Make that best meal(s), plural: Every little corner dive joint I ate at in Milan, Italy was cheap, included wine, made to order with all fresh ingredients, and had spectacular flavors. The food was so great everywhere in Milan, I can't pinpoint a favorite restaurant. The cheese, the sausages, and the wine in Estavayer Le Lac, just outside of Geneva, Switzerland were to die for. Veal Piccata, Modesto's, Lebanon, CT. Chicken Francaise with a side of steamed asparagus in Hollandaise, The Floodtide at The Inn at Mystic, Mystic, CT. Delmonaco Potatoes, The Lighthouse Inn, New London, CT. Thin Crust White Pizza, Baci, Providence, RI. Veal Berry Hill, Hurley's, New York, NY.
My current drink of choice:
It depends on what I'm eating. My favorite wine is Valisiana Fendant De Sion, but I'll drink nearly any Swiss Fendant. They're difficult to obtain outside of Switzerland though. I also shamelessly love a fruity, frozen Sangria Margarita, with my Latin cuisine, and I'm not terribly picky about the vintner or vintage either. For spirits, I generally prefer Bailey's Irish Cream Whiskey, straight up, on the rocks, in Irish Coffee, or in any other concoction, but I also adore a Stolichnaya Vodka Gimlet.
I really wish I could:
Take a week long journey on the Royal Scotsman, to experience the cuisine in an atmosphere similar to, but better than, The Orient Express, and learn to distinguish a good Scotch while I'm at it. Oh, and I wouldn't mind meeting Rocco di Spirito either, perhaps have him give me a private cooking lesson <wink>.
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
Veal Marsala on Rice Pilaf with fresh, steamed Asparagus in Lemon Butter
My favorite comfort food:
Macaroni and Cheese! Yeah, yeah, I know it's so... "common", and however much I wish I could say "Baked Brie with Veal Pate on toasted French Bread", the truth of the matter is, I have an Alabaman mother who always made Southern style Macaroni and Cheese on my birthday, when I was growing up, because it was my favorite food, and it made me happy. I'm really snobby about the cheese though! It must always, always, always be a combination of mild and sharp cheddars, Longhorn, Colby, and Monterey Jack. It can never, never, ever contain cream of...soup or pasteurized processed cheese food, like American Cheese.
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
That's hard to say. I haven't really had any exceptional food at a restaurant since Summer 2005. I'm optimistic though!
My most tattered cookbooks:
The Joy of Cooking, original version, Betty Crocker Cookbook, Pillsbury Cookbook, my mother's memory banks.