Somehow it just seems appropriate to do a recap post at the end of the year - and doubly so for me, given that this was my first year of blogging. I know it sounds corny, but this blog has brought me into a whole new world. It has changed my perspective and opened my eyes, and I am grateful for that. As we close out the year, I am looking back on some wonderful memories. Here are a few of them:
Best Meal at a New (local) Fine Dining Restaurant: Jack's in La Jolla ( I also like the Grill.) Runners up: Market and JRDN (though technically I think they opened in 05.)
Most Memorable Meal: Dinner at Laja in the Guadalupe Valley
Best Meal at a New Neighborhood Restaurant: Either the Duck Confit at Modus or Moules Frites at Vagabond.
Most Promising Newcomer: Jayne's Gastropub - currently open only for lunch but opening for dinner in February.
Favorite Dishes Outside of San Diego: Lamb at Laja, In San Francisco: Oola's Ribs, Foie Gras and Scallops at Boulevard, Roast Pork Bahn Mi at Out the Door in the Ferry Building, and pastries from Boulette's Larder - also in the Ferry Building.
Best Dessert: Butterscotch Pot De Creme at Jayne's Gastropub
Runners up: Passionfruit Andaji with Coconut Gelato at Red Pearl Kitchen, Chocolate Pot de Creme at Cafe Chloe and the Chocolate Panna Cotta at Market.
Best New Recipes: Doughnut Muffins, Ultimate Fall Lasagna, Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches, Lucques Shortribs.
Best Cocktails: The Blackberry Mint Margaritas made from the Hungry Cat's Recipe, Boulevard Pink Limonade at Boulevard in San Francisco (be sure to have them make it with the Bacardi Limon!)
Best Home-Cooked Meal: The Prime Rib and Roasted Vegetables that Tracy and Brian cooked for us on Christmas Day.
Favorite New Cookbooks: Sunday Suppers with Lucques, the Boulevard Cookbook, the Zuni Cafe Cookbook and Jamie's Dinners.
Best New Discoveries: the Black Truffle Pate at Bristol Farms in La Jolla (like frosting out of the can for grown-ups!), American Flatbread pizza (in the freezer section at Bristol Farms), the organic produce selection at People's, lobster pot pies from Williams Sonoma, french pastries (flaky real butter croissants!) and the chipotle pork sandwich at the Westgate Deli downtown, Con Pane - especially their Roast Beef sandwich with goat cheese and red onion, Eclipse Chocolates, Vosge's Barcelona Bar.
Worst disasters: two ice cold side dishes served with a steak at Laurel, our meal at C Level at Island Prime - cold overly rich and fried food - is there anything worse?? Not getting seated at Parallel 33 despite the fact that we had a reservation (they gave our table away to some regulars who walked in without one - we left after waiting thirty minutes for something else to open up.)
In 2007, I'm looking forward to trying a few of the newer restaurants around town - such as Blanca, Addison, and the Tractor Room. I also want to try a few that aren't so new but I just haven't been able to get to - like Confidential and Stingaree. I've also heard that JSix is very good these days, and I'd also like to get back to Jack's, Parallel 33 and the Wine Sellar.
We are also planning a week long trip up to the Central Coast in October. Were going to spend a couple of nights in Santa Barbara, and a few nights in Big Sur. (We decided to push back our Spain trip for various reasons.)
I also have a few New Year's resolutions related to this blog - here goes:
1) Does everyone who starts a food blog gain ten pounds like I did? I resolve to get back down to a size ten within the next six months, without talking about it all the time.
2) I resolve to continue to make my way through culinary school one class at a time.
3) I resolve to go to Roppongi's happy hour to eat their appetizers at half price.
4) I resolve to try one new restaurant, and write about it, at least once a month.
5) I resolve to learn to make french bread and croissants at home
6) I resolve to do as much of my shopping as possible at Peoples, especially for produce.
7) I resolve to eat more fruits, vegetables and legumes, and less meat and dairy.
7) I resolve to get outdoors and go hiking more often at places like Cowles Mountain and Torrey Pines.
8) I resolve to trust my instincts and write honestly in my assessments and reviews.
9) I resolve to continue to refine my writing, to branch out and move beyond the sixth grade reading level where I sometimes feel I am stuck.
10) I resolve to budget my time better, so my blog doesn't cut into my sleep (like it is right now!) or make me late for work or for appointments
We'll see how I do!
Happy New Year!