Baker & Banker, San Francisco
My Mom and I shared dinner here and we instantly became fans. I love everything about this restaurant. I love how it is a perfectly shaped small, square room with warm wood tones throughout. I love the husband and wife team; he's the Chef de Cuisine and she's the Pastry Chef. I love their Soy & Mirin Braised Black Cod. And what I love most, is how strong every course is. I am often left feeling "meh" after ordering desserts while dining out. However, Baker & Banker has delighted my taste buds every time...I mean, Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread Pudding? You stop it.
Butcher, New Orleans
Last year, I dated an Italian guy. On one date, he asked me if I had to pick one single animal's meat to live off of for the rest of my life, which animal would it be? Bonus points for a great question, truly. My answer is the pig. I love me some pork. And Butcher in New Orleans does not disappoint when it comes to all things pig. If you are ever in the New Orleans area, visit Butcher for lunch. I recommend the Pork Belly Sandwich. My mom's father, who I unfortunately never got to meet, owned a Butcher Shop. This place felt so old school, in the very best way, and I hope to one day share a Pork Belly Sandwich with my Mom here.
Pinot & Paella at Williams Selyem Winery, Healdsburg
Drinking my favorite type of wine, Pinot Noir, while indulging in a dish full of meat and seafood? Oh, while the sun is shining, it's 80 degrees, and I'm standing here? Sign me up. This day was all about the Pinot's...some of the most delicious I've ever tasted. It left me thinking, how can I marry into this fabulous wine-making family?
Susan Feniger's STREET, Paris Girls Reunion, Los Angeles
It's impossible to describe how much fun I have when I am reunited with my girlfriends I met while
And on one non-food related note, but equally delicious...my favorite concert and album this year, which happens to be my go-to cooking music as well:
Bon Iver at the Greek Theatre, Berkeley
It's no secret that I am obsessed with Bon Iver's music. I can wholeheartedly say that I love every single song. His sound is multi-dimensional and his lyrics are completely unique, sometimes puzzling, and leave room for interpretation...the best kind, in my opinion. I was fortunate enough to go to the Bon Iver concert in September. Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), I'm never going to get over you or that seemingly bedazzled jean jacket you wore while rocking out at the Greek Theatre. Stacks & Beth/Rest forever.
Here's to a delicious 2012.