BEST TAPAS (2007)

Sol y Sombra

Dimly lit and done up in sophisticated shades of gray-blue and chocolate, with good-looking clientele lounging on plush banquettes and inviting couches, Sol y Sombra is undoubtedly one of the sexiest restaurants in town. But don't get too distracted, at least not until you've ordered dinner — the food here is just as exciting. Executive chef Aaron May and chef de cuisine Walter Sterling have crafted a dynamic, delectable menu that elevates the humble tapas dish to a miniature work of art. Everything is beautifully presented and vibrantly flavorful, from the simple, comforting Tortilla Espanola, a thick slice of potato pie drizzled with garlic aioli, to succulent slices of duck breast with shaved fennel. With a nice bottle of rioja or tempranillo from Sol y Sombra's expertly edited wine selection, you'll be geared up for a leisurely evening of sipping, grazing, and flirting with those cute strangers at the next table. The Spanish would be proud.

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