1/23/2012 09:57:00 AM

Tell Us Your Best Meal Ever for a Chance to Win $250!

If you're a fan of food, this might be the most difficult question you've ever had to answer: what was the best meal you've ever had? Well - we want to know - and we're giving five lucky winners the chance to have more awesome dining experiences as part of our Best Meal Ever contest.

Was it that 12-course tasting menu you had at the fine-dining restaurant? Or, maybe those killer tacos you got from the street vendor in LA? Either way, tell us about it by commenting on this post - we will look through all of the mini-essays (75 words or less, please) and award the authors behind the five best with $250 gift certificates.

The entry period starts today and ends on January 28 at 11:59 PM. The comments will be judged on creativity, thoughtfulness and entertainment - in addition to getting the dollars for dining, the most delectable descriptions will also be featured on our website.

So, go ahead, hit up the comments, leave a post and make us drool. One more thing! To enter, you'll need a Gmail account and you have to be logged in when leaving a comment. For the full set of rules, make sure to check out the official contest page here: http://www.zagat.com/bestmealever

Photo: Charleston Shrimp & Grits With Tasso Blue Crab Gravy, from Poogan's Porch in Charleston South Carolina. Check out the recipe on our Google+ Page!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: We've received so many entries that some are not showing up below! Don't worry, if you leave a comment, it is showing up in the back end of our system even if it's not in the queue below! You'll still be entered to win those gift cards - we don't want anyone goin' hungry here.

561 comments :

  1. "Best Meal Ever" was at Capital Grille in Downtown Milwaukee. After arriving during a snowstorm on a cold Wisconsin evening, we sat at the bar for a glass of fine wine before dining. After that we were seated and started out with the Smoked Salmon appetizer, followed by Spinach Salad with warm Bacon Dressing, topped off with the Sliced Filet Mignon with Cippolini Onions and Wild Mushrooms. My husband had the Cedar Planked Salmon. Not only is the food extraordinary, the ambiance and superior service leaves the competition in the dust.

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  2. Gramercy Tavern, NYC for my husband and my anniversary. Four courses + a few surprises and great wine. Loved the muffins they sent home with us for the next morning. AND we stepped outside to Flute next door, where we toasted our anniversary with some spectacular bubbly before walking back to midtown on a beautiful New York night.

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  3. Best meal was at Restorante Puny in Portofino Italy about 15 years ago. I still dream about it...a fresh parpardelle in a fresh tomato, basil cream sauce, then a whole salt crusted baked mild white fish with fresh vegetables, a green salad course and then desert. I don't even remember what the desert was, but I know the whole meal was one I will NEVER forget. Heavenly!

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  4. The best meal I ever had was on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. We had been traveling in the rain forest all day and were wet and very very tired. And the only places to eat seemed to be McDonald's. About to give up and go to a motel, our driver said, "We've gone this far, let's carry on," and that's how we discovered Kalaloch Lodge. I've never tasted such unearthly salmon. Combined with the fabulous view and luxurious surroundings, that's a meal I haven't forgotten after 30 years.

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  5. 4 Course tasting menu lunch at Eleven Madison park in June 2011, with my then girlfriend. Octopus, foie gras, halibut, lobster, eggplant, lamb, chevre, and strawberry. A kitchen tour and meeting Chef Humm topped it all off.

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  6. Six years ago, my husband and I took a short trip to France. We had one day to see Paris! It was a freezing January day, but we walked from dawn to dusk. Starving, we happened upon a small restaurant called L'ete en Pente Douce (I still have their card). It might have been the warmth and comfort after an exhausting day, but the food (soft and crusty bread, ratatouille, boeuf bourguignon) and wine (a rich bordeaux) they served will always be the highlight of our trip!

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  7. I was a young 21 year-old book store manager on my first business trip, and thrilled when the regional supervisor took me to dinner at Atlanta's Peachtree Plaza. I was too naive to dare anything 'fancy', so went with steak and potatoes. Perhaps it was the heady experience of viewing Atlanta from a rooftop, revolving restaurant, but that filet mignon, perfectly glazed with a caramelized mushroom sauce, remains my 'best meal ever'.

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  8. After years of foodie indulgence, I had embarked with vigor upon the path of learning for myself to cook. So it was that I found myself testing my newfound knowledge when my mother learned that she was gluten intolerant. She came to visit later, depressed at the prospect of her gastronomic path; I pulled together a gluten-free gnocchi with lemon ricotta. I will always remember it as I recall her own cooking; love without words.

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  9. Hands Down. No Contest. Alan Wong's in Honolulu. Not only the MOST AMAZING food I have ever eaten (every time we go it is out of this world!) but the atmosphere, service and interaction with the chefs makes this my all time favorite foodie experience! I have traveled a good part of the world and nothing compares.

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  10. wish i could say i could afford to try one of the 29 rated zagats but i can't..the best meal i've ever had in my price range (well this was a splurge) was at Sushi of Gari on the UES. Every piece of fish melted in my mouth. Not an eel fan but the chopped eel with avacado was delectible. These unique combinations were out of this world. Felt like I was meg ryan during the "diner scene" in when harry met sally with every bite i took. EVERYTHING was AMAZING.

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  12. Best meal EVER was the 6 course tasting menu with wine pairings at Restaurant Daniel in NYC. No comparison to the other "bigs", like Le Cinq in Paris and L'Atelier. They were also great, but not as great as Daniel!

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  13. FRENCH LAUNDRY in Napa Calif. Sorry I cannot remember what I ate. It was clear to me that the presentation, food combining, taste sensations, and inventiveness were not to be analyzed. So I indulged my senses and left my consciousness outside. The dining experience was sensual, intense, powerful, delicate, and defied speech acts to describe what was going on. Can you relate ? I was swept away in a delicious abandon of "Oh my God, slow down I don't want this to stop." Can I say the food was out of this world ?

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  14. I have dined all over the world and the single best dining experience I have ever had was at BALLO at The Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut! The food was beyond exceptional! A rich italian palette that never overwhelmed your taste-buds, but instead, each course offered a spectacular new array of flavors and textures that combined to make a truly superlative dining experience! The wine menu was exceptional with something for everyone (and all price points!) The service was unobtrusive, exceptionally friendly, tremendously helpful and personable and attentive as I have never before experienced - while being decidedly invisible throughout the evening so not to intrude on the pleasure of the dining experience. The ambiance of the space was enveloping and inviting despite it's cavernous size. I have enjoyed food all over the world and, hands down, the experience at BALLO at The Mohegan Sun ranks as my all-time, number 1, dining experience!

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  15. Best Meal EVER was at Boulevard in SF. We didn't feel like going out so we walked down the street from our hotel and we found this little restaurant. We knew we weren't dressed correctly the second we walked in. But they found us a seat at this bar where we watched all the food being made and when our food came it tasted like a small slice of heaven. We had four courses and every one was better than the last. I didn't eat anything I didn't love and then we met the owner and the head chef. Chef Pam could not have been nicer and her food was INCREDIBLE. If I ever make it back to SF Boulevard is a PRIORITY. :)

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  16. Best meal, "Wurst Cart" 48th & 5th NYC. 3 types of wursts, brat, cheese, curry, you name it, he's got it, sliced up. 2 mustards, then fried potatos, 2 types of sour kraut, a huge Swedish meatball cut in half on top, then some more mustard. All comes with a roll for good measure. Weighs a little over a pound and costs less than 10 right on the street. "Wurst Cart", best food, ever.

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  17. My best meal ever was at a place called The Corner Stable located in Timoinum/Lutherville Md. They have the best danish baby back ribs the meat just falls off the bone and the sauce is to die for and we added a maryland favoite to them a Md crab cake which were wonderful.Our waiter was one of the funniest person I have ever met. He interacted with us and he made us feel like family. d morton baltimoreMd

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  18. The best meal I ever ate was at Toloache in NYC on 50th Street. Their Adobo marinated Japanese eggplant is so full of flavor its hard to not lick the plate clean. It’s served over lentils, sweet plantains & this ridiculously amazing tasting achiote-habanero salsa. The flavors all mesh together so well. Although it is a vegetarian dish, carnivores will be equally satisfied.

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  19. The best meal I ever had was a spiritual experience. I was a young Catholic who had never had meat on fridays. One friday when I was in Jr. High I was in line at a corner hamburger stand in Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Gilly's. Gilly's was famous for the "Gilly Burger". Waiting my turn, I kept smelling the fragrance of the Gilly Burger (which was sort of a Sloppy Joe) and when it came my turn, I found myself ordering "A Gilly Burger, please."
    I remember unwrapping the paper, looking at that succulent mess, and then taking a big bite. I waited to see what would happen. Nothing did! No lightning bolt, no thunderous voice from the clouds... nothing but the wonderful, beautiful, truly delicious taste of the Gilly Burger.
    To this day, the memory of the bite of that delicious forbidden fruit is a vivid and fond memory... one that I consider a "religious experience.

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  20. Best Meal Ever--When everything exceeds expectations--food and wine quality and presentation, service and ambience, price and value--that's the best meal ever. For us it's The Restaurant at Chez Panisse.

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  21. My BEST MEAL EVER was about a decade ago at a restaurant in NYC that I believe was called, Union Pacific, but it was some time ago. Back then it was one of the top rated in NYC. A colleague of mine thought it would be fun and educational to introduce me to something outside of my ordinary experiences. We enjoyed a 12 course tasting menu with paired wines. OMG! It was amazing! I've heard people say that an expensive restaurant isn't worth it, and things of that nature, but when it is "done right" with impeccability and the finest quality of foods and wines, and with knowledge and passion and care... it's an experience to be savored --quite literally. An artful experience of food is fine art whose expression feeds all of the senses.

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  22. I gotta say: the Childhood menu at Next in Chicago absolutely blew me away. The creativity of the whole menu and the playful vibe PLUS the amazing execution PLUS the fact that we snagged a 9:45 p.m. same-night table (on a "school night!") and scrambled to put a foursome together, made it all the more amazing. I couldn't eat again for almost 24 hours, but it was worth everything. I'll just never forget it!

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  23. Duck: brown, juicy, aromatic, delectable. The duck my husband and I chose off the rotisserie at a restaurant in St. Barts was first sliced for us over fresh salad, and the rest was given as our main course. Although cliche, it actually did melt in our mouths. I am so glad we took photos, because I doubt we will ever be able to afford to go back!

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  24. The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. We had no business being at such a fine establishment. Everything was so new and unique, down to the rolling cheese cart and fancy French waiters. We didn't know what we were eating, but the servers explained everything to us and everything was so delicious! It tantalized every sensory experience! The 9-course prix fixe meal with wine pairings cost way more than our budget and lasted all night, but it was worth every penny! Service was just as good as the food and being with that group of friends just made it more memorable!

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  25. I took my girlfriend of two months for a delectable lunch at Jean Georges. The meal included a butternut squash soup with hazelnut raviolis (magical) and a duck confit with cracked Jordan almonds, among the best bites I've ever had. The finale? My card was declined. Since we lived nearby, I ran for cash, and returned to find my recently embarrassed date sipping on a complimentary glass of champagne. We've been happily married ten years.

