There are meals that you remember from your childhood and associate with comfort and warmth, there are meals that will satisfy your hunger every time when you have absolutely no idea what you are hungry for and then there are those perfect meals that you will never ever forget as long as you live. I have had 2.
The first was when i was 17. I was visiting my sister in NYC with my dad and my stepmom and we went out for dinner one night at an italian place recommended to us by my step-grandfather. The place was called Patrici's (i think) and it was amazing. I have no idea where it was or how we got there, but it was somewhere in lower manhattan... The waiters spoke no english, but they seemed happy to oblige us when they found out we had been sent there by "Jackie", they all seemed to know my step-grandpa quite well. The first dish we ordered was a Hunters Veal Chop. This was the my first experience with veal and after one bite i was glad that my step mother didn't eat veal since it left more for my father and i to devour. (i got the bone in the end after we flipped a coin for it)Honestly, i can't remember the pasta that came with the meal, but i most definetely remember the fried zuchinni! As does my nephew, who was 2 at the time and practically jumped out of his seat to grab the frites off the plate when the waiter came to the table with it. But the crowning achievement was the desert. We asked the waiter for Zabaglione and he went into the back, came back out and said "no, not tonight" but then a chef poked his head out the back yelled something in italian and pointed to the table in the front of the restaraunt. Our waiter promptly turned around walke over to the table, grabbed a giant bowl of strawberries off the table and disappeared into the kitchen. We scratched our heads and sighed. The waiter came back out with espressos for us all and asked us to wait a few minutes. 15 minutes later he appeared again with champagne glasses filled with fresh warm zabaglione and strawberry slices! I can still taste it. This meal was soooo amazing that my father didn't even care when we got back to the car and saw that it had been broken into!
The 2nd best meal ever was in Hawaii on the big island in Kona. My husband and i were there on our honeymoon and we stopped at a small cafe called Aki's and ended up having the all time best bowl of Ramen. (and i live in SF where the ramen is supposed to be good, although i doubt it is.) This ramen was the way Tampopo made it in her Ramen shop. Wok fried corn, spring onion, bean sprouts and bonito flake floating on top of the perfect broth brimming with handmade ramen noodles and all of it drizzled with a light sesame oil....OH MY GOD. This Ramen was so good, that we stopped by there for the next 2 days before our plane took off (sunday and monday) only to be tortured with the fact that these were the days the owner/chef closed up!! The Irony! The Pain! If you go to the big island, go to Aki's and get a bowl of Ramen.
And now that i have gotten this off my chest, have a great day!