What's the best restaurant you've ever been to?

We did this a few years back but I thought it’d be nice to get a whole new crop of responses.

Let’s break it up into categories:

Best soup
Best salad
Best appetizer
Best sides
Best entree
Best drinks/alcoholic
Best drink/non-alcoholic
Best dessert
Best fried chicken
Best pizza
Best burger
Best Chinese
Best Japanese
Best other Asian
Best French
Best Italian
Best German
Best Mid-eastern
Best atmosphere
Best service
Best entertainment

Had a wonderful dinner at The Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.

Had a great dinner at some swank place in Daytona Beach when I was 12, but don’t recall the restaurant and I don’t really trust my memory, for what does a 12 year-old know about quality food?

Best soup: Arrows, Ogunquit ME (Corn Chowder from corn grown onsite)
Best salad: Buddakan, Philadelphia PA (Calamari salad)
Best appetizer: Craigie on Main, Cambridge MA (Charcuterie)

Best entree: Radius, Boston MA (Filet Mignon)
Best dessert: Le Bec Fin, Philadelphia PA (Dessert CART!)

Best Chinese: Nothing beats my mom’s house
Best Japanese: Tomoe, New York NY (Sushi, but really good sushi)

Best French: Some place in Montreal. L’Epsicier?

A cold lobster roll at The Lobster pot in Wareham, MA, about one hour from Boston.

Best salad - Claim Jumper of all places. Especially if you have them substitute Thousand Island dressing for the Ranch.

Best sides - It would have to be some wide-spot-in-the-road BBQ joint. Hush puppies and greens and shit like that.

Best entree - Off the top of my head, the New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin at Mesa Grill.

I make the best pizza in the world, so there’s no answering that one.

Best burger - The Hat

Best soup - Chick Fila
Best salad - Wendy’s
Best appetizer - Hooters
Best sides - Hooters
Best entree - TGIF
Best drinks/alcoholic - Hooters for the trifetca!
Best drink/non-alcoholic - Whatever restaurant sells Diet Coke. Except McD’s - their DC sucks.
Best dessert - McD’s
Best fried chicken - Church’s
Best pizza - CiCi’s
Best burger - Burger King
Best Chinese - Panda Express
Best Japanese - Panda Express (what, there’s a difference?)
Best other Asian - PF Chang’s
Best French - That place in Epcot
Best Italian - Olive Garden!!
Best German - Wienerschnitzel
Best Mid-eastern - That other place at Epcot
Best atmosphere - ??? I’ve been able to breathe in almost any restaurant I’ve been to. I don’t get the question.
Best service - Ruby Tuesday’s Salad Bar
Best entertainment - Chuck E Cheese

Best soup- my own kitchen
Best salad- my own garden
Best appetizer- Aquavit, Manhattan
Best sides- Creamed Spinach, Peter Luger, NYC
Best entree- Aquavit, NYC
Best dessert- “Chocolate Circus”, Carnelian Room, San Francisco
Best fried chicken- Edzell’s, Seattle
Best pizza- Edwardos, Chicago
Best burger- Knights of Columbus cookout, Yankton, SD
Best Chinese- Family owned sit-down, Chinatown, Chicago
Best Japanese- Osaka, Seattle
Best Italian- 3 blocks southeast of the Coliseum, Rome
Best German- Berghof, Chicago
Best Mid-eastern- Chez Marianne, Paris
Best atmosphere- Inn at Bay Fortune, PEI
Best service- Aquavit, NYC
Best entertainment- Jimmy’s, Chicago

Hard for me to pick a “Best” of anything, but I will try to point out restaurants/dishes I liked a lot and that I think you all would like too.

Best Soup: Going to butcher the spelling, but the Tom Yun Giang at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas was absolutely amazing and the best part of the meal. The menu is great for those of you bored with “regular” Thai cooking.

Best Sandwich: I may have mentioned before the lobster roll at Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast, Maine. It’s sumptuous, with loads of sweet flavorful lobster. Highlight of my trip to Maine.

Best Cheese Shop: Tie between the Cheese Iron of Scarborough, Maine, and the Cheese Shop in Carmel California. Great selection for both, plenty of local cheeses, and incredibly helpful staff.

Best BBQ (Texas): I don’t have selections for other types of BBQ; just noting Texas BBQ since its the only variety I’ve tasted widely. That said, I still love the brisket and sausage at Kreuz Market; the chicken at the Salt Lick in Driftwood; and the brisket at Franklin BBQ in Austin.

Best Burger: The burger at Casino El Camino in Austin, Texas is extremely tasty. Open late too.

Weirdly, some of the best German food I’ve ever had, has been from the Bavarian Grill in Plano, Texas. The cheese soup & asparagus I had at the Brauneberger Hof in Brauneberg, Germany, was pretty good too.

Love the cannolis from Mike’s Pastry in the North End of Boston.

Henderson’s Chicken Shack in the 3rd Ward of Houston, makes excellent, fried to order, fried chicken.

Favorite high-end restaurant meal? Tie between Everest in Chicago, and Masa’s in San Francisco (when Serrano was cooking)

I had a few birthday dinners at Nikolai’s Roof when I lived in Atlanta. Very old-fashioned price fixe Old World sort of place - your entrees come out all at once and the domes are taken off with a flourish, that sort of thing. Absolutely amazing. Plus, they have something like 30 homemade flavors of vodka for you to sample. I’d love to go back.

