“I still think that Dover sole I had on the last cruise was the best I’ve had yet, how he prepared it in front of me in the lemon and oil sauce. It was to die for; I was hoping my fish the other night was going to be the same.”
“That was on the Celebrity.”
“Yes. I can’t remember fish tasting that delicious. It was in the French dining room, I think.”
Ric and I are having a late lunch at the Olive Garden. No longer available in Canada, the Olive Garden is a bit of a legend at home. We love their garden salads, but other than that, I am limited in what I can eat due to food allergies. Ric can partake of most menu items and today is having a seafood ravioli in a rich cream sauce.
“What are your memorable meals?” I ask him.
“Not this,” he says, indicating his plate.
“No! I’m talking about the ones that stay with you the food is so good. Like those tacos I had in St. Augustine’s.”
“Where was that?”
“Cantino Louis. Maybe what you had wasn’t memorable?” I don’t recall what he had, but I had Surfer Chick tacos, with chicken, pineapple and Sirachi sauce. So good.
“The steak I had in Edmonton at a place called Oliver’s,” Ric moans. “Now that was to die for. I had a pretty good meal in Vancouver at the Boathouse when I was out there too.”
“Then there was that place in Seattle. Ginger something.”
“Wild Ginger! Oh my God that was good.” We went there twice in our short visit.
“I remember the first time I had Thai food in a tiny, hole-in-the-wall place in Toronto. It was so good, those flavours lingered on in my memory for a long time.”
We reminisce over fresh feta and olives in Greece, a mushroom linguine I had in Rome (pre-gluten-free era), and a wonderful lunch on a cliff top overlooking the ocean in Dubrovnik.
Ric and I eat out a lot. It is a solution, albeit naughty, to the chasm that is our differing palates. He likes red meat and seafood, I can eat neither of those. I like curries and vegetarian dishes, preferring Mexican or Thai. It’s not often that both our tastes are met by a single restaurant and typically we eat in Vegan or vegetarian restaurants only about once a year, so mostly, I take what I can get – usually food that lacks imagination.
Maybe that is why I hang onto those memorable dining experiences.
In the upcoming months we are headed to New Mexico, Arizona, and the west coast on up to Vancouver Island. I wonder what delights await us.
Tell me about your best experiences dining out, and if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.