“A couple of days after… at a sleek hotel in St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, I had a fish soup– soupe de poissons de roche, rouille et croûtons dorés, to be exact– that was so good I was almost able to forget how much it cost.” — Calvin Trillin
Not all wonderful food has to be expensive. In the spirit of Calvin Trillin, I consider myself an eater first and foremost. I have been influenced as a cook by high and low food alike. But when you do go out for those really fancy meals, sometimes the ultimate compliment can be to believe it’s worth every penny.
Restaurants and Reviews on places of great influence on me:
Their roasted vegetables and pizzas are inspiring. Check out my version of their “uova” pizza. Their buddino was featured in Bon Appetit.
Mark Vetri is a pasta genius. The goat cheese and beet “plin” inspired the beet gnocchi I make.
So many of their sandwiches inspire regular feats of everyday lunch greatness. And they do it all for under $10.
The recipe I posted for warm shrimp salad is based on many many trips to Parc for Sunday brunch.
Arguably my favorite Philly restaurant. A small but perfect menu reflecting the seasons. Understated elegance and byob. It doesn’t really get any better. But they didn’t sound proof when they did their renovations. Ugh.
All of their food inspires me to great things.
San Francisco Bay Area:
The best crust I’ve ever had, in an unusual style. With roasted red peppers, portabellas and goat cheese. Yum.
Bi-Rite Creamery and Bi-Rite Market
Inspired salads as well as a very early version of salted caramel ice cream.
The French Laundry
Amazing CA Asian fusion. So good.
Their lemon tart with a rose petal is aspirational.
The Moveable Feast:
Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant
My first waitressing job. Definitely learned a lot about hospitality and quality in large volumes.
Of all the meals we ate all over Spain, this reasonably priced tinto bar was most memorable. The show stopping ingredients and playful presentations made the creativity and quality only part of the perfection.
I had the privilege of dining at Canlis for a very special wedding reception. That night I had a parsnip soup paired with a sancerre that was to die for. They generously shared their parsnip soup recipe, imparting not only one of my favorite recipes, but also that even the most talented and creative chefs can embrace generosity and teaching through recipe sharing.
Elizabeth on 37th
The half moon clams with country ham, truffle oil, and corn bread madeleines shan’t be forgotten. I’d travel to Savannah in a heartbeat for another chance to dine here. And the wine list…
Mas Tacos Por Favor in Nashville, TN