eating out

On the eve of my first restaurant review, I find myself stumped over friend Sonny’s recent question: Where is the best restaurant you’ve ever dined? I began naming spots several states or countries away, to which Sonny responded, “That doesn’t count.”

Locally, I don’t if any neighborhood eateries have yet made such an impression. Only one close enough for frequent visits, here are Lindsey’s top favorite, unforgettable dining experiences in these mere 25 years of life (let’s see if Floriana will add Italian to my list):

1. The Pearl

the outer banks, north carolina—French

Like going to a movie, I enjoy myself most when I haven’t a clue what to expect. “Meeting Andrew’s co-workers for dinner” while on vacation turned into the most remarkable culinary evening. Ever.

I’m not alone in my female obsession with French music; quelle belle surprise when we walk through the retro lobby of Sea Ranch Hotel to discover this oasis of candles and sand set to Edith Piaf.

From Lesley’s lobster to my tarte aux tomates–finally, the French have not forsaken the vegetarian!

Of course, my souffle was well worth the wait through dinner.

2. Jiko: The Cooking Place

the animal kingdom lodge, orlando, florida—African fusion

Jiko is a fusion of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean dishes. Enough said.

Another pricey pick, yes, but like The Pearl, the steep cost includes a gorgeous setting, authentic cuisine, and an unforgettable night. A honeymoon, after all, requires splurging. I only have this photo from the entire trip, so you must simply check out the room (with an animated African sunset) and menu for yourself.

3. Agave

lewes, delaware—traditional Mexican

There is always a wait and it is always worth it. Fresh, divine Mexican cuisine served alongside the most scrumptious beverages to enhance any night out.

I could go on about Agave, as could any friend with whom we’ve shared a meal here. We have an entire of list of friends we cannot wait to bring upon our return. That’s when you know.

4. a random Montreal bistro


This is not the restaurant’s name. And it’s simply unfair I have no name for you, but this initial lunch spot we discovered upon a stroll through our favorite city was delightful. The truth is, we ate only exquisette food in Montreal, and this topped it for me. Clearly a popular lunch spot for the non-tourists with chic brick interior, waiters who politely tolerated my French, and a simple, flavor-packed lunch. I enjoyed The Daily Special. C’est magnifique.

5. Aditi Indian Dining Kingstowne

alexandria, virginia—Indian

I love Indian food, completed a cooking class on the cuisine, and am grateful for a spouse with identical weekly cravings. Aditi in Kingstowne (we have also been to the less attractive Georgetown location) is the only, only Indian restaurant with consistently stellar traditional dishes. Andrew and I have ventured to Indian restaurants in all our travels, including Montreal and a renowned restaurant in DC.  Still, Nawab (in Newport News, Virginia) is the only comparable experience in quality and consistency.

notable mentions:

Chez Francois great falls, virginia—French, East Bay Meeting House charleston, south carolina—American, Que Pasa bethany, delaware—Mexican, Half Full lewes, delaware—Italian/American, Luigis Restaurant newport news, virginia—Italian, Cedar Cafe springfield, virginia—Lebanese


Your turn, all time favorite spot?



Filed under dinners, here to share

5 responses to “eating out

  1. Mary Andrews

    Jay’s and my favorites locally are the Lebanese Taverna (Arlington) and LeRefuge (Alexandria)!

  2. Alice

    In our thirty-one years of marriage, only two restaurants have stuck with us and really stand out. One was The Captain’s Table on Nantucket. (This was about 28 years ago, so I do not know if it is still there.) The other, more recent find was The Pink House Restaurant in Savannah, GA. It was almost embarrassing how we’d ooh and ahh over every bite! I’d go back to Savannah and that restaurant in a heartbeat!

    • I am not surprised to hear The Pink House made your list! I just mentioned this to our friends last night, who were so disappointed by the cuisine in Savannah (even Paula Deen’s restaurant). When I told them about your memorable dining experience, they said this was the single restaurant on their list they never made!

  3. Kay

    7 Stars Restraurant in Phoinexville, PA. We have celebrated numerous wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine;s Day there. The food is incredible!! Their 24 oz. lobster is truly my favorite!

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