Friday, January 02, 2009

Gaztronomy Top Ten - 2008

It's the end of another year and time for me to put together a list of the favourites from all the places I visited during 2008. I didn't manage to get to everywhere that I wanted, but did make it to some really amazing places.

Choosing a favourite from the top three wasn't easy as they are all such fabulous places and the food in all of them is amazing, but in the end I plumped for the French Laundry as the location and occasion made it extra special.

1. French Laundry
Spending the afternoon of our Wedding Anniversary in the best restaurant in America was something special. The food was spectacular and the service just perfect.

2. Fat Duck
Heston Blumenthal's menu was an experience not to be forgotten. Each course was a surprise and an education in how mixing taste with our other senses can create a completely new food experience.

3. Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons
It was another perfect meal at Le Manoir. The food was superb, as was the service.

4. Caldesi in Campagna
This was my favourite Italian meal this year. The food was wonderful and it was great to be invited into the kitchen to meet Giancarlo and Gregorio.

5. Café Spice Namaste
I had a couple of really good meals here in 2008 and attended a cookery course where I met one of my veggie cookery heroes. The food is tasty and imaginative and, of course, Cyrus is just a really nice chap.

6. Thackerays
I've been to Thackeray's a couple of times this year and the food is superb. But, c'mon guys, sort out the service and you might get your Michelin Star back!

7. Drunken Duck
In the middle of the Lake District is this gem. The food is great and they even have their own brewery!

8. Benares
The best dessert I had all year!

9. Jamie's Italian
I love Carluccio's, but Jamie's Italian has pipped it to the post this year. The food was delightful and very reasonably priced.

10. Food for Friends
For a veggie Sunday lunch, there is no place better!

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