Favorite cities to dine

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by cape chef, May 30, 2002.

  1. cape chef

    cape chef

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    As a precurser of a discussion started on another thread, I was wondering what are your favorite cities (or non cities) to dine?

    For me, New York city is my favorite..from the apitamy of Haut cuisine, to a warm salted pretzel with yellow mustard from a street vender, new york breeds diversity with quality.

    A close second would be San Francisco, from dungeness crab at the warf, to sublime elegence at Gary danko's in giradelli.

    Chicago with blackbird and Eruns is a very happining city, and Napa Valley in so amall, yet laden with great high quality spots.

    How about you?
    cc
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

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    I agree that NY is unique for all its talent and diversity, but how can I narrow it down to one city, let alone one country?!

    The memories I have of San Francisco are over 10 years ago, and I'm sure it's completely different today, but I remember really enjoying the food there, as well as in Seattle. But then there's Charlie Trotter's in Chicago; the best food I've EVER eaten.

    And then of course, there's Paris, Florence, Marrakesh, and a hundred other cities I've yet to explore.

    CC- this is a complicated question!
     
  3. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I agree, NYC has great dining.....San Francisco, New Orleans absolutely, St. Louis, Chicago......Atlanta years ago.
    Dining vs. eating. I have not been through Napa in years....but I'm pretty sure that would be one too. Philly too.
    Eating BBQ in Memphis, or Brats in St. LOuis or Cajun food in the south or Dim Sum in SF, or Danish pastries in Sulvang
     
  4. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    1.London
    2.Beirut
    3. Paris
    4. Rome

    People have been dinning to those cities for the last 150 years...at least.
    Not to mention that in Beirut and Rome they have been dinning with style and finesse for 2000 years...
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    San Francisco is by far my favourite place. Nowhere else in the world is there such a coming together of cultures. Rijstaffel, Korean BBQ (which is illegal here in Minnesota), Sushi, Hot Pot, Udon Noodle Houses. I wasn't lucky like CC because last time I was at FIsherman's Wharf it was full of fried fish, fried calamari, and cold french fries. A few years ago you could get really good grilled salmon on SF Sourdough. Too bad the place is overcommercialized now.

    Research question: Did Cioppino come from the restaurant near the wharf with the same name?

    Kuan
     
  6. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Li ristoranti a PARIGI, certo!
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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  8. pongi

    pongi

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    kokopuffs,
    are you a medium?
    I mean, did you read my last post in the Cook's Corner forum before I posted it?
    As you can see, I agree with you on PARIGI: the place in the world when you can get the highest number of top restaurants, a widely diffused good quality in low-price places, and a pretty wide range of ethnic restaurants.

    To the above mentioned cities, let me add Istanbul (because Turkish cooking is very good) and Singapore, the Mecca of Asian cooking.

    As for Italy...I understand you can be influenced by its charm, but definitely Rome it's not the best place to eat in Italy. Too many touristic places, the highest prices in Italy, no top restaurants. The same for Venice.
    Probably the very best eating place in Italy, according to my three points (see the "Englishwoman" thread on Cook's Corner) is Milano. No great appeal as a city, but the only cosmopolitan town in Italy, and three top restaurants.
    Firenze is following, and generally all the Tuscany; Bologna and the whole Emilia Romagna; the Piemonte (but not Turin). Those are probably the three regions where you can eat well.

    Pongi
     
  9. pongi

    pongi

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    ...hmm...made a mistake. I meant "the regions where you can eat best". Of course you can eat well in many other places, Genova included:)

    Pongi
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Pongi, I haven't been to Italia but can safely assume that the country offers great food that can equal or even exceed what's offered in France. Every country offers excellent cuisine.

    But no, I'm not a medium...just a galaxy cruiser because I graduated from Berkeley! Although I don't know your name, I've got your number, buddy.
     
  11. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I'd have to say in response to the query that you can get great food in any city you visit---you just have to know where to eat and be prepared for the excellence found in indigenous cuisine. It goes beyond just great tasting food on a pretty plate. It's why gumbo and jambalaya taste best in NO and LaFayette, LA. And why bialys are so good in NYC and pulled pork is superlative in Wilson, NC or Memphis.

