Tag Archives: israel

Top 10 Noms of 2009

31 Dec

What is a New Year without a Top 10?  I have been blogging for exactly 325 days and have enjoyed every moment of it.  I love food… and I’m so happy that I have some very faithful readers who have joined me on this journey (THANK YOU!). With that said, here is my top 10 Noms from 2009:

10) Disney World stands out in my mind for a very memorable eating trip in 2009.  The dinner we had at Marrakash comes up often and I still can’t remember ever having a better sundae than the Ghiradelli one I had at Downtown Disney.

9) When Mike and I took the Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, we didn’t really know what to expect. It wound up being great for both food (we have gone back to these places a few times since then) and history. 

8) I actually wound up going to Becco twice this year (Becco 1 and Becco 2).  They are awesome for having an unlimited pasta tasting from their three pastas of the day and a pretty extensive wine list for under $25.  But their Osso Bucco is what dreams are made of.

7) Every time I go to Koi it is amazing.  It’s one of the very, very few restaurants I can go to over and over again (even multiple times in the same week).  The crispy rice is amazing and I credit the Miso Glazed Cod with having started me eating fish for the first time.

6) The short ribs at Charles were great (well… I thought so until I had #2 on this list). We first sampled them at a nice fund-raising food festival and then I won a gift certificate by bidding $60 for a $75 gift certiciate.  The braised lamb shank was exceptional and highly recommended.

5) Quality Meats had been recommended to me time and time again.  While the steak was great, but not my favorite, the corn creme brulee was so good that I dream about it.

4) Eating at Montenapo, especially on someone else’s dime so we could order multiple courses without guilt (well, except waistline guilt), was a HUGE treat.  It’s brand new and in the middle of an area that is known to wimp out on food.  The Osso Bucco was the best I’ve ever had (even though I just had a taste of someone else’s) and the desserts were sensational.  There wasn’t a bad bite in the entire meal. 

3) I have loved Keens Steakhouse since the first time I tried it, however, the bar is especially amazing and I’m so glad Lori joined me for my first time.  That potato and steak was heavenly and more restaurants should make merengue… especially if it’s that good!

2) The number two slot goes to a yet to be blogged about meal at Bottega (Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa Valley).  Why was it so good? You’ll just have to read the blog to find out!

1) My birthday dinner at WD-50 was epic. It is hands down the best meal I’ve ever had.  We went whole hog and got the full tasting menu.  Each dish was a new adventure… and not just because it looked cool.  There were such wonderful flavors in everything and I really loved this place.  #1 for the year… probably lifetime #1 to date.

Runners up:

Happy New Year Nommers!

Israel Nom Nom

14 Jun

We were lucky enough to take a trip to Israel with Birthright for 10 days.  Two meals per day were free and we were on our own for the 3rd meal (usually lunch).  We had our share of bad food and good food, but for the most part, we ate VERY well throughout the country.  Our free meals were usually buffets at a kibbutz or hotel and there was usually enough variety to keep us happy.  Hummus was served at every single meal (even breakfast) and if I don’t see it again for a year it will probably be too soon (though it was always very good). 

The ingredients in Israel just always tasted fresh, even at the road side restaurants, which were very popular.  One of our first meals was a shared treat of pita, hummus, salad, and falafel.  It was really tasty.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the mango nectar in a can.

After our meal, our Israeli locals recommended we try a dessert called “Milky” that was kind of like a really rich, fresh pudding on the bottom with what tasted like homemade whipped cream on the top.  It was absolutely wonderful and I only regret that this was the only time we ate it on the trip.

A few days later, our Israeli guide sent us into a food store with a list in Hebrew and had us gather ingredients for a picnic.  We got pretty whimsical with the hummus and salads.

The food was great, but not nearly as great as the surroundings (a beautiful natural spring that we swam in).

An event on our culinary adventure in Israel was definitely staying in a Bedoin tent.  We ate and slept (as a group of 40) in a very large tent.  The food was phenomenol!  We ate with pita and our hands and it consisted of amazingly seasoned rice and skewers of some absolutely delicious but unidentifiable meat.

Unfortunately the highlight of our eating through Israel was at the exact time that my camera died.  This was a shame, as our food was absolutely phenomenol.  Luckily, however, Mike snapped some shots on his camera, so all is not lost! Cafe Rimon was in Jerusalem off of Ben-Yehuda Street.  We were first greeted with the decision of milk or meat (to ensure it was kosher) and we went immediately with meat.  Mike, in fact, had a meat sampler (including grilled livers… and a few other delicious other meats) and I got a goulash (that had a unique, west indian flavor that I just loved).  They also gave us appetizer dips (one of which was pumpkin… MMM!) and ordered local wine. If you are ever in Jerusalem, just trust me, go to Rimon.

We also stopped for lunch at Babette, another local recommendation.  This is a very small restaurant dedicated to the art of belgian waffles.  Note the cinnamon cream cheese on the left and the chestnut cream on the right.  It was sensational.

Jerusalem as a whole was my favorite city, with so much fresh food, especially in the market.  The fruit and dried fruit and nuts were amazing, as was the rugallah and halvah (a fudge like food made from sesame that I love). 

Our final dinner was in Hotel Shalom in Jerusalem and the buffet was probably the best of the trip.

Overall, Israel was an amazing adventure in eating.