Saturday, February 27, 2010

Best of the Best 2010

In some ways Best of the Best is to the food world was Art Basel is to the art world. Meaning, the same way you can breeze through the convention center during AB and see the work of every significant gallery in the country (and world) without leaving Miami, so too could you roam the Fountainbleau ballroom last night and experience a tasting odyssey of the finest restaurants in the country. I made mental notes to check out Beast should I ever make it out to Portland, Oregon since chef Naomi Pomeroy's foie gras bon bon with quince champagne gelee was one of the richest bites of the evening.

She may also have the best restaurant name ever, second only to Los Angeles attendee Animal, there last night pushing head cheese and fried cornbread to a skeptical crowd. ("Is it...cheese?" asked a tipsy taster. "No, it's made from the parts of the pigs head," explained the chef good naturedly.) Also, their menu has a lot in common with Michael's Genuine. Adding it to the list for the next LA jaunt.
And if I'm ever in Chicago I will head straight to Bill Kim's Urbanbelly to have an entire bowl of the kimchi stew with Korean BBQ kogi and tofu, since the two shot glasses I snagged were deliciously spicy and comforting. My favorite bites of the night belonged to Miami chefs (you know me, always rooting for the home team). The Setai's Jonathan Wright (below) was doling out Peking Duck in a viscous egg yolk broth along with little bamboo steamers of veal cheek buns.

Marco Ferrero from Wish was passing out hefty slices of roasted short rib over creamy polenta that party goers quickly gobbled and it was hard to get at Solea's table where Marc Vidal's veal cheeks were muy popular.
Best presentation of the night goes to David Burke's foie gras dumplings with dry-aged lacquered duck and mango chutney.

And when it comes to wine my heart belongs to Stag's Leap and their ridiculously smooth and balanced 2006 SLV. If I'm ever in Napa...


Frodnesor said...

Nice recap. I've previously noticed the similarites between the menu at Animal and Michael's Genuine.

SteveBM said...

Good seeing you last night and thanks for the tip on the foie bon bons. We went back for 2nds and lucked out with the last few. I thought the scallop w/ pork jowl from McCready's was unreal.

Anonymous said...

Sad that we haven't evolved past eating tortured goose organs.

Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour said...

I really enjoyed the EOS crudos and SOLEA lemongrass flan with lichee soup and pineapple granite.

sara said...

Frod - you're always way ahead of me ;)

Steve - Fun seeing you too. The wine necklace suits you. how was the fried trotter? i still think it looked like a fish stick.

Peter - missed the dessert at Solea but sounds amazing. I am obsessed with lemongrass.