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  26. Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse's restaurant in Monaco...10 courses of heaven in the most amazing room ever...my 34th birthday.

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  27. I've dined at so many famous & fabulous NYC, Florida, Las Vegas, Long Island & Florentine(Italy) restaurants... my favorite meal was at a little Vegas restaurant in the Tropicana .. Pietro's! Pietro cooked at our table.. coquille st jacques, stake diane & bananas foster.. all made to order & spectacular! The entire experience was deliciously decadent & intimate!

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  28. White truffle night at Farina in San Francisco! Everything but the appetizer was enhanced by the presence of carefully measured and shaved white truffles, even the gelato-like desert. The pasta, the pork, everything was fresh. But the ambiance, the bottle of Barbera the warm, friendly service and the sound of Italian being spoken enhanced everything. Like the white truffles themselves, a rare and delightful experience that we hope to repeat. Knowing it won't happen often we savor it fondly.

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  29. DBGB for my 2nd Anniversary. They had a huge beer list to choose from with helpufl tips from the waiter. A Louisiana gumbo as part of the sausage menu that was awesome and almost entree size, even though it was an appetizer. A huge bowl of mussels for 20 bucks. Homemade ice cream with creative flavors.

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  30. By far the best meal I ever had was a lunch at Jean Georges in New York. I remember the little taste of warm chocolate soup, and I think there may have been crushed pistacios on my fish, but most of the actual food items blurred into one another, producing a sensation of transcendent gustatory bliss. The meal was on a whole different level from anything I'd eaten before.

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  31. The best meal I ever have in my life is my Grandma's cooking. She got the best curry chicken in town. She uses the chicken breasts. First she saute the onions, vegetages, and other small Ingredients with half a stick on butter on a pot. After it is ready she put curry in with the chikcen for couple of hours so they chicken could obsorb the flavors of the veges and the curry. After that she put the curry with the chicken on top of the fried rice.

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  32. My best meal ever was Fog City Diner in San Francisco - if the truffle fries and dungeness crab cakes weren't indulgent enough - the grilled prawn cobb salad was a GAME CHANGER. plus, the green goddess dressing made me feel a little (just a little) less like a gluten as i hobbled out.

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  33. The best meal I ever had was at a bar/restaurant in Vernazza,Italy at the end of the Via Dell'Amore after hiking from the previous town. It was that odd hour in Italy, late afternoon, not yet time for the restaurant to open so all they could offer the weary travelers were leftover Pesto Lasagna and a salad. This, along with a local wine was by far and away the most perfect meal I ever consumed.

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  34. Best ever meal was a dinner shared with my wife, my best friend and his wife at the closed Marche Restaurant in Sherman Oaks. Chef Gary Menes, whom I worked with at Palate, created a personal 8 course tasting menu that was an outpouring of love and creativity. The meal included an amazing cauliflower soup, four different vegetable dishes, fresh white truffle risotto (AMAZING!), fish, chicken, pork, beef and dessert. Perfect company, perfect setting, perfect chef. 4-5 hours later, we left having shared in more than just the nourishment of our bodies.

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  35. My best meal ever was at the Prime Rib in Baltimore, MD. The prime rib steak was the most delicious huge hunk of meat I have ever had. The grand piano was being played softly in the background, the table setting was gorgeous, service impeccible. We brought the huge bone home for our schnauzer who could bearly lift it. He dragged it around for a long time, unsure what to do with it!

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  36. french laundry. second most memorable was redfish courbouillon at a creole friends house in new orleans in 1967. third was le ruths in new orlenas in 1970.

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  37. Clark's Outpost BBQ!, Tioga Texas (Home of Gene Autry (America's Favorite Singing Cowboy )). Ribs ends, just do die for, and IF you can get in call one day in advance and order a Chocolate Cream pie, (banana and Lemon go well to) but there is a limited number made each day.
    You kind of get the idea the pie is special when they DON'T mention it on the web site....

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  38. The best meal I ever ate was at Thomas Keller's Per Se for my 21st birthday. It was a sublime, indescribable meal which spanned for 4 hours and took me through exquisitely crafted courses of rabbit, oysters, lobster, venison, foie gras. Everything was pristine and perfectly flavored and garnished, like they were prepared to suit my (usually) picky taste buds! We sat by the window overlooking Columbus Circle and the fountain shimmered in the distance. It was a night of many firsts... my first (legal) sip of rose champagne, first date, first experience of true fine dining. I have dined far and wide since then but Per Se was the first meal that sparked and ignited the epicurean inside me.

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  39. My best meal ever would have to be dinner at the Louis XV in the Principality of Monaco.

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  41. The best? Ever? El Palacio de los Jugos in Miami comes to mind...a mountain of garlicky, tangy shredded roast pork served in a styrofoam container, yes...with a side of not just rice but entree-worthy chicken and rice, and a steaming portion of garlicky (yes again) yuca...I ask them to serve it up from the bottom of the pot where it's soft and even more garlicky. Cuban comfort food to a T, a spectacular example of one of life's simple pleasures.

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  42. Rock n' Roll Meatballs - Maroni's Cusine in Northport NY has the most diverse and uber delicious 18+ tasting menu I've ever expierenced. Decorated in classic rock memorabilia; the chef prepares everything from a "million $ potato chip" to Grandma Maroni's Meatballs. The best meal EVER! Just ask Bobby Flay about the Meatball!!!!

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  43. It was a fantasy come alive. About 17 yrs ago, a coworker brought me the NY Times review of Daniel, complete w/photo of dining room. I kept this until 5 yrs ago when my husband and I went to NYC and dined there. The dining room looked EXACTLY like the photo. The service was unbelievable, anticipatory but invisible. We were served little works of art as appetizers. Our salads couldn't have left the garden more than 5 minutes before they were served, dressed as if each piece had been brushed with a lively, silky vinaigrette. My duck was perfectly succulent and crispy; my husband's filet was flavorful and done exactly as ordered. We had our first ever cheese course. The suggested wine was amazing, and the chef sent us a small plate of the tiniest but most scrumptious desserts -- some fruit, some chocolate. I've never had my expectations met so completely before. I couldn't look at the dining room hard enough -- almost sensory overload. I still remember the complete pleasure of dining at Daniel.

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  44. Our best meal ever has to be dinner at Three Village Inn in Stonybrook, NY. The prime ribs are fantastic. It is incredibly flavorful and tender. In addition to that, no restaurant does Thanksgiving better. Our family spends all important occasions here, and have never been disappointed. We can't recommend it highly enough. Enjoy!

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  45. Longman and Eagle in Chicago served me the best meal I ever ate, back in early 2010. We started with the meatball appetizer, accompanied by polenta and a parsley pesto that perfectly complemented the rich fonduta without overwhelming it. The roasted marrow bones with red onion jam and sea salt on sourdough crostinis were the real standout of the night – creamy, carnally delicious bites of blissful indulgence. I regret moving away from this phenomenal restaurant!

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  46. Trattoria L’incontro – NY
    One word – AMAZING! You start with warm bread and dip that is out of this world; don’t ask for a refill because you won’t have room for dinner. The waiter comes to take your order but not before he rattles off a ton of specials. Homemade pasta, fresh seafood, tender meats and delicious desserts. If you can’t make up your mind ask for a tasting menu so you can experience it all!

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  47. Hands down,Cassale restaurant in Riccione Italy ,1998. An incredible tasting menu featuring baby goat,Pasta with truffles,Incredible mushroon Soup and a beautiful fish done perfect. Superb Italian wine and wonderful deserts-The table next to us was hosting a reception for a madam recently released from jail-I passed by her took her hand and kissed it.
    She stood up and said "This is a real man!" she took a picture with me

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  48. New Years Eve with my future wife at Sistina upper East Side-Sassicaia, white truffle shaved over risotto, papardelle with wild boar for her, veal milanese for me, champagne at New Year..finished by espresso & biscotti and many kisses-very romantic and the ambience/service of the staff was spectacular.

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  49. Best Meal EVER:-360 The Restaurant at CN Tower, Toronto.OMG,still salivating at the memory.I had the Price Fixe for $68(4 courses). After checking out the menu, it seemed best value for $$$. The Salmon Roe mousse, devine. The smoked salmon, flavoursome. The Prime Rib , best I have tasted and perfectly cooked. The walnut roulade, meringe and ice cream, light and delicious. One of the best value and most tasty meals that I have eaten. The service was attentive, but not intrusive and the views, what can I say? It is called the 360 and is the second tallest tower in the world. Awesome, thankyou a real treat.

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  50. Omakase at Morimoto Napa: BEST MEAL EVER, shared with my husband on our 5th anniversary. It didn't hurt that the Iron Chef himself was there when we went. The experience was priceless - no detail overlooked, so many surprises and delights. The textures! The flavors! And, holy moly, the presentation! Absolutely perfect.

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  51. My Best Meal was at Karim's (generations of chefs who ran the kitchen for the Mughal Emperors) a local 'hole in the wall' nestled in the streets of Old Delhi, India. Melting in your mouth Seekh Kababs, Succulent Goat Curry,& Freshly Baked Naan.I visit it every year I am in India and the flavors are precisely identical to my first bite 17+ years ago. You got to Taste it to Believe it!! Details at http://theprimlanikitchen.blogspot.com/2011/11/food-spotting-in-india.html

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  52. There are so many things that contribute to making a meal great, and it's not just the quality of the food but rather the overall experience. While certainly I have eaten better food, the most memorable meal I ever had was at Il Latini in Florence, Italy almost 20 years ago. Great food (I still remember the liver crostini), but it was the group table concept that made me feel like a real local. Ahh, Firenze!

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  53. While I have had some wonderful meals in many different places, perhaps the best meal was after a stressful day at work, my husband and I went to Thai Spice in Fort Lauderdale. We had been there many times before, but being tired and stressed I asked the server to recommend food and drink. He insisted on the Lemongrass Lamb Chops with sauteed bok choy accompanied by Evolution White Wine (a blend - and I am not a white wine drinker!). It was amazing! Great food AND service (so important)! Lifted my mood! Best meal ever...

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  54. Best meal ever? Prime 112 in South Beach, Miami. Close runners up: Buddakan NYC and Grammercy Tavern. These were definetely all meals to remember that always come up in conversation when we eat anywhere else.

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  55. Over the last five years I have had several Best Meal Ever experiences. -All at the same restaurant! Aroma on Sunset in Silverlake, Los Angeles has seats for about 35 guests, is located in a strip mall and has a comfortable ambiance and minimal decor. There is an open kitchen that you walk by on your way to your table. As a chef, I can say it's one of the calmest I have ever seen. The food is thoughtful, beautifully presented and bursting with flavor you only get from great ingredients and proper execution and seasoning. The service is virtually flawless. The staff is friendly, and extremely knowledgable about both food and wine. After dining there one night, we liked the wine that was recommended so much that we even looked up the winery and bought a case of it! We go to Aroma for all of our special occasions, and always leave extremely satisfied and thinking that it was the Best Meal Ever.

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  56. If I HAD to pick just one I would say the Holiday Black-Tie Dinner with my 10-member Men's Group at Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst, CA.

