Chateau de la Chevre D’or

6 Rue du Barri, 06260 Eze, France • +33 4 92 10 66 66 • chevredor.com
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This is easily amongst my top five restaurants of all time. The setting is incomparable. The food is wonderful. And the experience is unforgettable, unlike anything before it, or since.

It starts with a winding drive up the side of a mountain, overlooking the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea. And with each and every switchback, you rise higher and higher until you ultimately arrive upon the idyllic medieval castle town of Eze, perched at the summit.

Taking up a sizable portion of this castle is a hotel and restaurant by the name of La Chevre D’or (The Golden Goat), and while a goat might not sound like the most luxurious of beasts to enshrine in 24 karat bling, you’ll feel like you were dipped in gold the moment you enter, that’s how special the setting makes you feel. Like royalty, you sit atop an expansive terrace taking in the sun and view almost as if it they were the realm over which you rule.

Yet, with such posh stature, they manage to show vital restraint, because while the service could easily be snooty, that would only serve to break the illusion. After all, what servant would ever turn their nose up at a king or queen? Thus the waiters are impeccable.

And speaking of flawless, the meal is like something out of a storybook. I’m not really sure what that even means now that I’ve just written it, but let’s just assume it means really, really good. For example a lobster tail served over a bed of turquoise salt. Turbot presented almost like the sails of a ship. And every bite as magical as if Merlin himself were in the kitchen.

If you are ever within a 90 minute drive of here, be sure to make a reservation. It’s worth every last kilometer. And if you can’t get a table, at least stop by for tea or cocktail. You get the same gorgeous view and impeccable service, along with some of the best snacks your mouth could ever dream of.

5 teeth

The Purple Pig

500 N Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611(312) 464-1744thepurplepigchicago.com

Fried Devil's Egg

Apparently pigs can indeed fly, because this place easily soared over my expectations. From the moment I set foot in the lively space I was taken by its energy and fun, welcoming décor. This is code for noisy, in case you’re not into that sorta thing, but in a good way.

This energy could even be sensed in the service, which started off a touch coercive and overbearing as we tried to figure out what we were going to drink (sangria). But upon reflection I think they just wanted to be attentive, which they were. Also pretty good with the recommendations I must say.

And speaking of things I must say, AMAZEBALLS! It’s an expression I actually loathe, but it somehow came to mind when describing the food because everything was so fantastic.

To start, the burrata with grapes and pickled fennel was so bright and creamy it fell into the soft, warm crostini like a cozy spa treatment for the tongue.

At the same time were also served the cauliflower because I wanted to make sure we had a vegetable. Well, I’m not too certain it was all that healthy, but delicious mos def. Sautéed with a little honey and cornichon. Once again nailing that balance of sweetness with hits of bright vinegar.

After that came the deviled egg (pictured), and while I would like to complain that it is actually a Scotch egg, I am too busy reminiscing how good it was. Breaded on the outside, gooey and creamy in the middle. And served over a peppery bed of arugula and sliced green olives. So, definitely not deviled, but even I don’t care anymore what I saying… Just get it.

Next up, the suckling pig, How could we not? Served in duo I was partial to the belly side of the plate, balanced wonderfully on a dais of wilted spinach. Whereas the other was more of a pressed pork over cranberry chutney. Also good, but up against belly, belly always wins.

The only let down for me was the turbot, mostly because the waiter said it was the best thing on the menu and it wasn’t. Trust me. It was the least inventive thing of the entire meal. And while I’d like to be more upset it about it, the waiter quickly redeemed himself with a strong recommendation on dessert…

The Greek honey cheesecake with chopped walnuts and filo dough was like baklava and cheesecake had a love child… And then we ate that child. Without remorse. In fact, if they were twins I would’ve gladly eaten its sibling as well. And yes, it’s an Ultimate in case you were wondering.

A truly magnificent meal on the Magnificent Mile.

5 teeth

The Ultimate Fish

2009-11-25-20091124vanderbiltfish

La Chevre D’or – Eze, FR

If you’re going to pay 90 Euros for a piece of turbot, it had better be the best friggin’ turbot you’ve ever had. And so it was. Flaky, moist and cooked to perfection. Yet more flavorful than you would ever think a white fish could be. Plated in such a way that even your eyes feel like they are getting in on the action.

Craft – New York, NY

Chollicio is the man. There’s no denying it. Ever since Craft hit the scene over a decade ago it has been one of New York’s finest. And it does so through very unconventional means, simplicity. He doesn’t go crazy with the sauces and accouterments. He doesn’t try to get all techy with foams and shit. He keeps it clean and let’s the fish shine in all its fishy glory.