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Best Things I Ate This Month: May 2015

"The Meal" at Addison, Fried Chicken Sandwich at Prepkitchen, Sweet Pea Risotto at Solare


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"The Meal" @ Addison

Over the last six years, I’ve been lucky to eat my way through some of the country’s best food cities, from Michelin-starred places to wondrous divey boxes with outrageously good mom food. And without a doubt, the collaboration dinner with Addison’s James Beard nominee William Bradley and two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin (Melisse) was the meal of my life. Every single dish in the 10-course tasting was phenomenal. A whipped yogurt with yuzu and green apple granite. A Hokkaido sea urchin with avocado, fried konbu (seaweed) and gem lettuce. And the most mind-blowing treatment of foie gras, from Bradley, I’ve ever tasted—a foie pot de crème with passion fruit gelee and a Belgian waffle. Excellent wine pairings from wine director Elizabeth Huettinger. It’s part of Addison’s “Collections” series. There are three more of them with chef Justin Cogley (from Aubergine in Carmel) on July 25; James Beard winner Barbara Lynch (from No. 9 Park, Menton, etc. in Boston) on Oct. 17; and the legendary Patrick O’Connell (from The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia) on Dec. 5. It’s $275 per person, with $200 per person more for wine pairings. I can’t make value judgments because each person’s finances are different. But I can say that it was the meal of my life. Bar none. 

 

Fried Chicken Sandwich @ Prepkitchen

I had never tried Chick-fil-A. It was a source of pride. But when your three year-old daughter pines for a few glorious moments in their play area, well, it’s no time for food snobbery. So I’ve had one. It was about as expected. Fried chicken on white bread. Well, if you took that idea and magnified its pleasure quotient tenfold, that would be the experience of Prepkitchen’s fried chicken sandwich. Craggy, perfectly browned crust, tender meat, with a lemon-thyme aioli on a brioche bun. It’s not diet food. It’s delicious food.

 

Sweet Pea Risotto @ Solare

It had been far too long since I revisited Solare at Liberty Station. Not since owner Randy Smerik and Sicilian-born chef Accursio Lota (ex-Marine Room) took over three years ago. At a recent Tuesday night seafood dinner, though, I found the place teeming with life. Things have obviously done right. One of the best dishes we tasted was Accursio’s sweet pea risotto with carnaroli rice mantecato, salted butter, sweet peas, lemon zest, cherry tomato guazetto (saucy stew) with Baja white shrimp. One of the better risottos I’ve had. Time to revisit Liberty Station if you haven’t in a while.

 
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