    After a Champagne toast and Hors d'Ouevres in the elegant lounge we were seated in our private dining area (with fireplace) for our 5-course meal with exquisite wine pairings. Each bite was unique and perfectly prepared and we received impeccable service from a staff of 3, plus the chef who came in to describe the entrees. From Warm Terrine of Maine Lobster to "Fairytale" Pumpkin Soup with Apple-Mustard Seed Quenelle and Beef Filet or Fish entrees to the paired desserts: Manjari Chocolate Pyramid and Persian Lime and White Chocolate Torte - everything was amazing! Cannot recommend this highly enough!

    The house-made truffle selection with our coffee was over the top!

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  57. A Brazilian fish stew served with bread and aioli was the centerpiece of a memorable meal. Beautifully presented in an oval bowl were shrimp, scallops, a firm fish, small clams, baby potatoes, fennel, and cherry tomatoes in a clear tomato broth. It was fresh, light and brightly colored. Perfect for a sultry evening. Zeph’s is elegant yet comfortable; like dining at a friend’s home – if the friend were a great chef.

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  58. The best meal I ever had was at a little chinese restaurant in Marquette Michigan. It was a stormy, winter Sunday and a few friends and I walked to the restaurant thru the storm. We were offered Peking Duck that someone had ordered and had not been able to get into town for. It was a wonderful surprise of tastes that I'd never had before. Amazing. I still remember it so many years later.

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  59. Best Meal ever was at the now closed ONDINES restaurant overlooking San Fransisco Bay in Sausalito California with Sparkly San Fran twinkling across the expanse of water.

    First course of Shrimp Ondine followed by worlds best Lobster Bisque, followed by Duck a L'orange that had to be sauced with a mixture of Baskin Robbins Orange Sherbert heavenly warmed with Grand Marnier and the meal ended with the best and lightest Souffle accompanied by a sauce that had to be made B-R French Vanilla and Grand Marnier

    Each course accompanied by great but inexpensive wines from their award winning list.

    Every one of the bodies senses were satisfied to the point of gastronomic ecstasy.

    The owner is now cooking in heaven for the Good Lord himself
    Dr Bruce H Shelton MD MD(H)
    Phoenix Az
    shelton@drbruceshelton.com

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  60. In March of 2002, my wife and I had dinner at Maples, the main restaurant at the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, NH.

    Because it was a Thursday in March, and New England had been hit by a Noreaster the day before, we were the only people in the restaurant.

    So, we had the entire wait staff taking care of us. We wound up having a leisurely 2 and 1/2 hour dinner, by the fireplace. The service was impeccable

    The food was incredible. My wife had potato crusted Atlantic haddock I had fried chicken, which was alledged to have been based on Thomas Jefferson's recipe.

    The killer was the onion tartlet that my wife ordered as an appetizer. To this day, she still says that it's the single best dish she has every eaten. I got one bite, and it was out of this world. And I'm not a big fan of onions.

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  61. Hands down Del Frisco's in Winter Park FL! Went there with my husband for my birthday - the steak melted in your mouth, the lobster TAIL was 16 ounces (not a typo!), wonderful side dishes of baked potato and broccoli, delicious dessert that we shared, but the best part was the impeccable and friendly service. Ever since that dinner, I look for wonderful service first. The delicious food often follows. Thank you Del Frisco's!

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  62. Vivace, in Tucson AZ, serves the best meal ever. The Seafood Lasagnette, seafood spinach lasagne, accompanied by a heavenly tomato basil broth is my absolute favorite meal. It is only on the dinner menu, but if you ask at lunch, sometimes it is available. Not only is the food excellent,but the atmosphere and wait staff only complement your dining experience.

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  63. The Sunday brunch at the old Peninsula Hotel on Hong Kong Island. First we sat on the porch looking out over the South China Sea. Then we turned around and there was over 100' of the most wonderful presentation of food I have ever seen. Everything that we ate was "over the top" but the various seafood dishes were the absolute best because the seafood was so fresh. Although it has been over 25 years, I also still remember the dessert presentations. Enjoyed many of them. While this offering no longer is available, try the Regent Hotel in Kowloon. Same dramatic presentation and you can enjoy the views of Hong Kong Island and the harbor.

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  64. The best meal I ever had was classic Osso Bucco with risotto prepared in my home by a friend newly graduated from the CIA.

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  65. The best meal I've ever had was at the Forge in Miami Beach. On a recent visit I enjoyed the quinoa pancake stack which was the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Sharing dishes with friends, I also tried the shrimp and asparagus risotto which was amazing- to say the least. Another friend enjoyed the steak which was well-prepared and tasty- almost felt compelled to say it melts in your mouth. I cannot forget to mention the duck home fries which were crispy and fatty as expected and the small bite of the crispy duck entree I tried from my friend was full of flavor and very tender. Finally, I cant forget the haricot vert which was very good and so was the light and decadent chocolate souffle we had for dessert.

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  66. Girl and the Goat in Chicago!! Every course was better than the next. There were such unique, varied tastes and textures. My mom and I couldn't stop saying mmmmm throughout the meal, that might have been our only conversation. Best meal of my life!

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  67. Hands down, "Moulin," in the town of Loumarin, in the Provence region of France. Rack of lamb--done to perfection--with herbed baby red potatoes, haricot vertes, simple but elegant presentation in an outdoor setting. The chef brought out the rack, still in its pot, for my approval before serving it. It just doesn't get any better than that!

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  68. The best meal I've ever had was probably two weeks ago at Recipe in New York's Upper West Side. My boyfriend and I shared the Pineapple Braised Short Ribs and their special that night, the black bass. The ribs were so tender that they melted in your mouth and the pineapple was the most unexpected pleasantry. The bass was cooked perfectly and was served with the best sides: classic mashed potatoes and broccoli rabe. We also tried two new beers that complemented the dishes so well. Recipe never disappoints. Can't wait to go back!

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  69. At the first Restaurant Week event in 1992, my friend and I went to Bouley in Tribeca. Being new to the workforce, we didn't have a lot of money so this was a major treat. And what an experience. I remember just wanting to keep each bite in my mouth so all those delicious flavors could hang out there for a while. It was such a quite lunch as both of us concentrated on the amazing food. I had roast chicken and never before had such a perfectly cooked and flavorful chicken. It really opened up my eyes ...and tummy...to the potential of a good meal.

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  70. I've eaten lots and lots of yummy food but the best meal I've ever had was the spaghetti carbonara at Crispy 19 in Rome, Italy. It was so good that I ordered a 2nd helping while my husband ordered dessert!

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  71. Best meal ever hands down

    Ai Fiori

    Attractive, elegant and spacious restaurant in Setai Hotel. Very good Italian/French food, and excellent service.

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  72. I had my best meal ever at WP24. My boyfriend treated me to the 4-course tasters menu and words can not describe how much I enjoyed my meal! Since I live in San Gabriel Valley (where the Chinese food is better than any you'd find in any Chinatown across the US), I pride myself in knowing GOOD Peking duck. After trying the Peking duck at WP24 I can now say my life is complete!!

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  73. I had my best meal ever 2 years ago when I went to the Italian Restaurant ROC in my neighborhood in Tribeca. I had been going there a lot and their food was always great and consistent. For years I had been eating their pasta and meat dishes,and then I decided to try their Chilean Sea Bass!! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It had a little tomatoe and olives sauce on it and it was cooked to absolute perfection!!! The best meal I have ever had!!!!

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  74. My "best meal ever" was at new Chicago restaurant EL Ideas, a Phil Foss restaurant. The dining room only seats a maximum of 10 people, and it is open to the kitchen of 3 chefs, so the chef to diner ratio is very unique. Upon arriving, the host greeted my friend and I by name. The chefs were interactive and the 11-course tasting menu was adventurous. Once we saw and tasted the first dish, we knew the experience was going to be unlike any other dining experience. Each dish was extremely fresh and delicious, and I even learned to appreciate some ingredients that I normally would stay far, far away from. The chefs informed us that many of the ingredients came fresh from the farmer's market, and you could certainly tell based on the taste and quality of the ingredients. For example, one dish that I still remember had spanner crab, coconut, chorizo and thai guava. A couple dishes (i.e. ribeye with little fun-looking potato chips, bleu cheese, and sassafras) reminded me of a dinner I had at the famous Arzak. The interaction with the chefs, the host, and the inventive food made this a truly unforgettable meal.

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  75. My most memorable dining experience stands out like a shining star in my culinary memories. My boyfriend at the time (he has since become my husband, scoring big points with this dinner) booked a table for us at Cyrus in Healdsburg on Valentines Day. We knew the dinner would be special, but had no idea that it would be such an amazing experience.
    As plate after plate of delectable dishes came out perfectly paired with local wines the night slipped away with wonderful conversation and fabulous service. Before we knew it three hours had passed, we were the last people at the restaurant, and we had experienced a night we would never forget.

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  76. The best meal I've ever had was at Sea in Brooklyn, NY. It was the first time I had ever had drunken noodles with shrimp and I swear my eyes almost rolled into the back of my head after the first bite. The shrimp was sweet and tender and the noodles had a spicy kick to it that I think elevated the dish from good to delicious. The thickness of the noodles as well of the spice blend that they use makes me feel as if I am in Thailand having street food.

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  77. The best meal I've ever had was at Boulevard in San Francisco. I don't remember what we had or when it was; only that nothing has measured up to the culinary excellence that crossed my palate that night, and every restaurant meal since has been measured by the pure total sensory experience of that one dinner.

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  78. A dream come true for me and my wife was a perfect dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table in Disney World. Overlooking Fantasyland and the twinkling sky we had a romantic dinner filled with Rock Shrimp Cocktail, Seafood Chowder, sliced roasted beef tenderloin with Duchess Potatoes, asparagus and a Chasseur sauce and for dessert a light chocolate mousse presented with berries and raspberry sauce. Pièce de résistance a spectacular fireworks display while dining!

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  79. My best meal recently was at Honolulu's Sasabune, touted as the best Sushi restaurant in a city known for excellent sushi but I had always steered clear because it is very pricey. But I recently splurged and had the best meal I have had, maybe ever. The fish was so fresh it melted in your mouth and the seasonings they use are absolutely the best for the particular fish being prepared. Sit at the bar and the "Sushi Nazi" will chide you for putting shoyu on the wrong dish or lambast you if you ask for something else. It's up to him, the entire evening, and it was flawless. Trust him, and trust me, you'll enjoy every bite.

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  80. 8 course tasting menu at Cyrus in Healdsburg. We had a 9:30pm reservation for our 2nd anniversary. We finished the meal after midnight and were one of only a handful of tables left. When we were leaving, our server asked if we would like to take a peak inside the kitchen. Of course we said yes! It was the most exciting and memorable meal of my life.

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  81. The best meal I've ever had was dinner at Franco's in Santa Rosa a few days before New Years. It started with a starter of staued swiss chard; followed by a main cource of the most fantastic maccaromi and chesse I've ever ate. To finnsh the dinner off, I had an interesting desert combining ice cream and esspresso. It was the greatest.

