New challenge for a new year: Give me a review of the best place to dine where you live, not where you've been. Price, presentation, quality of food, etc., all count for your review.
My choice for the Monterey Peninsula would be Passionfish in Pacific Grove: an excellent selection of fine wines at virtually NO markup over retail, staff that knows them all by heart, seafood that is expertly prepared and fresh at reasonable prices--what's not to love?I gave them all 28's for Zagat, 30 being the highest.
One pricey example is the Grenache Blend called Saxum (Paso Robles) from James Berry Vineyards. Winner of the Wine Spectator award for best wine a few years ago, it retails for 95 at auction and Passionfish sells it for drinking at 116!
Your turn....reviews can be long or short, but if we all do this we'll have a culinary guide to the world
Great question, and without question, in St. Louis, it would be:
The Bommarito Family puts out elegant dining and fine service. Vince, Sr, his son Jr., are the best. When you call for reservations Ken, or Bob will help you get a fine table. This is a "Celebrations" type of place and the prices will run you around $50 plus for dining and a glass of wine. You may see a celebrity or two while you are there.
Make a reservation!
I do not know what there ranking is on Zagat, but I dine there once a month, and have always been pleased.
One of our favorite place to dine and best Chinese food in The Woodlands is China Bridge. It is a family owned clean small restaurant where the owner always greets you either at the door or at some point during your meal. The food is tasty, perfectly spiced, they use fresh ingredients, price is less than $11 for most meals and the portions are good sized.
The Vegetable Moo Shu with Plum Sauce and Hot Pepper Chicken are my favorites, starting off with Hot and Sour Soup. If you like asparagus the Sesame Jade Chicken is excellent, fresh asparagus wrapped in chicken with a sesame sauce....YUM.
We have a great selection of dining spots in The Woodlands and a plethora of them in Houston. Many are much fancier and upscale with the see and be seen out on the town style. However; China Bridge is consistently good, locally owned which keeps the money in the local economy up here north of town and it's close.
On the IAHFLYR list it rates a 13 out of 13!
EDIT: Changed to one of our favorite rather than all time favorite. Never was a good proof reader.
How about the Pineville Tavern in Pineville, PA. Built in 1742....this place is full of life. Everything, and I mean everything, that the chef/owner puts out is excellent. The menu runs from burgers to handmade ravioli to the best soft shelled crabs and/or crabs cakes you ever tried. Prices are reasonable and you'll fall in love on your first visit.
Best restaurant on Oahu, hands down, it Honolulu Eats - Chef Mavro
Chef Mavro doesn't receive the same attention/notoriety as Alan Wong's & Roy's, but to me it's the best. I've NEVER had a dish I didn't like here, even though all the listed components were things I didn't like. The wine pairings here are the best you'll experience in the state as well. Service is attentive, but not overbearing or too stuffy. Prices vary from $85/person for 4 courses to $175/person for 11 courses, food only.
Best breakfast: Cream Pot
A tad pricy at $20+ per person, but the bacon + potato rolled omelet or the bacon + potato baked eggs are to die for! Other popular menu items are the vodka cured salmon omelet, the strawberry + chocolate crepes, the maguro benedict, and the soufflé pancakes. It's been a while, so sorry, no pictures or review from me. It's on my re-visit list
Best Sports Bar/Family Restaurant: Honolulu Eats - Side Street Inn On Da Strip (Kapahulu)
Tons of local favorites! Prices seem high, but the portions are enormous & meant to share.
Best casual restaurant: Honolulu Eat's - Monkeypod Kitchen
It's all the way in Ko Olina, but there's something for everyone here. Great burgers, great appetizers, great drinks and more!
Best "plate lunch": Honolulu Eats - Heights Drive Inn
In a medical office building in Aiea (overlooking Pearl Harbor), the go-to meal here is the boneless special! Two grilled teriyaki boneless chicken thighs on a bed of fried noodles, two scoops rice and a scoop of mac salad. Wash it down with a cup of old-school "green river". This is my happy place.
Best cheap(er) seafood: Nico's Pier 38 | Hawaii Gourmet Plate Lunches and Fish Market
Go during lunch for lower prices. Order the Furikake Seared Ahi (I prefer it RARE). At $13 a plate, it's hard to complain. Comes with your choice of mac salad or Nalo greens (extra charge for greens, but worth it) and white or brown rice.
Best splurge: Honolulu Eats - Vintage Cave
The focus here isn't Hawaii Regional like Chef Mavro, but is focused on the best of anything! A remarkable experience to be sure, though I find the service to be a bit too much. I'm not used to such a high level of service. And while the cuisine is amazing and unique, it isn't necessarily Hawaii.
Best budget upscale dining: Honolulu Eats - Hiroshi's Eurasian Tapas
The food here is great, the wine list is curated by Hawaii's only master sommelier, and the prices are great! Expect to pay around $50/person if you eat like me. There's a monthly "local menu" served only on Sunday & Monday nights that's very good and goes for just $35/person for 4 courses. Add $14 for wine pairings!
Looks like kharada46 is back in the saddle with a vengeance, great list of food my friend.