My Most Enjoyed Food of 2022

If you follow me at all on social media, you know I take a lot of pics of my food. Not all dishes are created equal. Some are miserable (and I don’t post those pics), some are just ok (and most of those don’t get posted either), then there are the REALLY good and the mind blowing. That is what I am sharing here. A recap of the most interesting or surprising or delicious things I ate in 2022. Frankly, there wasn’t a ton of that going on. I stuck to tried and true places, except when I was traveling, and a lot of this food is from out of town.

I sit down at the computer every day with the best of intentions of writing you something informative or fun or thought provoking and then I get distracted…The smart person in my brain knows that those who make “to do” lists accomplish more each day than those who don’t, so yesterday I sat down and made a list that included writing this for you (and me quite frankly). Enjoy this list of fantastic food in no particular order

Birthday Surf & Turf

The Lobster en Croute and a beautiful piece of wagyu made up the surf & turf for my Birthday dinner at Carversteak. Chef Dan Ontiveros always hits it out of the park. And this picture and the cover picture of the post say it all!

Surf & Turf at Carversteak, Las Vegas
My Birthday dinner consisted of beautifully prepared dishes by Dan Ontiveros and staff, including this fabulous version of surf & turf.

Coastal Margherita

On our spring trip to Portland, we hit up a bunch of breweries and a cool tiki bar (The Alibi). While we were there The Hubs gets a text from Chris Decker at Metro Pizza telling us we HAD to go to Apizza Scholls. When Chris says you HAVE to go, you go. And we are so glad we did! This was literally a life changing pizza for the Hubs because he normally hates anchovies on his pie. He is now a convert.

Coastal Margherita at Apizza Scholls
This pie is actually half & half – Coastal Margherita and Pepperoni & Mushroom. With Owner Brian Spangler

Farmhouse Tart at Pine Dining

The Pine Dining series was fantastic all the way around. They were single weekend events with outrageous menus and fabulous food. This dish was the one I embarrassed myself over and asked Chef Nicole Brisson if there were leftovers could I take them home…and there were, and I did. Flaky pastry filled with sausage, fontina, and walnuts. In case you are wondering, it reheated beautifully.

Farmhouse Tart by Chef Nicole Brisson
Farmhouse Tart by Chef Nicole Brisson with sausage, fontina, and walnuts.

Bratislavan Food Specialty Halusky

Whenever we travel overseas, we attempt to try as much local food as possible and “eat like the locals”. We try all the local beer we can, and while at the bars ask the folks there where we should eat. In Bratislava we were told the national dish is Halusky (hal-oosh-key). They are little potato dumplings, somewhat like a cross between gnocchi and spaetzle, covered in a decadent sour cream sauce loaded with a local sheep’s milk cheese and topped with bacon & green onion. Incredibly rich and this plate was more than enough for The Hubs & I.

Creamy, rich, and decadent are three words I would used to describe this dish. I really need to learn how to make it!

Mortadella Agnolotti

Chef Oscar Amador at EDO and Anima is a marvel! Pal Gemini invited me to lunch at Anima and we shared these agnolotti. They were so good I was speechless for a moment. I am sure my eyes rolled back in my head and a groan escaped my lips. Gemini laughed aloud because she had never seen me speechless over a dish before.

Mortadella Agnolotti at Anima by EDO
Mortadella is my fave cold cut, and this just put it over the top!

Tony’s in San Francisco

While we do have an outpost of Tony Gemignani’s here in Vegas (Pizza Rock), when my sister-in-law Gretchen says “go to Tony’s”, you go. I have only had coccoli twice and both times they were revelatory for me. If you are unfamiliar, they are like salty beignets. The ones at Tony’s were served with thinly sliced “Italian Beef” and horseradish. I was supposed to be sharing them and had to stop myself from hogging all of them. The salad is pictured just to prove I do eat healthy-ish food now & then.

Coccoli at Tony's in San Francisco
Both the beef and the coccoli were amazing. Add horseradish and giardiniera and you have a hands down winner.

Fried Food

I love fried food and I love all the fish (except catfish), but I have a special love for anchovies. These ones were whole, coated in cornmeal, and lightly fried at the Hog Island Oyster Bar in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The Hubs even liked them and as mentioned before, he is NOT a fan of anchovies. The aioli was the perfect accompaniment and we scarfed them down in a flash!

Fried Anchovies at Hog Island Oyster Bar
Fried Anchovies at Hog Island Oyster Bar

“The Crime Scene”

In February I went on a real vacation entirely by myself. I took a cruise with Virgin Voyages* and it was superb. We all know that the food on cruise ships is notoriously mediocre at best. That is NOT the case on The Scarlet Lady! Each meal was much better than any mass market cruise line’s meals and the Test Kitchen was the showstopper for the entire cruise. This menu changes regularly, so you may not ever see this when you travel with Virgin Voyages, but it was superb. I nicknamed it “The Crime Scene” because of the splashes of beet juice, but it was a perfectly cooked venison loin with a Vietnamese salted caramel sauce and pickled blueberries.

venison on board the Scarlet Lady
Venison loin “crime scene” on board Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady.

*when you are ready to try Virgin Voyages for your next trip, give me a call and I will happily help you book it.

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