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  82. New girlfriend, 1992. We arrive @ Charlie Trotter’s and are told that "they can’t find my reservation; do we mind the kitchen?” Do I really have to explain CRAZY BRILLIANT? Charlie Trotter? TEN COURSES! TEN WINES! Charlie blasting his crew years before Hell’s Kitchen. Then Dr. Ruth appears asking “Hey, how did you get this table?” I admitted that I reserved the kitchen table a year ago…for a previous girlfriend. We have three kids now…

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  83. Capo in Santa Monica. It’s an unassuming one-story building; you’d never expect the amazing culinary delights that lay within. I started with a magnificently creamy Burrata Caprese, followed by gnocchi with Australian lobster and truffles. The wait staff was excellent, we were brought a complimentary dessert sampler and the wine was delightful. I sampled from my colleagues and their selections were also top-notch. We chose it again for a retirement dinner - just as delicious!

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  84. We've had a lot of fantastic meals over our marriage, but the Best Meal Ever was the Tasting Menu at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House while we were on our honeymoon ten years ago. It was the culmination of food and impeccable service that made it an outstanding dining experience.

    (Best Sandwich Ever? The Shrimp Roll at Luke's Lobster on Columbus in NYC! That thing is made of dreams!)

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  85. My "best meal ever" was at Lorena's in Maplewood, NJ. The tuna appetizer is probably the freshest tuna I have ever had, and being coupled with avocado puree is so unexpectly amazing. The short rib is quite possibly the most delectable piece of meat ever cooked. Chef Humberto Campos is a magician in the kitchen and his staff makes the dining experience outstanding. The meals at Lorena's are always uncompromising delicious and the times spent there is without question memorable!

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  86. A culinary delight and spectacular scenery all rolled into one of the most memorable dining experiences ever. Beano's Cabin in Beaver Creek, Colorado serves the finest game partnered with the most delectable accompaniments ever. Venison; no other restaurant has ever come close. The ride to the Cabin and back in a snow cat provides the opportunity for viewing the mountains like no other. For what more could one ask?

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  87. Several years before DANUBE closed we had our "traditional" Valentine's Day dinner there. As always impeccable service, excellent food: of course I enjoyed it, and my wife considered it HER BEST MEAL EVER...no doubt it was the company she was keeping!!

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  88. We are fortunate to have one of the best restaruants in the country in the greater Seattle area, The Herb Farm. Reservations are only open for a short time every three months or so and fill up quickly. While at the NW flower and Garden show a few years ago, there were reresentatives from The Herb Farm there taking reservation so I jumped at the chance.
    THe Herb Farm is a Prix Fixe restaurant. Dining there is not just a dining experience, however. You evening begins with a tour of the gardens and chat about the restaurant and their philosophy. They do a lot of foraging for local edible plants and many of the dishes are truly unique using things one would never think of putting in a dish. For example, an appetizer might be Rosemary-Mussel Skewer with Cucumber Kimchi
    Each course is accompanied by a carefully chosen NW wine and a short talk about the wine and the upcoming item. While much of this is in a group setting where it would be easy to simple talk and serve, each diner is treated as a true guest and attention to the smallest detail is emphasized.
    At the end of the evening if you feel that you have imbibed a bit too much for the drive home or that you simply want to extend the evening, they have arrangements with a lovely boutique hotel virtually across the parking lot where you can stay, making the "dining" experience truly special.
    The food was unbeliveable, the atmosphere frinedly and welcoming, the ambiance very homey and the total experience truly the best I have ever had.

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  89. Not even a moment needed to pause and consider the answer to this one - an unforgettable meal at the original Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia within a year of Chef Georges Perrier opening at his original location on Spruce Street. Superb multi-course classic French dinner which was excellent throughout, the taste of which I can recall to this day from over forty years ago - in particular the fish course of sole en papillote with a watercress sauce. Amazing food and a wonderful experience with superb service and taste. I have yet to find its equal (although I have never stopped trying).

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  90. Every year I eat the best meal ever at The Bungalow Inn of Gladstone, Michigan where, as soon the ice fades, they serve smelt. These are tiny fish only worth eating for a few weeks. The Bungalow receives its smelt just before serving them fried lightly. It’s quite a scene – a room of “yoopers” crunching through plates of tiny fish. But trust me - there is nothing like the spring smelt at The Bungalow Inn.

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  91. Le Pre Catalan, on the Bois de Boulogne in Paris.

    People go to the City of Light for many reasons. On our 10th wedding anniversary, we went to Paris to eat. Had a wonderful lunch at Tour d'Argent, but the multi-course tasting menu at Le Pre Catalan was, I think, the best meal we've ever eaten. It started with an amuse-bouche of chilled rhubarb soup, following by an exquisite shrimp appetizer, then a frise salad, a fish course, and squab in natural juices served with cous cous. I can still taste the squab. After that came not a cheese course, but an enormous two-level cheese cart, with probably 50 cheeses. Then dessert. Then chocolates (from a chocolate cart!) Then small bon-bons. And all served in the "garden room" overlooking the Bois de Boulogne, as dusk fell slowly on a June night.

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  92. The best meal I have had was was in 1967 on a road trip with my father in his Volkswagen Beetle to Montreal from Ohio. We stayed at a high rise hotel in Montreal and the first night after driving so far we had room service - Dover Sole Meuniere - it was prepared and served by a waiter in a black suit - it was paired with a Pouilly Fuisse - so incredible that we had the same thing 3 nights in a row - Don't know if it was the fact that I was 17 and it was the first quality time spent my father or it was the Dover Sole - but now 45 years later and so many incredible meals since, it still remains my favorite.

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  93. Best Meal Ever- 5 to 6 years ago in New York City at Babbo. I was in college at the time and was used to eating food from the dining hall or anything I could get my hands on. However I went to Babbo with my family over the holiday break and had the most exquisite Italian meal complete with great wine, lovely service and the best dish I've ever tasted: pappardelle with light buttery sauce and shavings of white truffle. I almost shed a tear after the first bite, it was so good.

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  94. Dickies in Dallas, TX. Best BBQ you will ever have. Melts in your mouth.

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  95. Overall, our best meal was Sunday brunch at the 1,149 ft Top of the World in Las Vegas. The restaurant revolves, so you get a 360º view of the entire valley from anywhere you sit. We started off wth mimosas made with their complimentary champagne, shared first courses of lobster bisque, and Kobe beef carpaccio, then had Alaskan king crab Benedict for the main course. Food, décor, and view – an unbeatable combination.

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  96. I'm fortunate to have eaten my greatest meal recently - I had the opportunity to dine at Next for their Childhood menu, and was absolutely blown away. Although I've eaten at really great places before where the service was kindly, I've never seen food designed, crafted, and served so playfully. The food was - of course - fantastic: from the delicate fish inside the net (Fish and Chips) to the caramelly sweetness of the dessert (Sweet Potato Pie), everything was indulgent. The chicken broth in the soup was the highlight of my night, aside from the wonderful company who shared the meal with me.

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  98. The BEST meal I ever had was at Morimoto. I had the omakase tasting menu, in which the chef chooses your dishes. It was a multi range of food and everything was flavorsome and delicious. I had the tuna tartare with different sauces. There was the sushi plate and surf and turf. I also ordered the toro. It literally melts in your mouth. All the dishes came out like a piece of art and tasted so good.

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  99. At Robuchon's "Jamin", Paris, 1996. Nine course crustacean tasting. First course: Mille Feuille of tomatoes and crab meat. The freshest imaginable tomatoes, layers of succulent crab, a subtle aioli with hints of basil and brunoise of cucumber. Circling the plate, dots of intense cilantro puree. It was stunning: Spring, and the sea. After her first bite, my wife said: "I don't care how much food they bring us, I'm going to eat every last morsel!"

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  100. Our best meal ever was the 11-course tasting menu at the French Laundry in Yountville, CA. The best food and service I've ever had at any restaurant.

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  101. I am a foodie- I love food, know about chefs, have chef-crushes, and love trying new restaurants and dishes. The best meal I’ve ever had was the 12 course tasting menu at WD-50. Not only was the food extremely creative-well thought out and special, but each course made me giggle. I had never giggled over a dish before and I never have since, but I now believe that all food should have that magical touch.

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  102. My best meal ever was at the "Fat Duck" in Bray England about 4 years ago.
    It was such a strange and delicious feast I don't think any other culinary experience could ever come close. The medley of flavors, textures and taste pairing made each of the approximately 20 courses absolutely unique and totally mind blowing. It would be foolish to give some of the courses description without the possibility of actually tasting then. When you dine at the Fat Duck you are s really taken into another sensatory dimension.

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  103. The best meal I’ve ever had, I’ve had more times than I can count. If you’re a friend or family, then for sure we’ve spent an evening at Fatty Crab in Manhattan’s West Village, sharing endless orders of their signature Tea Sandwiches. The concoction of tender lamb and spicy chili paste on soft crust-less white bread sticks to the roof of your mouth, but no worries, our Hitachino White Ale washes it down just fine.

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  104. I planned a seven-course meal with Chef Tyler Anderson at Brasserie Pip at the Copper Beach Inn in Ivoryton, CT to surprise my husband. Each course was created specially by Chef Anderson to appease my husband's somewhat picky and particular palate. With every round of plates that were delivered to us, he was delighted to see ingredients that he loved and a dish designed specifically with his tastes in mind. One course was a sausage stuffed quail that was exquisite, another a perfectly cooked piece of cod that we both devoured. The combination of expertly prepared food and a chef who was kind enough to create a menu just for us made the meal one which never forget!

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  105. My best meal ever was at Fifteen in London. What made it so spectacular was that I thought it would be "ok" because the chefs were "kids" to whom Jamie Oliver gave a free opportunity. The meal was OUTSTANDING. So much so that I had to beg the matre d' to give us another reservation for the next night. Some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten!

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  106. Best Meal ever was at Craftsteak at the MGM Grande in Las Vegas...

    My wife and I were taking our first trip away from our two boys (2 and <1 at the time) so we decided we wanted to splurge and get a great meal while we were in Las Vegas. We ended up at Craftsteak. Of course, after years of not really getting away, just the two of us, what happens when we were seated? We are seated directly next to a table with a toddler... Needless to say we were somewhat irritated. We ordered the Domestic Kobe level tasting type menu. Lets just say, it was so good, we were able to completely tune out the food being thrown about by the toddler, the screaming of the toddler and parents. The food was so good it completely took control of all of our senses and helped us have the BEST MEAL EVER! We seriously considered taking some home so we could have some help tuning out our own screaming kids!

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  107. My best meal was at the Greycliff hotel in the bahamas my wife and i were greeted with peach champaigne cocktails and seated in a waiting area to overlook the extensive wine collection. After being seated by white gloved waiters we were offered the dessert of the day which was a grand manier creme brulee dinner consisted of a de shelled lobster tail in a creme sauce with a 6 oz filet mignon that melted in your mouth. The ambience was for the truly in love and they had a car waitng for us when we left. What a night!!!

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  108. The Shrimp N' Grits at a tiny little dive called "gogo gumbo!" in the tiny town of Boyd, TX. That was followed by their amazing Banana Cream Pie. I love finding amazing food somewhere you would never expect it!