My own answers:

Best soup – The lobster bisque at Top of the Hub in Boston. The best I’ve ever had. The runner up was Maison Robert, also in Boston.

Best salad – The Greenery (now Seashell Cafe) in Rockport, MA. I don’t know what it was, but the vegetables were extra special good. Didn’t need dressing. The raw broccoli tasted incredibly good to me.

Best appetizer – Escargot in a creamy puff pastry, La Grenier, Vineyard Haven, MA.

Best sides – Same place. I could gorge on the creamed carrots and potatoes by the troughful. Unfortunately, they dole them out by the teaspoon. Those darned French.

Best entree – Snow crab legs at The Lookout Tavern, Oak Bluffs, MA. Admittedly the atmostphere contributes greatly to the experience.

Best dessert – Creme brulee at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs. The put a little fresh fruit and bourbon on top, and flamed it at the table. Unfortunately, the restaurant is no longer around.

Best fried chicken – Brookville Hotel, Abilene, KS.

Best pizza – Dogwood Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA. The blueberry pie makes me want to rethink my best dessert response.

Best burger – Mrs. Bartley’s we miss you.

Best Chinese – China Pearl dim sum, Boston

Best Japanese – All you can eat buffet at Arirang House in Boston. The food is fair at best, but I love the variety.

Best other Asian – Bangkok City, right across the street

Best French – La Grenier, yet again

Best Italian – Pappa Razzi

Best German – The Hofbrau Haus, Rochester, NY. German restaurants are rare around here.

Best Mid-eastern – Helmand, Cambridge, MA

Best atmosphere – Lola’s once again. Leopard print table cloths, wrought iron, black lace curtains, and King Whatzisname

Best service – Maison Robert. The staff worked as a team. To get bread, for instance, one guy would bring the place, another would bring the bread, and another brought butter. It took four people to bring us our soup. And the manager was constantly on the floor, making sure everyone was happy.

Best entertainment – Medieval Manor, Boston. If you’re extra cool, the jester will come to your table and tell you jokes too dirty to be told on stage.

Yum! I love those.

Hey, they reopened, and in a more convenient location! I know where I’m eating on Thursday.

Gordon Ramsay’s at the London West Hollywood. OMFG! If a dining experience could translate into an orgasm, this is the place.

Best drinks/alcoholic, Best atmosphere, and Best service: all Le Bernardin. By “drinks” I mean wine list. They had such an amazing wine list… blew my mind. I would also put them as “Best Seafood” if we were doing such a category.

Best burger: Kroll’s in Green Bay. A truly Wisconsin thing: real butter melting off my burger.

Best dessert: Mirlycourtoisin Winnipeg. My husband had amazing Crepes Suzette and I had a fantastic blood orange ice cream with a wonderful Gran Marnier sauce… yum

Best French and Best sides: Les Halles in New York. All in all, amazing French food. It’s not haute cuisine and that’s what I love about it. It’s not pretentious French food; it’s real French food. And their fries? To die for. I’d make another trip to New York just for those darned fries if I could.

Best Italian and Best appetizer: Babboin New York. Amazing food. It’s Mario Batali’s restaurant and I went in thinking it would be tiny, pretentious food. But no, it wasn’t. It was real portions (not humongous, sick to my stomach portions), but enough. I ordered an arugula salad, thinking it would be some tiny thing. I mean, it was listed as an appetizer. But damn! It was heaping, with fresh Parmesan and balsamic vinegar… yum. And that was just the start…

Best pizza: Ian’s Pizza in Madison. Original, creative, unique, delicious, affordable. I mean, have you ever eaten a Chili Cheese Frito pizza? And it’s soooo goooood.

Best Mexican: El Sarape in Green Bay. Very authentic, very traditional, very affordable. It’s the best salsa I’ve ever had, flavorful sides, delicious entrees. I love it.

Best Soup and Best Salad: Fratello’s in Green Bay. Their White Chicken Chili is made in small batches in house and it’s incredible. My husband works there and I keep trying to get the recipe from him, but he won’t give it to me… but he makes it sometimes. I also love the Asian Chicken salad. Homemade, fresh dressing, bitter greens… it’s a delicate balance and it works.

Best Pizza - Mineo’s in Pittsburgh
Best Steak - Killen’s in Pearland, Tx

Best soup - Pat Troy’s (Irish Pub) in Alexandria VA. Just plain French Onion, only slightly better than the rest, but I saved my raw onions from the salad and put them in for the best soup I’ve ever had.

Best salad - Jo To (Japanese Steakhouse) in Sarasota FL. I’ve had comparable ginger dressing salad since, but they give enough dressing that you can use it as a dip later. Probably the single best tasting thing I’ve ever had.

Best sides - Capitol Grille. Large enough to share and tasty.

Best entree - The first time I had a steak from Outback Steakhouse. Unfortunately it wasn’t a reproducable experience :frowning: Second is probably the two times I’ve had an English Grill platter (once at the aforementioned Pat Troy’s, the other at an English Pub in Orlando. Can’t go wrong with 6 or 8 different meats in one entree)

Best pizza - Bizarro’s Beachside in Indialantic FL. Thin NY-style pizza, thin enough for the oven flavor to bake in.

Best Japanese - Jo Tos.

Best French - [hijack]I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten at a french restaurant! [/hijack]