My wife is taking me on the Top Chef cruise in April just so that I can get my fill of "truffle stuffed bird nest soup" or whatever delicacies they will be serving. I have dined at restaurants by Emeril Lagase, Thomas Keller, Todd English, Jamie Oliver, Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Colicchio, Sam Choi, Wolfgang Puck, and other James Beard and Michelin Star awardees. I once drove 100 km through the Italian Hill Country just so I could visit Dario Cecchini's butcher shop.
Having hopefully establish my credentials as a serious foodie, I can honestly say that the best dining experiences I have ever had have been at The Herbfarm restaurant. At last count I think that I have been there about a dozen times over the past ten years.
We started going there when Jerry Traunfeld was the executive chef. He was able to do things with local ingredients that were amazing. When he left several years ago, the restaurant went into a kind of slump. But it is back again with a new young executive chef (sorry but I don't remember his name).
The dinner menus change every couple weeks with a new themed (truffles, Kobe Beef, red wine, vegetarian, Copper River salmon, etc.) nine course, six wine menu. The dinners last about five to six hours with the owners (Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck explaining each ingredient in every dish along the way. The staff is wonderful and make each guest feel special.
My favorite dishes that I have had over the years have been evergreen tree sorbet (it tastes like Christmas if Christmas had a flavor), maple blossom fritters, and everything on the vegetarian menu (quite a compliment given that I am a hard-core carnivore).
This is truly a "special occasion" type experience for those who want an incredibly memorable experience that they will be comparing favorably to every other fine dining experience they have ever had.
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