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  109. La Pergola in Rome, Italy has been our best meal ever. Nine course meal overlooking the lights of Rome. The food was fabulous and the service impeccable. They give you a souvenir of your menu.

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  110. It was at my mommy's breast on an early morning- 3AMish, probably- in August 1951. Ten months old at the time, I'd been down with a summer cold, and my sinuses were open up and my palate in fine form for the first time in a week. Mom had herself been eating well- we were on vacation at the time- but not sleeping so great. Whether the stress of sleep deprivation improved the milk the way drought stress improves a wine, I cannot say, but it's one theory. I had a nice clean diaper at the time- that can only have put me into the right mood for a culinary experience extraordinaire.

    Thanks for asking.

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  111. Stainless steel counters boasting unobstructed kitchen views. A beehive of dedicated employees constructing each burger with care. The aroma of freshly cut potatoes bobbing in a translucent pool of loveliness. The creamy finish of a hand dipped, chocolate shake. A Pacific Northwest summer evening including the vivid orange sunset to match the iconic pylon sign. More than dinner; perhaps a temptation of gluttony? Ah, Dick’s Drive-In … pure Americana at less than $5 a person.

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  112. I've always been a people watcher. I can entertain myself for hours sitting at a cafe watching the people come and go. That being said, it really isn't much of a surprise that my favorite meal was people-watching gold mine! Clarke's diner is a 24 hr diner in the heart of Boystown in Chicago. There are always lots of colorful people coming and going. I was expecting a so-so meal, but ended up with the most AMAZING breakfast I've ever had! They make the most amazing baked apple pancake. It is soft on the inside and has a crispy layer of cinnamon sugar on top! the pancake is overstuffed with fresh apples perfectly coated in cinnamon-sugar! I'm having flashbacks right now thinking about it!!! The pancake takes longer than everything else on the menu (they warn you when you order it), but it's totally worth the wait. Plus, you never know... you might see a street dance-off, or a transvestite fight. Anything goes in Boystown. So grab a booth next to a window, and get a baked apple pancake! Trust me!

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  113. The best meal I have ever experienced was Duck Delight. Duck Delight was on the menu at Bangkok Cuisine. The restaurant never came back after Katrina devastated the restraunt with flood waters. Several years later this restaurant reopened in a new locale with a new name. La Thai Cuisine

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  114. Imagine you've just won a bet to dine at your choice of fancy restaurant. Multiply it by being in a culinary haven (San Francisco) and you find yourself at Quince. The exposed brick interior and cleverly displayed wine cellar enhance the experience of the nine-course chef's tasting menu. Perfectly-synchronized wait staff delivered an exceptional meal from crab souffle, to buratta ravioli, to perfectly cooked rabbit and lamb, finally ending with delicious burnt honey cheesecake.

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  115. Best meal was lunch at Guy Savoy in Paris, each course was superb, including truffle soup, sea bass with scales and lamb 3 ways. My wife and I ordered a 3 course price fixed meal and ended up with 17 courses, plus we noticed a special item not on menu (priced at about cost of entire lunch), we simply asked about it and a half portion was brought to us, gratis(morel mushrooms with oysters). Service was extraordinary. We had asked the sommelier to write down the name of the wine, we both forgot and after we left the restaurant the sommelier chased us a half a block away to give us the label.

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  116. While visiting Baton Rouge a few years back, I stumbled into Mansurs with my wife and another couple based on a recommendation from someone we met that day. I don't know if it was the ambiance, the service, the food, or the company but this meal stands out as my best dining experience. Mansurs is the kind of place the locals go to to celebrate an anniversary or a birthday. Fine dining without the tourists. I'll keep trying to surpass this dining experience, but it still stands today as number one.

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  117. Best meal ever was March 8 1933, a sumptuous liquid ambrosia proffered at my mothers's breast. Truly yummy. BB

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  118. Several years ago, a few buddies wanted to take me out to dinner. They told me to find a restaurant and book the reservation. I did, an Italian restaurant called "Beppe" in the Flatiron district.
    We ordered appetizers and wine and then our entrees. I noticed an entree with "spare ribs" which caught my attention. When the entree arrived, I looked at it and could smell the lovely garlic aroma coming from the plate. When it was placed on the table, I looked at the ribs smothered in red gravy and began to smile. Then, I began to cry. Eventually, my buddies asked me "what is wrong with you". I told them that the spare ribs were prepared exactly the way my Mom used to make them (she passed away that year). I was even more surprised to know that they tasted almost as good as Mom's. That was the best meal.

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  119. Having tried 100s of the very best restaurants around 4 continents and 74 different countries, the best meal we ever had remains the one at the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse Restaurant in Monaco. We were a young 25 yo couple on our honeymoon and could not initially get a reservation. While heading in our jeans for pizza, we got a call that they had a cancellation and quickly dressed up for the occasion. The 12 course menu, the assorted wines, the service and the ambiance were perfect. We never regretted blowing nearly half of our 2 weeks dining budget on that one night. Nearly 20 years of epicurian experiences later, this is still our yard stick when rating any dining event. We have now secured a reservation for our 20th anniversary next year just in case there are no last minute cancellations!

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  120. My best meal ever was just last month at Taillevent in Paris, near the Champs Elysees. It was a prix fixe meal with lots of amuse bouches and wine pairings. What made it great was the care that the waitstaff took making us feel comfortable, and the quality of the food. We lingered for about 2 hours over our lunch and had a great time.

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  121. L'Espalier in Boston was the finest meal we ever ate.The Wine Degustation menu is one of the finest dining experiences, and most fairly priced meal we have sampled. All ingredients were fresh, the wines were paired perfectly, and the service was impeccable. All you can ask for in a restaurant.

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  122. Best meal was at Schwa. While every meal at Schwa is a “best meal” this one was extra special when Seth announced that the kitchen considered us “Schwa family.” Aside from extra courses that included foie, a fantastic rice crispy dessert and two incredibly tasty house-made sodas, we were given what the chefs eat for lunch – a kim-chi soup with fluke in a spicy broth. The honor bestowed upon us that night is beyond comparison.

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  123. My best meal ever was at Eric Ripert's restaurant Blue in the Grand Caymans. It was a New Years Eve 10 course tasting menu complete with wine pairings. I used my school loans to pay for the meal (I was there for a study abroad) and it was worth it! Every dish was a new exciting seafood dish - as fresh as can be. The wine pairings were perfect. The bread was delicious. The scenery was perfect. It is located in the Ritz Carlton and we sat on the outside patio. I would love the chance to go back. It is a dinner I will never forget.

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  124. The best meal I ever had by far was the Chilean Sea Bass at Croce's in San Diego. Maybe it was the perfectly cooked, tender fish encrusted with pistachio. Or was it the colorful and oh-so-perfect finishing touch of pomegranate sauce? Perhaps it was A.J. Croce's soulful sounds permeating through the dining room as we ate? Whatever it was, it made for a truly unforgettable meal at a very memorable establishment.

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  125. I’ll never forget when our HS French class had dinner at Le Bec Fin, a quaint, 35-seat restaurant located at 1312 Spruce Street in Philly. Anxious to use our langue française but not knowing what to order, we chose whatever sounded good. Our French teacher smiled at our daring selections. Escargots, truffes, etc. Despite all, the Maître D’ made us feel welcome. Years later, we still talk about our grand adventure to this dining gem.

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  128. On our first trip to Oahu in 2005, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion came highly recommended to us. After an exquisite meal of fresh sushi, Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi with lobster butter sauce, a to die for Misoyaki Butterfish and desserts consisting of a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut tart with vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis & a flourless chocolate cake, my husband declared "It it wasn't socially unacceptable, I'd lick our plates!"

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  129. November 1992, The Cheescake Factory in Manhattan Beach, CA. This was before they were the huge chain they are today. I was a vacationing college student so my current "foodie" lifestyle was still being developed. That said, I had the stuffed pork chop with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. For dessert, the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheescake. My first cheesecake ever! It was deelish. So much so that I paid a small fortune to have one shipped home to WI for Christmas dinner with my family. I cannot say I recall how good the food was, but I'll never forget the impecable service. While the bill was huge for me at the time, I didn't think twice of the nearly 40% tip we left for our wait staff for the amazing service. Proving yet again, it is not always about the food. What's more, I've never been to another Cheescake Factory since. I'm too afraid of runing my initial experience. It was that memorable.

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  130. My favorite meal was at Rue 57 in New York. It was 2005 and my first trip to 'the city.' I was with five co-worker/friends; none of whom had been to New York either. It was during one of the worst snowstorms in years. 29 inches of snow fell that day and into the night. We were all cold and wet from a wintery day taking in the city sights. We decided to take refuge in Rue 57. From the moment we walked in we not only escaped the cold but reality. The atmosphere warmed our hearts and the Merlot warmed out cold bones. The food was AMAZING. I had the scallops and they melted in my mouth. The food, ambiance and experience was so memorable to me and so bonded all of us together that we still talk about that day...and that meal.

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  131. The best meal ever had to be at Deanies Seafood in New Orleans, LA. We had heard about this place on various food shows and also from our friends who have been there so we knew that was the first place we had to go on our first trip to New Orleans. When we walked in, we were all greeted with very friendly employees all wearing Saints jerseys. Since it was the day of the 2010 season opener for the Saints after they had just won the Superbowl last season, the whole city was full of excited and showing Saints pride. This was also the reason why we decided to go to New Orleans at this time because we wanted to be part of the festivities! So when we sat down, the server was very welcoming and helpful with the selection on the menu. They are known for their Barbeque Shrimp so almost all of us had to try it. We ordered a couple plates of that, catfish po'boy, and a seafood platter for 6 people. The server also brought two plates of small red baked potatoes to start us off with. Those things were so delicious!! We devoured it within minutes and asked for more! Even though we knew it might affect our appetite we still wanted more. While we were working on our second round of potatoes, our food came. Everything looked so yummy especially the Barbecue Shrimp! When we took the first bite of that shrimp, we were speechless....mainly cause we kept on stuffing our mouths with this liitle piece of heaven. Everything about the shrimp was perfect, from the way it was cook and how much the juices from the sauce was on each bite. Sometimes we get disappointed ordering shrimp that aren't peeled yet because sometimes you don't get the taste of the sauce on the shrimp so it seems plain but not at Deanies, you get the sauce in every bite! On top of the Barbeque Shrimp was a hot french roll used to dip in the sauce which went with it quite well because we wanted to finish every last drop! The other meals were excellent too but the shrimp made a lasting impression on me. Since that initial visit, we went back to Deanies 4 times in our 5 day visit. We are going back again this year and we are definitely going to go to Deanies a couple more times! :)

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  132. Aaah, best meal ever you ask..... that would have to be Valentine's Day Dinner, Feb. 14, 1979 at Le Residence in NYC on the upper East side (no longer exists). You might ask why I would remember the exact date...it happens to be the day my then boyfriend asked me to marry him, and my response was yes, and we got married 6 months later on Aug. 11th. The restaurant was exceptional as far as service, food and decor. We had a private area with Dom Perignon waiting tableside. I ordered a sweetbreads appetizer, (brains, for those of you who may not know) so did my fiance, unbeknownst to him what it was, but I did tell him later. And beyond that everything is kind of a blur, being so long ago, but I do remember the food being absolutely divine down to a special dessert that they had made for us. Of course my boyfriend/fiance had called ahead and given the restaurant a heads up about what he had planned to do that night, so all waiters/staff and owner were a twitter, to say the least!!! He was going to wait til after dinner, during dessert time to pop the question, but he was so nervous and wanted to enjoy dinner, that right after the waiter poured champagne, he asked me the all important question and was so relieved when I said "Yes"!!!! I think the waiters were as well, they were fluttering around like butterflies not knowing where and when to land!!! I was wondering why we were getting so much attention, and then all was revealed. At the time he couldn't have picked a more romantic and perfect place for the occasion. I know it was simply wonderful, because we often talk about the experience and retell our experience to friends.

