There’s a common sentiment among restaurant critics: We eat a lot of poor quality and mediocre food before we taste something memorable. But, oh baby, when that over-the-top bite hits your mouth, you know you’ve found it. Something about the drink, dish, or dessert pushes it above the hundreds of thousands of other bites you’ve taken over the year.
The following items rocked my senses in 2012. In no particular order, and off the top of my head, they are:
Start Restaurant’s Mediterranean quinoa salad with fresh feta, ruby red tomatoes, barely blanched broccoli, and kalamata olives lightly tossed with extra virgin olive oil and herb vinaigrette.
Seasonal Smash at FT 33. Ketel One Oranje, Hum, organic rum muddled cranberry, lemon, and habanero simple syrup, apricot, and fresh thyme poured over clear, cubed ice.
Corn ice cream at Monica’s Nueva Cocina.
Yeasty angel biscuits at Sissy’s Southern Fried Chicken.
The 7-ounce steak topped with a dab of bone marrow at Oak.
The celery root and carrot salad spiked with fresh mint at Canary By Gorji.
Maine lobster and blood sausage in Syrah reduction at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.
Roghan Josh, chunks of lamb in traditional brown onion gravy spiced with coriander, turmeric, tomato sauce, and red pepper at Mughlai.
The sashimi salad with silky raw fish on curvy ribbons of white seaweed at Tei-An.
Crack in a Box, hazelnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts blended with 72% South American chocolate with raw cocoa nibs from Dude, Sweet Chocolate.
Housemade stout beer ice cream sundae decorated with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, meringue chocolate kisses, and crumbles of pretzel streusel at Cook Hall.
French onion soup thickened with caramelized onions, nutty Gruyere, and a thick slice of a baguette at Boulevardier .