TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN. What a year! Amazing meals shared with friends & family, acquiring hard to get dinner reservations, tasting menus, food-crawls, food-festivals, food trucks, and food-centric travels…
To wrap up this flavor-packed year, I thought I’d share some of my top choices. These lists include places that may not be new in the culinary scene. They just happen to be places I love to frequent … and my love for them may never fade. The lists are based on places and bites that stirred something deep inside my foodie-soul…. got me all excited (with their food/their ambiance/their people)…. and they make me yearn for more.
Note: Eateries are not listed in any specific order
My 5 Favorite Eateries in 2016 (Connecticut):
These places made my list because they are serving incredibly delicious food…. AND they are family-owned and family-run businesses. I LOVE that about a restaurant. I LOVE that the chef/owner/&family is always present at their restaurant – deeply involved with the front as well as the back of the house. And I ALWAYS get to interact with them. To me, that is a HUGE part of a satisfying dining experience.
- Olea, New Haven
- Hen & Heifer, Guilford CT
- Ada’s Kitchen+Coffee, Greenwich CT
- Royal Guard Fish & Chips, Norwalk
- Teff, Stamford
My 5 Favorite Eateries in 2016 (beyond Connecticut):
These restaurants just blew me away! They are on my list mostly for their food. I feel they are great benchmarks for what good food should taste like. In these 5 eateries, I did not even have a single “meh!” bite.
- Manresa, Los Gatos CA
- Indian Accent, New York NY
- Blanca, Brooklyn, NY
- Duck Duck Goat, Chicago IL
- Myers+Chang, Boston MA
My 10 Favorite Bites in 2016
Here are my favorite bites of 2016… bites that I am still talking about and craving!
- Luigi Bianco pizza at Fortina CT/NY
- Quiches at Hen & Heifer, Guilford CT
- Dorho Wat and Katenga at Teff, Stamford CT
- Mapo Doufu at Duck Duck Goat, Chicago IL
- Nasi Goreng at Myres+Chang, Boston MA
- Steamed Fish at Nom-eez, Bridgeport CT
- Makhan Malai at Indian Accent, New York
- Zuccini Bread & Goat’s Milk Butter at The Cottage, Westport CT
- Okinomiyaki at Xiao Bao Biscuit, Charleston SC
- Hamachi/Smoked Bone marrow at Kawa Ni, Westport CT
My 3 Wishes For 2017
- Indian chefs and Indian cuisine finally getting respect in the fine dining scene
- Kimchi showing up in more fusion dishes- because I think it adds delightful layers of flavor. What can I say! I am LOVING Kimchi right now! On the same note, I look forward to all the upcoming innovations with the concept of fermentation.
- More female chefs taking center-stage and getting recognition they deserve, worldwide