What a year 2016 was! I had the pleasure of dining at the best restaurants in the Hamptons and North Fork as well as some notable restaurants in Manhattan, Connecticut and Washington D.C. It proved to be very tough to narrow it down to ten favorite dishes, but after careful consideration, I am thrilled to present the ten best things I ate this past year. I could only imagine what delectable plates 2017 will bring!
Charcuterie de Canard Maison, Bastille- Alexandria, VA
Top quality in taste and preparation. It is not that often that you find a restaurant that creates their own prosciutto and foie gras. The foie gras was not only buttery and salty, but it went well with the homemade French bread, and the French spiced walnut toast.
Seafood Paella, SLATE Wine Bar + Bistro- Washington D.C.
Their award-winning Seafood Paella is a melodic seafood lover’s delight. Plated table-side and garnished with a fresh sprig of rosemary. The pungent, fresh flavors were so distinct, we could still reminisce about them more than three weeks later.
Gnocchi Di Zucca Fatti, TerraSole- Ridgefield, CT
I had to brace and hold myself back from finishing this dish in one sitting. As one of the best gnocchi dishes I have ever tried, I continue to dream about that autumn dish with a sprinkle of fresh, black pepper.
Sriracha-Style Calamari, Fresh Salt- Old Saybrook, CT
If you love calamari, this is the dish for you. Golden brown, sweet chili glaze, and served with spicy cherry peppers Julienne fresh vegetables, scallions. I cannot wait to be back at Saybrook Point so I could dive in to this appetizer again!
Coconut Cake, Red Maple at the Chequit
The most deliciously moist cake with superb, creamy cream cheese icing with generous amounts of toasted coconut in each mouthwatering bite. This cake could easily be split between four people. But why reveal that to your friends? Order one for yourself and take the rest home to enjoy later. I already asked my husband if we could come back for Valentine’s Day just for this cake!
Crackling Pork Shank, Red Bar Brasserie
I can guarantee you have never had anything like this before: succulent, fall off the bone, simply brilliant. The meat paired beautifully with the sauerkraut and mustard. My daughter was also a huge fan of this dinner dish.
Porco al Forno, Sotto Sopra
The succulent, juicy raising and herbed mashed potatoes are what took this dish to the top. The pork was grilled to perfection. Pairs beautifully with Sebastiani, Sonoma County 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. A very memorable dish that I highly recommend to anyone.
Prosciutto Salad, First and South
My favorite appetizer on the Greenport restaurant’s specials menu was the prosciutto salad with prosciutto di parma, heirloom tomato, Long Island goat cheese, and cornbread croutons. The cornbread croutons were very unique with a little nod to the Southern-inspired ingredients of most dishes on the menu. Plated like a work of art.
Emmy Burger, Ruschmeyer’s/Emily
This is one serious burger; the caramelized onions are dynamic and the warm pretzel bun knocks it out of the park. The dripping orange “Emmy” sauce cascading down on to the plate reminded us of a seriously good buffalo wing sauce. I don’t say this lightly, it is literally one of the best burgers we have ever had.
Cotoletta Sant Ambroeus, Sant Ambroeus
This traditional veal chop Milanese with roasted cauliflower deserved five stars. I was utterly impressed. This is the spot in Southampton to impress your significant other. I would come here everyday if I could. Molto delizioso!