2009 in Boobs4Food Eats: Spring

2009 has been an epic dining year, and I have the additional pounds on the scale to prove it.

rue de la Tour d'Auvergne by dusk, in the 9th arrondissement

rue de la Tour d'Auvergne by dusk, in the 9th arrondissement

As much as I try to balance decadent meals out with lentil soups and raw kale salads (that I actually love, I do!), the food I’ve enjoyed this year has emerged the victor, but starting the year off in Asia, and with Europe and a few trips to San Francisco in the mix, the damage was inevitable – and pretty worth it.

I’ve been a lucky girl to have had so many pleasurable bites that I can’t even recount them all, but the meals in which the stars and the moon and the planets aligned to create an all-around amazing dining experience are the ones that i will remember for years to come.

Whether they’ve been savored at white tablecloth establishments or on plastic stools, with friends, family, or strangers, these outings share the common thread of having delicious food with great company in a lovely setting.

In no particular order, here are my favorite dining experiences of 2009…

  • Spring – Paris
  • Le Chateaubriand – Paris
  • Comerç 24 – Barcelona
  • Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿 – Taipei
  • Borough Market – London
  • Momofuku Ko – NYC
  • Church & State – Los Angeles
  • Egg – Brooklyn
  • Piccolo – Venice, CA
  • L’as du Fallafel  – Paris
  • Elite – San Gabriel Valley, CA
  • LudoBites – Los Angeles


I know it defies logic to go to a restaurant by an American chef in Paris for some, but after reading so many solid reviews and hearing about his weekend lobster roll and duck fat fries fry-ups, it became a spot I was willing to fend off traditionalists to try.  And having scored a few seats in the dining room of 16, it just seemed like fate.
Arriving just in time for dinner on a late summer evening in Paris.

Arriving just in time for dinner on a late summer evening in Paris

We trekked up to the restaurant from the Poissoniere Metro stop with the rays of the setting sun creating a path to Spring’s front window as if it were lighting the way to Mecca. Once seated, we were given a generous block of butter flecked with dark specks.  As soon as we tasted the rich spread, further investigation was necessary and the chef revealed that it was in fact Bordier beurre aux algues which is more than he pays for his foie gras.

More diners filled the few tables while the kitchen staff calmly prepped just a glance away, and as the day turned into night, we were treated to potato dumplings with langoustine, chard, radish, in a bouillabaisse scented with cilantro, Thai basil, and kaffir lime.  The dumplings were perfectly yielding and not at all gummy sitting alongside chunks of tender langoustine, but the star of the dish was the broth.  Its flavors were rich and clean and then we realized there was something familiar about it — like the phở of our youth that our dads would take us for in Oakland’s Chinatown, only much more refined and no oil slick in sight.

We were also given a suprême de pintade (guinea fowl) on carrot-ginger purée with fresh almonds and arugula.  It was

Potato Dumplings & Langostine in Cilantro, Thai basil, and Kaffir Lime scented Bouillabaisse

Potato Dumplings & Langostine in Cilantro, Thai basil, and Kaffir Lime scented Bouillabaisse

our first experience with fresh almonds (though not our last on this trip) with a round flavor that went well with all the other components of the dish.  One of our desserts was an olive oil ganache with Lucques olives (that are now, hands down, my favorite olives ever) and crunchy croccante pieces.  I could have licked the plate clean of that ganache, but, being in Paris, I thought maybe I should employ some self-control.

The food was a fantastic start to the trip, but the company and setting made it all the more memorable.  My sister, Katherine, and cousin, Liberty, joined me in this jaunt around Western Europe and they always bring a good time, without fail.  Their plane had landed that morning and I had arrived two days earlier and hadn’t felt the need to spoil myself with sit-down meals, so this was also my first Parisian meal.

We were giddy with anticipation of the sights, sounds, and eats we’d encounter the next two weeks, and also completely

Olive Oil Ganache with Lucques olives

Olive Oil Ganache with Lucques olives

content for these few hours, enjoying wine, butter, and the company of a few other American couples at our table.  There was one pair from Chicago with a daughter actually attending the same high school that Chef Daniel Rose graduated from and also sharing mutual acquaintances with the chef, and they were a delight to share our well-worn communal table with.  Talking about food and culture and travel with other food enthusiasts over deceptively simple dishes on a Parisian summer’s night — how could I not fall in love with this meal?

Tomorrow we will move on to Le Chateaubriand…

- LifeWithAWhisk
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52 Responses to “2009 in Boobs4Food Eats: Spring”
  1. Austin says:

    holy crap you did travel a lot…..


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  1. Jim says:

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