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Oysters Rockefeller

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Sunset in the USVI

Honorable Mention:  Chinese Tuxedo, New York City – I have no pictures of this restaurant because I was here for work and I don’t include anything work-related on my blog.  However, this is a super-cool restaurant that used to be an old theater in Chinatown, NY and was used by gangsters and the mafia back in the day.  There are even bullet holes in the walls that you can still see.  It was very NY chic and busy and the food was amazing – tons of small plates to share and we had everything from dumplings to spicy fried chicken to short ribs and noodle dishes.  I highly recommend.  It’s located down a very shady looking alley-way and has no sign or anything so it’s got a very speak-easy feel to it.

Well, that’s my list.  Can’t wait for 2019!

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