Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Favorite Restaurant Ever?

The New York Times' Sam Sifton wraps up his tenure as a dining critic with a review of what he calls the best restaurant in NYC - Per Se. Having eaten at Keller's west coast restaurant, French Laundry, I can certainly imagine that Per Se might well be perfection.

So that has me thinking, what's my favorite restaurant of all time? Although meals at French Laundry, Le Bernadin and Bouley were all profoundly lovely, I cannot recall that much about them. The one that really sticks out in my mind is Moulins de Mougins, a Michelin starred restaurant in the south of France.

First off, you're in the South of France, so everything is inherently more sophisticated and luxurious than what you're used to. But even more importantly, the food, setting and service were so exquisite that even all of the years later, it still stands out in my mind.

Funny what you remember most sometimes. I couldn't tell you what was on our menu (although I remember it being so divine and plentiful that I felt food drunk and probably real drunk, too, by the end of it). No, what actually stands out and makes it so memorable was a small detail - when the bevy of eager staff came by after each course to change our settings, one noticed that I eat left handed. So by the next course, the silverware was reversed at my seat. Now that's attentive service!

And to throw some Atlanta love into the mix, the other meal memory that still gets me salivating was enjoyed sitting at the Holeman & Finch bar. We ordered their mussels and bone marrow, both heavenly in their own right, but when the buttery perfection of H&F toast points are dipped first in the mussel broth and then spread with the rich marrow, words cannot convey how incredible it was. A better indication of our enjoyment was that we groaned, no really, we emitting a moan of contentment and ordered another basket of bread.

So food lovers, what's your favorite dining experience of all time?
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