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  133. Tough To Choose! Yet, if I must...this was about 10 years ago at Nisbet Plantation on the island of Nevis. The executive chef at the time was named Kevin...and he prepared, EVERY night, the most delectable meals...fresh, local salads with astonishingly fragrant dressings...delicately seasoned vegetables and fish that made two senses reel---both taste and vision. Topped off with fragrant, locally-inspired desserts. Dinner became the absolute event of the day...the highlight of the vacation. (No, I don't believe he's there any longer, and I cannot recall his last name...)

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  134. Best meal was at Peli Peli in Vintage Park in North Houston/Spring. Atmosphere, wine, appetizer, entree, desert and after dinner liquor was beyond expectations. You can tell that Chef Paul really put his heart, sould and experience into it, plus everytime I have been in he is always there to greet and personally ask about your experience.....

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  135. Hands down the best meal I ever had was in Cape Cod at a place called Captain Kidd's. The front was a family burger restaurant for the tourists but if you walked in the back by the bay, it led into a high ceiling-ed dimly lit lover's cove. The head chef was a Chef James Murray and he started us off with a seafood pastry which was a perfect marriage between the filo pastry and the melange of seafood with a creamy white sauce. For the main course a wonderfully seared blackened salmon. The chef had since left that restaurant and began his own in another town in the Cape. I think the restaurants name was the Nimrod.

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  136. I really can't say what was the best meal I've had. I think every time I go to Lawry's they give me a pretty good meal. The best steak I ever had was at AGO at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. It's owned by Robert DeNiro. It was a 18oz Porterhouse. Took up the whole plate. You could cut it with a fork. It was so tender. The best buffet/meal is at the Wicked Spoon Buffet in Las Vegas. I've never been to a buffet with that much upscale food.

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  137. My most memorable meal was at 11 Madison Park. It was an anniversary dinner and the food was unbelievably good that cold March evening.
    Braised pig cheeks with garlic mashed potatoes and root vegetables. So delicious and so filling. A perfect zinfandel to compliment the meal.
    Dessert was a warm chocolate shuffle that capped a gastronomic feast to perfection. Pure sensual bliss!!

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  138. I've just been back to Eleven Madison Park after four months away. Right off the bat, the sommelier's face brightened when she saw me and she asked me how I'd been. One waiter I'd never seen before heard I had 3 Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs (I mentioned this when I was here last March, mind you) and wanted to chat about the breed since his parents in Wisconsin just bought one. This is before the food as well. So at this point I already feel I'm absolutely in the right place.

    There follows the best amuses bouches I've ever had, including a foie gras that made me want to lie down accompanied by a Claude Genet blancs de blancs Champagne; a Santa Barbara sea urchin cappuccino with Peekytoe crab and Cauliflower accompanied by a Dewazakura sake; Greenmarket heirloom tomatoes with olive oil and basil accompanied by a Domaine de Deffends Rosé du Nuit, which lays on the grape skins just one night, ergo the name; a tete de cochon with cornichons and baby radishes accompanied by a Niedermenniger Herrenberg Spätlese Trocken from Saar (yes, you're reading that correctly, a sweet dry wine that almost never gets out of Germany without being drunk by the Germans); a Nova Scotia (my peeps!) lobster poached with lemon verbena (yes, the actual shrub) accompanied by a phenomenal dried butterscotch-flavored 2007 Mas de Daumas Gassac blanc from Languedoc, which itself had 20% 'heirloom' grapes you can't find anywhere outside the region; an Elysian Field Farm (PA!) herb-roasted lamb chop with sheep's milk tart, sweet onions and bacon accompanied by a jaw-dropping 2000 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino; a pre-dessert course of summer melons with a citrus tapioca accompanied by a yes-I-was-born-to-taste-this 2008 Elio Perrone Clarté Asti from Piedmont; and finally a chocolate peanut butter 'palette' with caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream accompanied by a Madeira from the New York Rare Wine Company. And amazing coffee. And a Normandin Mercier cognac. And sweets to bring home. And a rolled copy of the menu tied with gray ribbon.

    After which Chef Daniel Humm, a freakishly young Swiss, comes around to my table to ask how everything was. What could I say? I'll tell you what I said: that the closest thing to immortality for we mortals is immersion in the moment, and his food takes me there. That's what I felt. And that's what a world-class restaurant is about: not the snooty treatment at the door (which ain't Eleven Madison by a mile), but both decanting your body from your soul for a few short synaptic moments and being laser-present with the cascade of flavors from a liquid dot of olive or a spoonful of tomato cloud that doesn't just taste, it haunts you.

    So, five stars on everything. Better than Le Bernardin in New York, better than Kommandanten in Copenhagen, better than L'Espalier in Boston and Quince in San Francisco. For warmth, genuineness, gastronomic genius, gorgeousness of room, wine list, service, floral arrangements, sylvan Madison Park surrounds, music (Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, Horace Silver, Bill Evans), value for money, even the quality of tiling in the Men's room for God's sake, I am really having a hard time imagining how Eleven Madison Park as a holistic package can be equaled.

    I am plotting my next visit already. In the meantime, God bless everyone there. I mean that.

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  139. BEST MEAL EVER: The American Hotel, Sharon Springs NY

    A snowy Valentine’s, the 19th century dining room softly lit. Parading in gastronomic gorgeousness: a complex Australian Pinot Noir. Succulent duck breast with wild rice pancake. A silk-and-velvet seafood bisque. Perfectly medium-rare beef tenderloin partnering lobster sauce. Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing so lush you could sink into it.

    And an adoring husband paying the bill – because, after all, it was Valentine’s Day with his Best Girl.

    A year later, I’m still swooning.

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  140. Dan Tana's West Hollywood. Ordered the "Helen" (NY strip) sliced and cooked medium rare. The sides are meat sauce over spaghetti and steamed broccoli. This, for me, must be done at the bar so that I can then listen to bartender Mike (same bartender there for over 44 years) say, "Shut up and eat; Stupid." A classic experience and the best steak in town.

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  141. Eleven Madison is the clear winner. Not for the suckling pig with cherries whose aroma alone could attract a mob, but for their bread. Two laminated light wheat rolls, warm and soft from the oven, served with cow and goat butter and sel gris. By far the best bread I've ever had anywhere. We asked for more, and with an unwavering yes, we had two twenty minutes later because they had to bake them first.

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  142. Alberto in NYC
    The best meal that I ever had i would say has been the one at Bar Americain as I got started with the good suggestion from the sommelier, she suggested to have a Rioja. We ended getting a 2001 grand reserve from Marques de Caceres. On the other hand i just couldn't resist the tasting sampler as an appetizer which include lobster, shrimp and crab meat. But the main reason was to have the famous duck from Cheff Bobby Flay, he is just amazing while making the duck. So it feels like it melts in your mouth on every bite. To end the night I must had the profiteroles and I definitely had to have a glass of port. That was the best so I must go back. We did go with my friends and once again the meals were amazing. Been there several times.
    Thanks Bobby and all the staff for the great meals and service.

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  143. Bouchery in Brussels, best for food, creativity, plating, service, wine pairing, interior. The seasonal menu was tapioca gateau and shrimps in a clarified shrimp fumet; followed by white asparagus, topinanbours and hollandaise; then a perfect cod in algae butter, girolles mushrooms and mussels. Clementine pulp and Mikan sorbet to conclude. Wine pairing was perfect all along and the bill was honest. A competent, creative chef that does not think only of image and TV shows.

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  144. Palapa in Puerto Vallarta, and it was worth every penny. I surprised my partner with the meal, and nothing feels more special that being whisked out of the restaurant onto the beach where you have your own setup of tiki torches and a meal that last for hours. The food was really good, but it was the experience that stays with me. One of the most romantic nights of my life!

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  145. I was traveling in Vienna 50 years ago when I became nauseous as a friend drove up a mountain road. I got out at a ridge and leaned on the fence of a cottage. The woman of the house invited us to dinner, which I have remembered all these years: wiener schnitzel stuffed with ham and cheese, and spaetzle. I never properly thanked her. What can I say? I was young.

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  146. My girlfriend and I recently used a Zagat Gift Card at a restaurant in Lincoln Park, Chicago called Perennial Virant. The ambiance was simply fantastic as well as the wait staff. The Manager personally greeted our table which was a nice touch. Our menu was diverse and easily catered to everyone’s taste. The portions of food were just right, leaving us content at the end of our evening. We will definitely be back, thanks Zagat!

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  147. While dining in Napa at Restaurant Ubuntu
    You could have your yoga and eat it, too.
    No meat in sight in this Garden of Eating,
    So feeling virtuous added some sweetening.
    Food was delicious, presentation so great,
    An edible landscape displayed on a plate.
    Heirloom carrots, fried chickpeas,
    The squash tart with popcorn brought me to my knees.
    Alas, now they've closed and I can't ever go.
    Ubuntu, Ubuntu, please say it ain't so!

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  148. My best meal ever was at the Templete Restaurant in Havana Viejo in Havana, Cuba. By international standards, it is a fine restaurant, but by Cuban standards, it is a mirage in the desert. I had shoulder of lamb (bone in), grilled red pepper and seasoned yucca. Simple, excellent preparation of quality ingredients. Also, the best pina colada that I have ever had. And I have had far more than my share. A huge, thin slice of pineapple, including the green thorny top was wrapped around the inside of the glass. Then the icy, frothy mixture made with 10 year old Cuban rum was added. Perfection. As I dined alone, I thought of my month-long trip through Cuba. I pondered the meaning of freedom, personal choice, justice, equality. I thought about returning to my FITTED Egyptian cotton sheets, double-malt scotch, and CNN. I munched on the pineapple.

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  149. My most memorable meal took place in a crowded, hipster bar in NYC called The Breslin. I ordered their famous lamb burger. Before the burger could hit my table, I was delighted by the smell of juicy lamb meat. My eyes rolled in the back of my head when I took one bite. The salty feta, the toasted bun, the super flavorful lamb. Alas! The perfect burger. Period. The End.

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  150. Paris at Chez d'Eux; first Burgundy snails; second stewed cassoulet; third dessert Marrons glacés (chestnuts) from the Ardèche region; then an aged Armangnac and a Cuban Cohiba Cigar; that is living the finest one can live; unforgettable fine meal at the best Bistro in Paris.

