The Top 10 Things I Ate & Drank in 2015

Sadly this was not a year of eating dangerously for me. I didn’t sample too many things that were revolutionary, and other than a few things that jumped right out at me, this was a tough year to come up with my list. I usually have to winnow out several to keep the list at 10. In order to make the list I have to say “WOW!  That was fantastic!” when I retell the story or recall the event.

This gorgeous aged ribeye, carved tableside at CarnevinoChef Nicole Brisson spoiled us rotten when we went in for dinner. You can see pics of the rest of the meal here (be sure to scroll through them; this is the link to the first one).

Rare rib eye at Carnevino
Rare rib eye at Carnevino
This is the beauty during service. Carved tableside.
This is the beauty during service. Carved tableside.

 

THIS fantastic pasta and foie gras dish Chef Christian Dolias (part of the newly formed MiChefs Network – watch them grow!) made with me at my home. TECHNICALLY this was last December, but since it was after my “Best Of” list last year I am including it here. We used rendered fat from jamon de Serrano to cook the foie.  It was sinfully rich and absolutely decadent!

Linguini and foie gras by Chef Christian Dolias
Linguini and foie gras by Chef Christian Dolias

At Velveteen Rabbit you can order a Bronze Bell and it is wonderful. I liked it so much that I created a punchbowl version of it for Thanksgiving this year. Click the link for the punchbowl recipe. This photo is NOT from Velveteen Rabbit.

Bronze Bell a la Aunt LeAnne
Bronze Bell a la Aunt LeAnne

The signature Lemon Spaghetti at Giada was one of my faves this past year. It may be time to go back there…just for this!  It isn’t available for lunch, so make a reservation for dinner.

Giada's signature dish - Lemon Spaghetti
Giada’s signature dish – Lemon Spaghetti

At Vegas Uncork’d this year there were some unexpected bites, but this one was my fave. A foie filled white chocolate truffle from Chef Gerald Chin at Strip Steak. Don’t be mad if you didn’t get one, they were for “select guests” only. It was the best thing I ate the whole night! (PS – a little bird told me my favorite client may be returning to Uncork’d after a two year absence…shhh.)

White chocolate coated foie gras truffle
White chocolate coated foie gras truffle

The crispy fried Pig Ears at Therapy may be a thing of the past until Chef Daniel Ontiveros lands someplace new. They are at once crispy and chewy and oh so delicious. Still, the entire menu there is fantastic; don’t overlook the mushroom tart with the poached egg. You’ll thank me later.

At Therapy - sadly no longer available. Waiting for Dan Ontiveros to land someplace new to have them again
At Therapy – sadly no longer available. Waiting for Dan Ontiveros to land someplace new to have them again

At a Pop Up at The Blau Group’s Made LV, Chef Ben Vaughn created an oyster bread pudding that was out of this world! I am still waiting for him to find a location here in Vegas so I can have this again. I generally do not care for bread pudding (it’s a texture thing), but this was perfect!

A savory, fabulous mouthful as a passed hors d'oeuvre
A savory, fabulous mouthful as a passed hors d’oeuvre

I love saltimbocca, but I had never had one this good before!  Be sure to go to Salute and have this. Also, get the Fettuccini a la Vodka for a dinner and a show. It’s worth it, I promise. Check out the rest of the pics from that meal here.

My fave dish of the night - Veal Saltimbocca
My fave dish of the night – Veal Saltimbocca

My love for potato chips is well documented, but these ones were over the top! House made chips topped with bleu cheese, bacon and green onions were so good that I ate them twice in one week while in Florida at the NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal Studios Orlando.

House made chips smothered in bleu cheese and bacon with green onions. These were THE flavor bomb of bar food for the year.
House made chips smothered in bleu cheese and bacon with green onions. These were THE flavor bomb of bar food for the year.

And finally -in Disneyland you can find a great little dining room called Carthay Circle in California Adventure. Make reservations well in advance so you can have these fried duck wings. Sriracha and lime coat these bad boys. You can always have a cocktail in the bar downstairs, but if you want these wings, you gotta have a reservation. They are not on the bar snacks menu. FYI – dear Friend Byron, who designed my logo and now works for Disney, is the one who recommended them to me.

Carthay Circle Fried Duck Wings
Carthay Circle Fried Duck Wings

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