Special/Signature Issues » The State of the Plate

Seduction by the Forkful

A dozen dishes we're bitten by.

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Black Sheep battleships:  Every option is mouth-watering — fried chicken livers, jerk chicken, and the USS Cumberland shown here, packing anchovies, white bean spread, peppers, goat cheese and olives into a gargantuan, gorgeous and highly sharable meal. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Comfort-food standouts at CafAc Rustica: The tender, seafood-rich Mediterranean short stack is a perennial menu favorite, but the specials are worth noticing too. Photo by Ash Daniel

Mamma 'Zu white pizza: simplicity that respects the ingredients — garlic, fontina, and a chewy, magnificent crust. So good it's not on the menu. Photo by Ash Daniel

Little luxury at LuLu's: Chef Steve Jurina tinkered for years with his recipe for coconut cream pie. The winning version is particularly luscious, the perfect meal ender. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Variations on foie gras at Verbena:  Look for daily change-ups, including this po' boy sandwich of pan-seared oysters with red-pepper gherkin remoulade.  Photo by Jay Paul

Jimmy's chili five ways: Get it with meat, beans, pasta, cheese and onions. Splash with Death Wish hot sauce and burn alive. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Zorba's escargot and avgolemono: Sauteed snails with tricolor tortellini, spinach, parmesan and garlic — delectably rich, well worth the $9. And a meal in a bowl bursting with chicken with lemon, simmered to perfection. Photo by Jay Paul

Mezzanine's roast chicken: Pan juices, crispy skin, the gold standard for a comfort-food classic served with goat cheese, haricot verts and celery root puree. Photo by Scott Elmquist


Black Sheep biscuits and gravy: Soul-satisfyingly rich but light, these make a perfect breakfast, just like the Sheep's frittatas. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Earth and smoke at Edo's Squid: Simple, roasted fennel achieves the ultimate caramelized delectability, as do the seafood dishes at this Fan classic. Photo by Ash Daniel

Full Kee soul food:  Helen Tan presents fragrant, tender sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf and portending an excellent meal ordered from either side of the menu. Photo by Jay Paul

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