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  151. That's easy. Even as I was enjoying it, I told my tablemates that we were savoring "the meal of a lifetime" and it was. We could only get into The French Laundry at 9 PM that Saturday night and the reservations were made well in advance. We perused the three nightly tasting menus and each settled on one. The diners before us didn't leave until 10 PM (who could blame them?) so we were the last ones seated that night. I am a picky foodie and don't eat meat/fish/seafood or mushrooms and they brought out two "complimentary" courses while we waited for our table. I left mine since they were fish and seafood. They informed the chef and he made up special appetizers for me and they were delectable. I had informed our main server that I was not a fan of funghi so I requested he skip those two courses or leave them off of my two courses that included them. He asked if he could say I was allergic and since I do have food allergies, I agreed. I was debating whether I should have a Riesling or a Sauternes later in the meal and a wine enthusiast tablemate insisted I pick one and to my surprise and delight, the chef gifted me with a glass of the other later in the meal (it remains the most amazing I've had and of course, I haven't been able to find it since). Instead of the mushroom course, I was presented with the most extraordinary pasta I've had anywhere (including Italy). At the end of the night, around 12:30 AM, Thomas Keller emerged from the kitchen and the restaurant broke into spontaneous applause and some standing ovations. I've been back since but Keller was attending to his other restaurants and even if he had not been, it's impossible to top perfection. At least I knew to appreciate it while it was happening.

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  152. Having had many wonderful meals this year alone, I would have to say that Alinea is my winner for Best Meal. The food was so amazing and surprising. My husband described the experience as a combination of amusement park/entertainment/theater all in one meal. And the wine pairings were perfect. The four hours we were there went by so quickly. Now, if only I could get tickets to Next... (It's a challenge, living in Boston. It's not realistic for me to try to buy same day tickets!)

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  153. The Grande Indulgence
    1 lb. Alaskan Red King Crab, 2 clusters Dungeness, 1 lb. Stone Crab 6 Gulf Shrimp, 6 Oysters, 6 Clams

    At Crab and Fin Restaurant on ST Armonds Circle
    Sarasota, FL shared between my wife my son and myself.

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  154. My Best meal ever was at Pelago Ristorante in Chicago by Chef Mauro Mafrici. PELAGO, redefines up-scale Italian dining with a focus on homemade pastas and fresh seafood. I recently had a wonderful Carnaroli Risotto with mixed herbs from Pelago, and I can honestly say it was the best Risotto I have ever had. My 2nd plate was an exceptional Roasted Filet of Cod with Potato, Back Olives and Cherry Tomato. The Cod Filet was seasoned perfectly and was very fresh. The attention to detail in each plates presentation and the passion that is put into to each dish was above and beyond any restaurant I have ever dine at.

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  155. By far the best meal I had was the chef's tasting menu at Jean Georges. Pure elegance. The textures, tastes, and variety was amazing. The service and pure focus on the food was unrivaled.

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  156. My best meal ever was lunch at Per Se in NYC. For my 50th birthday my husband made reservations for lunch at Per Se. The meal lasted 5 hours and seemingly countless courses. Everything felt dreamily wonderful to me and the meal was spectacular.

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  157. I have to say the best place I have ever dined was a place called Beaufort Grocery in the little charming town of Beaufort, NC. It is beautiful there and it does not hurt that it is right down from the water and across the bay you can even catch a glimpse of marsh ponies on an island grazing! I had beef wellington and it was the best I have ever put into my mouth by far! The atmosphere and ambiance is superior bar none!

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  158. Restaurant Borgia, Viana Spain. We asked about the chef’s specialties. Our waiter thought we meant, “Bring them on.” Whoa!.

    Peeled tomato with shellfish and grilled corn sauce. A delicious onion broth over raw egg yolk and toast. Baby artichokes in vinagrette with foie gras and mushrooms. Rack of baby lamb with Rioja red wine sauce and grilled baby vegetables. Fresh figs on local cheese blended with whipped cream and topped with fresh blackberry sauce.

    Fabulous!

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  159. I had my best meal ever at Chateau Le Choiseul near Amboise, France. Everything fresh, all vegetables & herbs from garden that sloped to the Loire. While the meal was an inspiration, it was the service and setting that was unforgettable. From the oyster bisque starter through the medallions of lamb main to the iced orange wedges served in brandy it was heaven.

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  160. don't remember exactly when --but NOBU had just opened his signature restaurant at the Shore Club in South Beach , Florida when we were there.
    my husband and i elected to try the "omakase" meal at this superb restaurant. our waitress was a delightful Ethiopian lady that charmed us just as much as the food.
    chef's choice --delightful small plates of sushi, sashimi , seared meats etc. etc. each plate as individual in flavour and complexity as the one before.
    we dined for three hours in an utterly relaxed, romantic and captivating atmosphere. did not even sense the time go by.
    among others , this one dinner still evokes fond memories of a memorable evening i had with my dear husband.

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  161. My Best Meal Ever was at a rustic restaurant in Normandy in 1974. Alas, though the meal still makes my mouth water, the name of the restaurant is tucked so far back in my brain that i can't retrieve it. I was with a group of about 15 students at one long table and can still see the cream colored plates being handed down from one end of the table to the other as each course was served. When my plate of trout amandine landed in front of me i was horrified to discover that i had been served an entire fish, head and all. Turning my eyes away from the frightful sight -- i had never been served a whole fish before!-- i handed the plate back to the neighbor on my right with a request that the plate continue moving until it reached the kitchen and the chef removed the head. Upon its return, i dug my knife and fork into the dish, brought the fork to my mouth and was sure i had died and gone to heaven. Never in my 18 years had i ever tasted something so divine as that delicate broiled fish coated with buttered almonds and a perfect balance of salt and pepper. Until, of course, the dessert arrived and I discovered creme caramel....

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  162. Best meal ever was an amazing night with my wife at Hudson's on the Bend in Austin. Hudson's epitomizes gourmet game cuisine. The highlight was the most amazing plate of fresh spinach with hot pig vinaigrette topped with a smoked quail in a ginger honey cilantro glaze. That is what perfection tastes like. Never in my life have flavors been so distinct yet harmonious and intentional. I was at one with the chef. Namaste.

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  164. The Shadowbrook in Capitola Ca has been around since 1947 and a few years back I decided it had gone down hill. But I gave it another try recently and had CRISPY SAND DABS Dusted with seasoned flour and pan-seared, saffron infused Jasmine rice,garlic spinach, lemon-caper butter -- was I wrong. This along with the other 7 meal order by my friends with me were great! The Dabs were fresh and perfectly prepared. 8 clean plates followed by Creme Brulee OMG! We were very happy campers.

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  165. My best was about four years ago in Vegas with my son at the MGM Grand buffet.All you can eat snow crab,prime rib,fresh clams and oysters of variety;O.M.G the BBQ shrimp,pork tenderloin and salad that seemed like it was picked two seconds before we got there.The pizza and variety ravioli were quite nice as well.My DC. choice would be The Prime Rib always great food and excellent hospitality.

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  166. Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. They completely tailored the meal to me, allowing me to have both of the entrees. The meal culminated in an amazing lamb dish that came out in what looked like a parchment wrapped present. When the poured the sauce over it, the 'parchment' melted and became part of the sauce. Amazing and delicious.

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  167. Several years ago I was tricked (I think) by my daughter as we were visiting the Napa valley. As we drove around, visiting wineries, she asked if she could call the French Laundry to see about reservations for that evening. I, knowing they were booked for months, said O.K.

    She called and miraculously they had just had a cancellation(said she). I figure she had previously made the reservations. But, we went and we had a wonderful evening. It was without a doubt the best meal of my life, and given that we spent the entire evening there, not as exorbitant as I would have thought. An evening of theater plus an ordinary meal is (or at least was at that time) just as expensive, and, no more entertaining,

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  168. The best meal I've ever had, I've had over and over again for the last 4 years at a tiny family owned restaurant in Reisterstown, MD. The restaurant is called China Best. For 4 years I have had countless lunches and dinners there. They have what I believe to be the best sushi buffet in Northern Maryland. I was sad to hear that someone had posted a bad review, and this one totally untrue review has threatened the future of this restaurant. In 4 years, I have never had a bad meal. As a matter of fact, for the last 4 years, a group of my friends and I have gathered at China Best once a month to talk and eat great sushi. 4 years of the best meal ever. How can you beat that?

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  169. My first fine dining experience, shortly after 9/11, at the sadly now shuttered Chanterelle. Over 10 years later and I can still remember all seven courses. The asparagus flan. The unparalleled cheese plate. The ethereal panna cotta in rhubarb consomme when we thought we could eat no more. The beginning of a life time of appreciation of culinary artistry. Have had many great meals since, but none can recreate the magic of the first.

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  170. Best meal ever was on a dock in Sorrento Italy. The food was simple and very fresh. Each course emerged from the kitchen in a cloud of compelling aroma. Fresh squid, sardines, clams, whole grilled fish...the courses just kept coming.

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  171. The best meal I've ever had, I've had over and over again for the last 4 years at a tiny family owned restaurant in Reisterstown, MD. The restaurant is called China Best. For 4 years I have had countless lunches and dinners there. They have what I believe to be the best sushi buffet in Northern Maryland. I was sad to hear that someone had posted a bad review, and this one totally untrue review has threatened the future of this restaurant. In 4 years, I have never had a bad meal. As a matter of fact, for the last 4 years, a group of my friends and I have gathered at China Best once a month to talk and eat great sushi. 4 years of the best meal ever. How can you beat that?

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  172. I had heard that Le-Bec Fin was out of the dining business but a downscale version is still open. My wife and I went for the original world-class dining experience decades ago but it was memorable enough to stay with me. The meal was appetizer, entree with the sauces that fine French cuisine is known for, dessert AND cheese course. It was spectacular, as prior visits had also been. Georges Perrier's exit is lamented.

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  173. Three words: chicken and rice. It sounds so pedestrian and predictable, but on a cold New York City night in March, a $4 platter of chicken and rice from the Halal cart on 53rd and 6th nearly caused an emotional breakdown. Just as one cannot explain love, I cannot convey the robust, warming nature of, what can only be described as, the most beautiful five pounds of food to ever be consumed on a street.

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  174. 49th birthday dinner party in KonTum, Vietnam, with my US Army Ret. husband (3.5 tours of duty; he took me home...), our multi-lingual guide, Huynh, and his friends. We rode motorcycles in the rain to a hidden-away alley restaurant where we feasted on totally delicious lemongrass-grilled chicken and meats-on-the-grill that we cooked at our table, followed by toasts of Hanoi Vodka, and Huynh gave me 49 red roses...

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  175. Best meal ever: tasting lunch at Eleven Madison Park with my visiting eight-year-old granddaughter. She had fish, chicken, and chocolate choices; I had pork, lobster, and berry choices, starting with the best mint julep since graduate school in Virgina. The stream of "extras," the service, and the visit to the kitchen for chocolate egg creams - magical. Charlotte left wearing her own toque and couldn't stop grinning. My pleasure, shared with my granddaughter, was doubled.

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  177. Oh Tamari, how do I love thee... let me count the ways!

