Surprisingly simple meals and, more often than not, lunches topped our list of best meals in 2012#5 - Hamburger at The Standard, New York (USA)
Maybe it was the hype around staying at the "in" place in the Meatpacking district or the fact that we sat at a stool watching the kitchen make countless porterhouse steaks for two or simply the housemade pickle that accompanied it, but this hamburger left a lasting impression on both myself and my dinner guest who wished he had ordered it too (although his pork chop wasn't bad at all!)
#4 - Salad Nicoise in Nice (France)
It's really a combination of the local dish, Salade Nicoise, along with a chilled rose wine, enjoyed right on the beach. Pick any beachside cafe, get a seat with a view and an umbrella because you'll want to sit there for a long time, savoring the fact that you are in the South of France while you eat.
#3 - Lunch at Knee Deep Winery, Margaret River (Australia)
This fantastic meal of pork belly as well as a wonderful fresh fish dish was enjoyed as the glass doors of this small restaurant were opened allowing us to feel as if we were dining right in the vineyard (which we pretty much were) where our lovely wines (we had both a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay with our respected meals) had been born. Read the full story of our adventures wine tasting in Margaret River here - http://bit.ly/P3LhM0
#2 - Lunch at 40 Hands Singapore (Singapore)
We went for coffee, we stayed for lunch. This DIY pork bun was better than any I've had that were pre-made, but the biggest surprise was the Salted Cod with Potato Sandwich which we were actually fighting over. As for the coffee, it ranked as one of the best coffees of the year.
#1 - Small Plates at Baco Mercato, Los Angeles (USA)
Bon Appetit was right on when it named Baco Mercat one of America's top 10 best new restaurants of 2012. In fact, it was well worth the drive from Santa Monica in rush hour traffic one Friday night to get to the restaurant in what felt like a deserted area of downtown LA. The food and drinks are fantastic. A baco, if you are wondering, is a type of sandwich made on flatbread and folded in half. We had the beef tongue schnitzel baco and it was amazing, but we also ate stuffed squash blossoms, grilled peaches, ceasar brussel sprouts, pickled eggplant salad and, although we had no room for it, the wild boar pasta. Oh and then we had fresh pineapple upside down cake for dessert because it's hard to say no to anything on this menu. Our full report can be found here - http://bit.ly/12SzA6c.
2012 was a great year of travel, food, drinks and new experiences, including making the move to Sydney, Australia. We promise to keep searching for great places as we travel from our new home base. Thanks to all of you for reading the blog. We appreciate all of your support and feedback!