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Favorite Restaurants in the World

  1. Arun - (Thai) Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. Postrio - (Continental)San Franciso, CA, USA
  3. Bibendum - (Continental) London, UK
  4. The Blue Elephant - (Thai) London, UK (near Putney)
  5. Chef Chu's (Chinese) Palo Alto, CA, USA
  6. Hotel Belvedere - (Italian) Bassano Del Grappa, Veneto, Italy
  7. Fins - (Asian - European Fusion) Raleigh, NC, USA
  8. Trattoria Dell'Arte - (Italian) NY, NY, USA
  9. Bloomsbury Bistro- (Continental) Raleigh, NC, USA
  10. The Siena - (Italian) Chapel Hill, NC, USA

My wife always insists that we set the table and sit there together every night. The American Boob tube worshipping side of me railed against this initially. I was accustomed, like many Americans, to coming home after a long day at work, popping a beer or opening a bottle of wine, nuking a plate of food or unwrapping some take out and plopping on the sofa. The revulsion on her face when I did this the first week she came to America wasn't lost on me. I had traveled enough to know this wasn't the way the rest of the world behaved. I think it is uniquely American.

Over the last five years I have come to really appreciate the ritual that we have at night. She always insists, no matter how late she returns from work, on chopping and grating fresh organic ingredients into a simple, but healthy and delicious dinner every night. I know it is my job to open the wine, serve her a glass while she cooks, set the table, and do the dishes afterwards. It took me about a year to really appreciate the strength this shared ritual lends to our relationship. I used to think there was never time for all of this fuss. But now I know it is often the best part of the day.