derryX Dines in 2013

Looking back at how I’ve eaten in 2013, it’s a wonder that I was able to lose 50+ pounds.

I don’t remember overdoing it with the eating at the wedding; there’s so much going on that it’s hard to focus on eating. But the Honeymoon, ohh boy! the Disney Deluxe Dining plan made sure I wasn’t ever hungry.

There were a few key food events that I attended this year. The big one was the Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival (Part 1, Part 2) [Reminder: Don’t forget to get your tickets for 2014]

There was the scotch dinner to support my friend Michelle’s campaign to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There was also an event called Fusion to benefit the Albany Barn which I attended (I didn’t write a recap of this one since it was a little light on the food and heavy on the party.).

I was still able to keep up with my weekly Tuesday derryX Dines posts, and they were really all over the place, mainly because I was doing a lot of eating to supplement my training and I was doing a lot of eating for cheat meals.

Brilliant Bites Banner

This year, I launched Brilliant Bites, which is a more sporadic and focused type of post, where I intend on highlighting a specific dish or item.

IMAG0382

I incorporated a lot of salads into my meals, and the deplorable Cobb Salad at the Hollywood Brown Derby within Disney gave me the idea to seek out a more respectable version locally, something I call The Bob Cobb Quest, which is an obsession of mine that goes back to an old Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. I’m actually pretty astonished by the popularity of these posts; it tells me that people are really interested in hearing about this iconic salad. I also have a lot of fun with these posts.

derryX met Alex Guarnaschelli

For my birthday, I dined at one of my dream restaurants, Butter, in NYC, and I even got to meet and speak with celebrity chef Guarnaschelli; we barely talked about food; our conversation was about The Sopranos and Breaking Bad.

Eggplant Balls

For Cassie’s birthday, we took a short trip down to Chef Ric Orlando’s flagship restaurant, New World Home Kitchen, and it was well worth it.

Chicken parm

I visited a lot of Italian-American restaurants, and was relatively unimpressed. However, if chicken parm is your thing, I advise you to check out TJ’s in Albany on Tuesday evening for their chicken parm night. It’s probably less than one would spend at McDonalds, and certainly more fulfilling.

chicken with preserved lemons and green olives 2

One meal that really stands out was at Tara Kitchen in Schenectady; I must go back there soon.

The Wine Bar

If I had to pick out what my best meal of 2013 was, hands down, I’d have to say it was at The Wine Bar in Saratoga.

EGGPLANT honey, mint, and yogurt

Months later, the combination of clean flavors in the above eggplant dish still resonates in my memory. Everything we ordered that night was executed very well; this place embodies everything I want in a restaurant (mind you, I didn’t even touch the wine!).

I’ve rambled enough that I managed to make myself hungry. When I get hungry, it helps me to think about what I have to look forward to. One thing that comes to mind is my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. I can’t wait to enjoy some of that food! I’ll be eating a lot of pizza in the next few weeks, and I LOVE PIZZA!

Viva la 2014!


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