Monday, January 31, 2011

Here we go again...

So I know that for the last year and a half I have been gaining weight like its my full time occupation. Some if it is the whole being in a relationship thing but a large part of the problem is my love for red wine. Think about it, you get home from a hard day at work and settle into whatever program is entertaining and what could be better than a lush and full-bodied bottle I mean glass of ruby red wine?

Flavors of dark berries chocolate, espresso and black pepper accompany heavenly aromas. Seriously, who could not love this?? So, my greatest love is also my biggest downfall and the reason I am rocking this roll around my middle. Nothing says pack on the pounds like 500 empty calories and 4.7 grams of carbohydrates right before bed. Anyway, I am back to dieting again which is now more like the cousin I go visit in the fall and the spring. Familiar yet annoying.

This diet thing always makes me so damn hungry, and it looks like every time I restrict what I eat I find new and exciting restaurants to try out. So, this year I decided that I am going to create a 2011 Restaurant Bucket List if you will. Filled with cant miss restaurants and chefs. Last year is going to be pretty damn hard to top honestly. I managed to eat at some great places all over the country. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Art & Soul - Washington, DC - Chef Art Smith crushes the oyster hoecakes and Maryland style fried chicken.

Upperline - New Orleans, LA - Foie gras appetizer and Honey Pecan bread pudding with Toffee sauce.

Dante's Kitchen - New Orleans, LA - Shrimp and Grits. No seriously.

Cafe Lurcat - Minneapolis, MN - Miso glazed Sea Bass

Bar La Grasa - Minneapolis, MN - Soft eggs and Lobster bruchetta with truffle oil and authentic fresh carbonara.

Boudreaux - San Antonio, TX - Duck 3 ways and table made guac!

Biga on the Banks - San Antonio, TX - Tempura gulf shrimp with chili-lime noodles, watermelon, peanuts and mint. Oh and the sauteed mushrooms!

Zinc - San Antonio, TX - Truffled Parmesan fries and amazing wine selection.

1500 Degrees - Miami, FL - EVERY.DAMN.THING the Porkbelly tacos and duck fat fries. Oh and I got to meet the chef so I am particularly partial to this place.

I've been to plenty of other places too, but these are the standouts. I mean unbelievable meals that wont soon be surpassed or forgotten. This years list will have a lot to do with location availability but I am going to try my damnedest. So far I know that I will be in Chicago, Boston and San Diego this year so that will determine quite a bit of what I get the opportunity to sample. Also, there are a few restaurants here at home that I am dying to try out. I just never get the opportunity. Oh yeah, and I am supposed to be dieting. Only I could start a post about dieting and end it with copious amounts of food. This is going to be a long year.