Just because we champion home cooking doesn't mean we don't love to eat out, too. Usually it's the luxury of enjoying our food and friends while someone else worries about searing the meat and cleaning the dishes.
Eating out also inspires us. There are dishes that could only come from a seasoned chef (those are the big nights out). But then there are the things we eat, then say, "Hmm. I could do that." So, what restaurant dishes have you re-created in your kitchen?
We'll admit to the "Piggy-backed Dates" from Pipa in New York. Eating those inspired us to make our own version, which we served at an Oscar party as Juno's Pregnant Dates. We've taken mental notes on Prune's spaghetti a la carbonara but are so far too fearful (and reverent of the real thing) to attempt it.
We tend to think the biggest success is re-creating something small — a drink, a garnish, a way of plating the food — which usually doesn't end up in disappointment, as trying to replicate an entire, intricate meal can.
But tell us your stories: What restaurant meals have you made successfully at home? Let us know!
Related: The Merritt Parkway Breakfast Sandwich
(Image: Flickr member The Flooz, licensed under Creative Commons)