The best restaurant I reviewed this past year wasn’t in Lincoln. Instead, Sisters Café in downtown Plattsmouth was among those I enjoyed during my annual excursions out of town during July.
Sisters Jit Kunkel and Noopin Hammerich grew up together in northeast Thailand, with Kunkel eventually emigrating to the U.S and Noopin to Germany.
They both have extensive restaurant backgrounds and decided to spend their “retirement” in Plattsmouth, operating a restaurant that would offer authentic Thai as well as German dishes. I, for one, am glad they did.
Their restaurant tops my list of favorites reviewed in 2015. Eateries are evaluated on food quality, service, presentation and atmosphere. Here’s a rundown of my top five.
1. Sisters Café (Plattsmouth) -- You would think, with the number of Nebraskans with German ancestry, that good German food would be the norm in the state. But that’s not the case. So when there is one, like the tiny café in Plattsmouth, it’s really something. The Thai food, too, is super, as good as the fare found at the Blue Orchid and Issara in Lincoln.
2. Florio’s Italian Restaurant & Grille -- It took a while for Geo Plaku and Florim “Florio” Ramadani to reopen in their new location next to Lincoln Southwest High School on Pine Lake Road, but the wait was worth it. Florio’s gives Lincoln another quality, full-service Italian restaurant that’s on par with Vincenzo’s and MoMo.
3. Copal -- Owner Cinthia Lopez said she wanted her Mexican restaurant to offer more than Tex-Mex. “That’s not bad, but we have too much of that in Lincoln,” she said. Lopez features a menu bursting with flavor and color, and she may have the best tequila selection in town.
4. Goldenrod Pastries -- Angela Garbacz’s bakery in College View specializes in decadent pastries, cakes and pies, including many choices for vegans and those who adhere to dairy-free or gluten-free diets. Her dense and moist cardamom pound cake is a must-try.
5. Cottonwood -- Owner Nathan Simpson’s café is all things to all people -- restaurant, coffee shop and nightclub with live music in the old Duggan’s Pub location. Try one of the gourmet sandwiches or breakfast burritos.