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Memorable Meals

Our Top Five Favorite Fine
Dining Experiences

 

Memorable Meals

 
One of our favorite activities when traveling is to try new restaurants. Over the years, a few very special meals still stand out as the most memorable. Every experience was unique, but each meal shared several qualities in common: excellent food from start to finish, fine service and an innovative approach with dishes and flavors we hadn't tasted before.

Here are our top five most memorable fine dining experiences:

Alan Wong Restaurant - Honolulu, HI

Despite being oddly located in an office building, Alan Wong's has been an institution for Honolulu fine dining for over 15 years. Alan Wong was one of the pioneers of the 'Asian fusion' style of cuisine so synonymous now with Hawaiian cooking. Our favorite dishes include the Chinatown duck nacho appetizer - a long-standing staple of the menu (for good reason) and the five spoonfuls of crème brulée. Passionfruit was the standout flavor.

Cyrus - Healdsburg, CA

One of the things Cyrus is best known for is their Champagne and caviar cart. I can't say we live fabulously enough to have indulged (not surprisingly partaking is pricey), but the touch certainly sets a luxurious mood. Cyrus' multi-course approach rivals The French Laundry, with amuse-bouches and tasty small plates or sorbets compliments of the chef between menu selections. On the night we dined here, we had an amazing foie gras starter and the sommelier came by to let us taste an 80+-year vintage Sauternes opened earlier that day for another table. Memorable? You bet.

Le Bec Fin - Philadelphia, PA

This venerable dining establishment specializes in a traditional French gourmet dining experience in a beautiful setting in downtown Philadelphia. Dishes are creative and inspired without going into any experimental territory. Just make sure to save room after your main course - the cheese cart and dessert cart are truly a wonder to behold. There is even an option to try a small sampling of each dessert on the cart - or if you want to be slightly less indulgent, you can limit your tasting to *just* the chocolate desserts :).

Le Champlain - Quebec City, Quebec 

Located inside the Chateau Frontenac, tables in the glassed-in room overlooking the St. Lawrence River are especially romantic. Every dish and every course is impressive throughout the menu. The food is highly refined and excellently executed but still draws from traditional, rustic Québecois influences. Highlights included the rabbit tournedos and veal filet as well as the mignardises at the end of the meal. Service is warm and welcoming.

Radius - Boston, MA

In an elegant downtown setting in Boston's Financial District, Radius features Modern French cuisine in a vibrant yet comfortable atmosphere. Every dish we've enjoyed here has been seasoned perfectly - with a deft attention to creating balanced flavors. The tuna tartare appetizer and lamb 'two ways' entrée are particular standouts. A quick glance into the kitchen as the servers are passing through belies the relaxed mood they help create - there is a lot of behind-the-scenes scurrying at this busy spot.


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