On Monday I posted everyone's favorite restaurants in their own town/city - today I have favorites from anywhere - all over the world, anyplace they've ever eaten.
Jen (Honey Kennedy) - I love L'as du Falafel in Paris. I crave it ALL THE TIME. I also love this little Chinese takeout place in Seattle called Green Village in the International District. I've been going there since I was in high school for their cold noodles. For $4.50 you get the best, most sweet and spicy balanced peanut noodles ever. I also lucked out once and Naomi prepared me an INCREDIBLE vegetarian meal at Beast in Portland while I was there with some carnivores. Portland really does have an incredible food scene - we're really spoiled here.
Jena (Modish) - We tend to plan trips specifically around what we want to eat and which restaurants we want to visit. About a year ago, we eloped in Mendocino - not only because it's one of our favorite vacation spots, but because we wanted to eat at The Ravens for our wedding meal! It's all vegetarian, the veggies are grown right there on their grounds, the dishes are unexpected and different and everything we've had there is super delicious.
M. Fay (Amateur Couture) - Brophy Bros. in Santa Barbara, California. Their clam chowder sings to my soul. I like to dip the warm crusty sour dough bread into my soup for that "AHHHH" moment. You'll find me sitting on the patio with a bottle of wine soaking in the mountains and the ocean views.
Anabela (fieldguided) - Probably one that exists only in my head, the perfect combination of cozy, quiet atmosphere, good service, and whatever food I feel like eating that day, which would be a copy of any number of excellent meals I have had throughout my life.
Erin (butter and brass) - Pizza, in Paris, at La Briciola. In a city with the most amazing food, this place is a little bit of home with a big, steamy scoop of ricotta on top.
Sara (Brown Paper Bag) - Anywhere? Hmm... I think I would tend to associate that with memories and comfort. I would say my favorite restaurants are pizza places (such a food philistine I am!), because that's where I have the warmest memories with friends and family. In Baltimore, it's a tie between two really awesome pizza places: Iggies or Joe Squared.
Kate (Lovelorn Unicorn) - I had the best brunch I've ever had at Bouchon in Las Vegas. I ordered some sort of big breakfast, which came with juice, tea, a pastry, eggs, lyonnaise potatoes and garlicy spinach. Everything was gorgeously presented and it was a delight to be there. I'm very brunch-centric. Brunch (or breakfast) is a great way to get to try a restaurant that's ordinarily out of your budget.
Melanie (you are my fave) - On my last trip to New York I made the trek to Katz Deli. I still have dreams about that Reuben sandwich, then I wake up hungry and disappointed to only find Crispix in my kitchen.
Gemma Correll - In San Francisco: the Mexican Taqueria Cancun... I still dream about the "Super Taco".
Liza (Length x Wit) - For this one, there is only one answer. I know exactly what restaurant it is, but I can not for the life of me remember what it is called. It's either Little Italy or Little Roma or something along those lines, but I had the best meal of my life there. I was in Rome a few years ago with my family, and the first night we were there, we asked the concierge at our bed and breakfast for a dinner sugestion. I remember being a little disconcerted that the restaurant's name was in English. That feeling didn't last long. It was a simple meal - salad, spaghetti bolognese, and mont blanc for dessert - but each course was so flavorful, so fresh, and so fulfilling on every sensual level that I feel nothing could or will compete with it. Even the parmesan was mind-blowing. I don't think I can explain it properly beyond that or "ohmygoshsogood," but I remember it as clearly as if I had eaten it last night. My entire family still references it as our favorite meal of all time. Considering the twisty streets of Rome, I unfortunately doubt I could ever find the restaurant again, but the memory of my experience there lives on in minute detail.
Emily (short story design) - Le Refuge des Fondues in Montmartre, Paris. Ooey-gooey cheese fondue + red wine out of baby bottles. It's hilariously delicious.
Diana (Miss Moss) - I went to a restaurant in Paris last year called La Taverne du Sergeant Recruteur which is basically an all you can eat and drink for a set price affair. You arrive at your table and there are already baskets of food for you to dig into - bread, different kinds of cured meats, pates and a load of fresh vegetables (so you can make your own salad - think giant carrots, ripe tomatoes and even a head of lettuce). You're immediately served with a bowl of their soup of the day, then you order a main - I had the duck confit, wow. When the waitor sees that you're starting to fall into a food coma, he brings over a platter of cheeses and asks you what you want for dessert. On top of all this, you can drink unlimited (and I mean unlimited) bottles of wine.
Elise (Pennyweight) - A couple of months ago, my husband and I visited Mario Batali's restaurant Osteria Mozza in LA. There were six of us, and we all tried a little bit of each, not to mention we shared a few small plates to start. Let's just say I left very happy, bursting at the seams with refined, tasty Italian food.
Allira (so on and so forth) - Romdeng in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Not only is it the best Khmer food I've ever tasted, but the restaurant is run by former street youth in training, so you're supporting a very good cause. It is part of Friends-International, who work with vulnerable children and youth and offer vocational training -giving them confidence, life skills, the opportunity of employment and an alternative and sustainable life off of the street. I can't remember how many times I went there, but in numerical terms it was a lot. Friends in Phnom Penh (which is also part of Friends-International) serves tapas and comes in at an equal first.
Megan (Commas and Clauses) - Red Bamboo! Since it was virtually on my undergrad's "campus" in Greenwich Village, I went there all the time, usually for the soy BBQ chicken (far better than real chicken). The menu is vegan-friendly (with vegetarian options, as well) and the atmosphere is both cozy and welcoming.
Maggie (Folkloric) - Vista Spring Cafe is where I always eat dinner when I visit Portland. It's tucked away on a residential street, so it's quiet and homey, and they serve basic food done well. I have so many fond memories of this place from over the years that, at this point, it's almost impossible to distinguish them from my opinion of their food.
Dabito (Old Brand New) - I have no idea what the name of it is, but it's a tiny restaurant in a strip mall. They have the best Hainan chicken rice.
Katie (thank you, ok) - While I was living in Seoul I loved going to cafes (like this, this, and this) for set-cutesy lunches and traditional Korean restaurants for larger meals consisting of lots of tiny side dishes. In Paris, I liked the Rose Bakery (and have since made use of their cookbook). Also, although it's not a restaurant, I had a very memorable time at Jim Haynes' house for his Sunday dinner. For atmosphere, lingering over dinner on the lawn of Spring/Summer/Winter in Bangkok was the best - soft, relaxing, and they played amazing music.
Sara (Matchbox Kitchen) - I had the best meal of my life at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR. Every bite felt like that moment in Ratatouille when Remy takes a bite of cheese and a grape to combine the flavors together.
Hannah (banana meet-cute) - I had a fantastic meal earlier in the year at the Foodstore in Auckland, NZ. The creamed paua with crusty bread was a taste sensation.
Jen (hellojenuine) - We visited Gothenburg last year and found a really great vegetarian cafe/bar called Solrosen (Sunflower). You could pick a main and top up your plate at a salad bar. We were only sorry that we couldn't visit more than once.