    But to answer you question specifically, I'd have to say that San Francisco and Berkeley, CA are my favorites. Sure, there's wonderful food here in NY, but I tire of the "I'm fabulous, and you're probably not" attitude that comes along with the service, coupled with people pushing that disgusting foie gras on me all the time. (Sorry, fellow CT Craft diners, it's a personal aversion.)

    San Francisco and Berkeley have the fortunate advantage of close proximity to the highest quality organic farms and dairies that produce some of the most flavorful food in the country. Also, the service approach is more of the "I'm OK, you're Ok, let's find what we have in common" mentality. The server and the served enjoy the dining experience together. Chez Panisse is my favorite, but Gary Danko's cuisine ( I met him when he was chef at the Ritz) was a great experience too.

    By the way, I went to see Ruth Reichl (Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet, NY & LA Times restaurant critic) speak at the 92nd St. Y last week and she was asked the very same question to which she answered NYC after a bit of a pause. I couldn't help feeling that she chose her answer to please the crowd (for the most part, short, cranky old NY women). Judging from earlier passages of her lecture, in another place, she may have chosen SF, too.
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Foodnfoto:

    To this day the best everChinese restaurant is located in a little suburb just north of Berkeley, in El Cerrito called the Gou Bu Li. everything freshly prepared. However, I haven't eaten there since '89.

    And yes, I agree with you, the bay area offers a great array of excellent restaurants to satisfy everyone's palette - I'm still spoiled about the area.
     
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    In that case, may I invite you for some lutefisk? :D Sorry fnf, I haven't found this to be the case in Minneapolis.

    Kuan
     
  14. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Big fan of Santa Fe... ecclectic mix of new and reinvented classics. Closer to home, Baltimore has some neat "hole in the wall" joints. Phili is also tops for local collections of good eateries. George Perrier's Le Bec Fin, Susanna Foo's and Morimotos (of Iron Chef) all call Phili home. Lidia Bastianich also runs one of her 2 places in Phili.
     
  15. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    What about Los Angeles? As I mentioned in another thread, it has the world famous Pink's hotdogs. Besides, where else can you watch Hulk Hogan workout on the beach while at the same time munching couple of spicy Tuna handrolls? :)

    Kuan
     
  16. kylew

    kylew

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    I gotta go with Gotham City:) With N.O.La running second.
     
  17. cmj

    cmj

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    london all the way.

    from marco pierre white to furgus henderson

    classic hotels to sir terence conran

    jellied eels to caviar

    3 star chef`s to gastro pub`s

    all you need to enjoy it is an appitite , some cash and a free lunch break
     
  18. shimmer

    shimmer

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    I haven't eaten in NYC or Chicago.

    In Astoria, Oregon, we found some great treasures. In a little fish shop right on the bay, they bring the fish in and sell it right out of the ocean. The smoked fish and fresh crab is to die for.

    There is also a Danish bakery there.

    Maybe everything tastes better with salt in the air?

    The most difficult place to dine was in England for me. Not that there is not good food there, the restaurants were just always closed when I wanted to eat! I never did figure that out.

    ~~Shimmer~~
     
  19. spoons

    spoons

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    The Bay Area
     
  20. rachel

    rachel

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    The best place I have ever been to to eat is San Sebastian on the north coast of Spain. Arzak's restaurant is just up the road from San Sebastian. You go round the old quarter and just pick at all the food laid out on plates in the bars, tell the barman how many you've had when you are finished and them move on somewhere else. After four or five such bars you and your party them decide that it's time to eat properly and go off and search for a restuarant for a meal. The other thing about these bars as such times as the Basque separists have protests in the old quarter(which they have with almost boring regularity) the bar just closes the shutters down most of the way while everyone continues eating and drinking waiting for it all to finish. Once the protest is over you move on to the next bar and start the whole process again, all without turning a hair.
    It's not cosmopolitan, eclectic food by any manner of means, but is a real pleasure to experience.