    The best meal I've ever had was a chef tasting at Tamari. A latin-asian fusion restaurant. Yes you heard right, latin-asian fusion. An amazing blended food concept, that is just perfect! Words wouldn't do justice for this restaurant. Each and every time my husband and I come here we are blown away. We've come here with huge groups of friends, romantic dinners, and happy hours. The chef tasting is by far my most favorite experience. Chef Roger actually gives you a call before your dinner to see what you expectations are. He pays particular attention to what you do and do not like. He hit the nail on the head with our dinner. To start off with the portion sizes were very large for a tasting, but it was so amazing we had to finish each and every last bite. We even thought of giving up eating out all together and just saving our money to do a chef tasting there once a month, it was that good! In addition, the owner Allen is so sweet! He's always walking around to make sure everyone is satisfied with their meal, and remembers his patrons quite well.

    This is by far the best restaurant in the Pittsburgh, and one that I recommend to everyone when they want to try something new & different. Give this place a try and you will not be disappointed.

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  178. Stevens Steak & Seafood House in Commerce Ca, reminiscing of the best meal ever is easy it’s trying to recall which occasion or with whom I shared this culinary delight with that’s difficult. Initially the appetizers followed by anti-pasta, pasta and fresh baked rolls that proceed “the Big Jim special”, a 32oz Prime Rib that’s cooked to perfection, garnished with sautéed mushrooms/onions, loaded baked potato. Enjoy the elegant ambiance, excellent service with superb cuisine

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  179. After a Sicilian Trip featuring good but unmemorable dining, my husband and I decided to make a side trip to Don Alphonso 1890, in the Sorrento area hilltop town of Sant' Agata sui due Golfi. Located off an unspectacular street location, we entered into a mystical wonder world of culinary fantasy. Resplendent in antique furniture, Morano glass chandeliers, exotic European pottery galore, and charming needlepoint pocketbook stools, we were ushered to a special table seemingly reserved for our anniversary occasion. We were greeted by owner Livia Iaccarino who made us feel welcome in her home. To maximize the culinary delights, we each ordered unique appetizer, main entree and pasta courses.In so few words, it is impossible to describe the expertly prepared, plated and tasteful morsels in limited prose. Starting with a deep fried lobster in an Asian sauce and duck breast in a fruit and wine combo, to the mixed nut battered amberjack, deep fried shrimps, squids and seasonal vegetables and homemade ravioli and penne. Hearing it was our anniversary, the Iaccarino's treated us to a special butter cream cake, that 11 months later I can still taste. A visit down to the spectacular wine cellar, cut out of the hillside and running several stories deep, topped off a perfect evening.

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  180. At the Greenbrier in west virginia: a fried green tomato BLT. Not the most refined thing ever, but so soul satisfying I attempt to recreate it periodically.

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  181. In defining the best meal ever I look for something that is (of course) delectably delicious, something that takes me somewhere, something that I’ve longed for, something that makes my mouth water, years after, just thinking about it, something comforting and dependable, something rich and fulfilling. They say consistency is key for success; time’n’ time again when I wish for the absolute best meal ever I turn my palate to Shalimar for the Bhuna Gosht.

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  182. About six years ago, my husband and I took our son to a weekend conference in Charlottesville, VA. We stayed overnight while we waited to pick him up. I don't recall how we heard about Fuel Co., a restaurant and gas station, but we went for dinner expecting to find a funky place. It was nicer than we expected and more costly than we had planned to spend but it was the best meal we have ever had in the U.S. I walked out feeling like it was worth the high cost -- a thought I have rarely had after meals at high end restaurants.

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  183. My "Best Meal Ever" was at the original Aureole. First, the creamiest vichyssoise that had a decadent finish. I was sure I was done. Then the entree arrived - grilled lobster tail over frisee that melted like butter with each bite. Done! But then the dessert cart came, and my decadence-foggedd brain chose a creme brulee with lavender infusion that brought me near tears of joy. I've been chasing that high note ever since.

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  184. Shock and Awe at Catch 31 on Virginia Beach! It was Christmas Eve 2011 and we didn't have any reservations after Church service. Walked in and got seated. We decided to order the Seafood Tower! What a presentation! I will never forget the look on my 3 year old grandson's face when he checked out the lobster! Lobster, mussels, crab legs, crab cocktail, shrimp, oysters and yellow fin poke! Not just dinner but an experience!

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  185. My best meal was Valentine's Day 2011, when my wife and I had Oysters with caviar, butter - poached lobster, Dover sole and strawberries in zabayon. An altogether great meal with wonderful service

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  186. "My best meal ever" was at La Scarola in Chicago. I get the same thing every time I go. I start with the grilled calamari ($10), then have the pasta fagioli ($5) then the main course of chicken mancow (grilled chicken breast with asparagus, artichoke hearts, hot peppers and onions) ($14). Simply fantastic from start to finish. Huge portions!

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  187. My best meal was at a restaurant called Positano's (now Main Street Bistro) in Freehold. It was a BYOB and we were a group of six. We ordered 3 different appetizers, one was pasta, one fish and antipasto. It was great and so filling! My entree was a fish stew which I was hesitant not being a fish lover, but it was fabulous! Delicious good size bits of assorted fish in a great soup base along with a litle bread,mmm good! We finished the meal with cake and espresso after finishing about 2 bottles of wine. We spent about 4 hours there and were never rushed, the best meal ever, fine food, fine friends, fine service!

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  188. Best meal ever was at Uri Buri seafood restaurant in Akko (Acre) Israel. I'm a chef and my "foodie" wife took me there for an amazing "tasting" lunch that included salmon sashimi with an incredible wasabi sorbet (that I've recreated from memory), St. Peters Fish w/caramel sauce, Shrimp and Artichokes w/lemon olive oil sauce on mai fun, Jordan River Trout with cream sauce and green onions, and
    luscious Almond Sorbet with Arak...all served w/excellent Israeli wine- and meeting the chef owner, Uri Yirmias. A GREAT day!

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  189. “The Forge” in Miami, FL is not only an institution, but the location of my “Best Meal Ever”. From the moment you walk in the door, you are treated with outstanding service and a treat for the eyes. We chose this as a unique location for our company holiday party, and it was a great success. The filet was to die for, as well as the other 3 courses we enjoyed in their private wine cellar. We finished off the evening with cigars and wine in the secluded courtyard. A must when visiting Miami!!

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  190. The very best meal we have ever had was at Lasserre's in Paris. Altho it was many years ago, every detail stands out as tho it were yesterday.From the time we entered the brocaded elevator to take us to the second floor until the roof opened to reveal the white doves flying above us after dinner. Needless to say, the food, the wines and the service were all superb, memorable!

    Al Silverberg

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  191. The best meal I have ever has been at Gramercy Tavern. The service was impeccable, differentiating itself from all other restaurants. The Sweetbreads were incredibly good, sitting in a flavorful broth and hen of the woods mushrooms. The Smoked Pork Shoulder came with a buttery cornbread and smoky bacon broth that was unforgettable. The Salted Pecan Crumb Topped Peach Pie was decadent. It was an unforgettable meal, captivating me, turning me into a regular.

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  192. For my wife's birthday, December 24th, there aren't very many good restaurants open. Fortunately, one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles is - Matsuhisa. This is Nobu Matsuhisa's first restaurant, which has a small dining area and a large sushi bar. It was also before he opened the now famous Nobu. On that night we ordered the "Chef's Choice" menu made by Nobu himself. His exquisite touch to every course was topped by the next. This was a meal to remember made by a master chef.

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  193. The BEST, LONGEST, most expensive meal of my 49 years was, without a doubt, THE FRENCH LAUNDRY!!! I don't think it was the 11 course menu that turned into 17 courses, compliments of the restaurant, the impeccable service, or the exquisite Foie Gras. It was the fact that each course, which contained 3-5 unique ingredients, melded my mouth, tongue and palate into ecstasy! Savoring every bite is probably why our dinner was 5 1/2 hours long, but it made the 2 and a half years it took me to get a reservation, worth the wait!!!!!!!!!!

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  194. Chef never cracked a smile and was serious about getting customers in & out quickly.Her Korean Beef was symphonic! Broth like chocolate,peppery. I drank the sauce shamelessly. The serving would appease any glutton. But tetrazzini! - a dish that is my favorite even when prepared badly.Toothsome mushrooms fought savory breadcrumbs for supremacy. My 98 pound frame consumed both in one sitting. If I could choose my heavenly reward, we would meet in afterlife. She laughed.
    kaytewatts AT aol DOT com

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  195. The BEST meal I've ever had was at (mas) LaGrillade in the West Village, NYC. My huband and I went for our anniversary and we had the chef's tasting menu with a wine pairing. I never knew it before but a wine pairing is definitely worth the money. Since the menu is all wood-fired, the flavors were simple yet wonderful! It was a wonderful experience that I hope to repeat soon.

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  196. 'La Mere Charles'in Mionnay just north of Lyon.
    Alain Chapelle was still presiding in his chef's hat and came to our table midway through the meal. The room had a fire-place and the service was smooth as silk. I'll never forget the taste of asparagus tips in a truffled puff-pastry topped with a note of Hollandaise. The main course was a truffled Bresse chicken cooked in an airtight sac so that the bird was thoroughly infused with the heavenly taste and aroma of black truffles.The 'Symphony of Desserts' offered exquisite sorbets, chocolate and pastry.
    Something like gastronomic heaven. Unforgettable!

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  197. My wife and I have had incredible meals in New York, Paris, Tuscany, the world over; but my best meal ever consisted of crisp Peking duck, melt-in-your mouth Hunan spareribs, succulent roast-pork fried rice--the works.

    What made it so memorable? It was roasted and wok'd and whipped by my wife. It was prepared for my birthday with love--the one special ingredient not available at any 5-star restaurant.

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  198. The best meal I ever had was when I was living in Florence, Italy at a small restaurant named Acqua al due (water for two). Everything from the buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad to the mushroom risotto was delicious...however one course beat out the rest. The main dish, the filetto al mirtillo or filet mignon with blueberry sauce was divine. Considering I no longer live in Italy, I searched for 3 years for the recipe to recreate it (even emailing the restaurants!)...finally, I found it. Now we have it all the time. However, I cannot wait til I go back to acqua al due to try all the other tasty treats their menu has to offer.

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  199. Back in the days when the words "kosher" and "foodie" were mutually exclusive outside one's own home, there was a restaurant in NYC called La Différence. To three girls from the New Jersey suburbs, it was Heaven on 45th Street. I can still taste the chicken piccata, so tender the fork practically melted with it. The desserts! And of course, the champagne. We ooh-la-la'd all the way home.

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  200. Maroni Cuisine is by far the best meal EVER! I had heard rumors of a 23 course tasting menu offered by Maroni but the remote location just never fit into my schedule. Alas, the first saturday in january of 2011 would go down as the greatest meal ever. A shot of Lobster bisque, a million dollar potato chip, kobe beef, quail, ribs, their famous meatballs as well as anything and everything my taste buds could handle nevertheless desire! Sometimes the greatest meals are as simple as a steak but in my case Maroni threw the cookbook at me and landed a perfect meal.

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