Al Dente 2014: Where We Ate

Different people have different philosophies when it comes to dining out.

Friends of The Wife and I look at it as the ultimate indulgence. They have three kids, so going out to dinner happens when they can obtain childcare. If they are going out, they don’t just go to any restaurant. It’s an event for them.

The Wife seeks value. Earlier this year after dinner at Laci’s Tapas Bar, where we spent more than we normally spend on dinner, she said that she was okay dropping that much coin because she felt like she got something for her money. Overpriced and underwhelming meals irritate her.

Then there is friend of the blog and its writer, Brian Moritz, who simplifies things. He likes to tell people that the only real advice he follows when it comes to food is “eat where Jared eats.”

This year was a remarkable year for dining, as The Wife and I not only got to some local favorites, but the homes of three massive names in cooking — Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio and Bobby Flay. I also experienced two of New Orleans’ finest restaurants, including a James Beard-award winner.

There were a stinker or two along the way, no doubt, but by and large we enjoyed some excellent meals made by others.

There was also the Chain Challenge finale at Olive Garden and my roundup of Manhattan’s coffee heavyweights.

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