Earlier this month, the New York Times ran an intriguing article: 10 Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride. I must admit, I haven't been to any of them, although one happens to not require a plane ride for me (just a ferry) and another is within affordable striking distance. Reading the article of course got these restaurants on my radar, but mostly it got me to thinking about what restaurants I wish I could fly to from time to time. I'm certain I'm omitting many delicious eating experiences I've had, but here are the places I can't seem to stop missing despite the innumerable delicious Seattle eating establishments:
THE MIDDLEBURY BAGEL DELI - Middlebury, VT I feel pretty strongly that you haven't truly experienced a breakfast sandwich until you've had a bagel-egger from the Bagel Deli: Best. Breakfast. Sandwich. Ever. My preferred order is a bagel egger on poppy seed with bacon and cheddar. Their self service coffee is delish and the donuts make a delightful breakfast appetizer.
BLACK SHEEP BISTRO - Vergennes, VT Clearly I'm partial to this place, since it was the site of our rehearsal dinner. The atmosphere of this Vermont restaurant is both cozy and classy. The food is comforting (fry wheel!) but elegant at the same time. They change their menu regularly and are one of those great places that has a list the options by course, all with the same price. I love that. I'm bad enough with decisions as it is, let alone when I have to decide if I want the duck $4 worth more than I want the pork loin.
PLAN B - Hartford, CT You don't know what you've got till it's gone. That pretty much sums up this place for me. We went all the time when we lived in Connecticut. Burgers, beer, and bourbon. Done right. Exceptional tap list and delicious burgers chuck ground in-house daily. They've expanded to three restaurants in the Hartford area, and according to their website they'll be in Boston, DC, Atlanta, and Chicago soon. So many flight options!
1844 HOUSE - Canton, NY Not a place you'd expect to find fine dining, but this place is a gem. Great service, top-notch food, and an outstanding wine list.
MIAN KU (NOODLE LOFT) - Beijing, China With two (or three?) locations in China's capital, this is a must stop right up there with Tiananmen and the Forbidden City. We first heard about it before our 2006 trip thanks to Anthony Bourdain, and had an adventure or two trying to find it (remember, Amber!?). But it was worth all the headache, the Shanxi noodles were like none I've ever had before. They're hand-tossed at the bar. Kind of like pizza is in New York. I haven't had them in five years (thus the hankering for the plane flight to taste some noodle goodness) but word on the street is they're still going strong. (Check out this recent blog post at the tiny urban kitchen.)
CHALET LA PRICAZ - Montmin, France High atop a mountain in the alps, in July 2010, I devoured the most delicious meal I have ever eaten in France. And from a girl who gain nearly 20 lbs. as an exchange student there before college, that's saying a lot. We celebrated Bastille Day with family following a cousin's wedding at this restaurant famous for it's tartiflette. The owners have a herd of Tarine cows, who make reblochon cheese on location (farm to table anyone?). Tartiflette is a local specialtiy where the reblochon cheese is melted over potatoes and pancetta. Most of the men at the table ate only 3/4 of their individual cast iron skillets of goodness. The ladies consumed 1/2 max. I ate my entire dish, plus the 1/4 Dan left. I don't regret it one bit. I might never have that meal again. (We were led there by our French hosts, but turns out the restaurant was raved about in the New York Times in 2007.)
Where would you fly?