If there's one lesson to be learned from last month's best bites, it's that a dish doesn't have to be big to make a lasting impression. Whether we're talking about a side plate, an appetizer, or a simple pastry, sometimes it's the smallest morsels that make the most powerful memories. The best eats and drinks I got to try in November include the stunning seasonal plate pictured above and couple dishes from two top new spots.
I hope you get to try some of it for yourself soon.
See also: 5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in October
"Straight From The Farm" Radishes at Crepe Bar
Crepe Bar's chef Jeff Kraus is celebrating seasonal and local produce in a tiny way with a new menu of "Straight from the Farm" small plates/side dishes that feature produce from The Farm at Agritopia. With this dish of radishes Kraus creates a remarkable medley of flavors and textures using cultured butter, a touch of smoked salt, and lime. The plating alone makes a big impression but the unexpected contrasting flavors -- spicy, salty, sweet, cold, and crispy all at once -- made me happy to enjoy the bounty of this season.
Vietnamese + Fresh Herbs Chicken at Welcome Chicken + Donuts
It's not often that a restaurant opens with as much immediate success as Welcome Chicken + Donuts did last month and there's absolutely no good reason why you shouldn't go experience it for yourself (if you haven't already). Just about everything on the menu is worth a taste, but my personal favorite so far has been the Vietnamese + Herb fried chicken. It comes light and extra crispy, tossed in a pungent sauce and sprinkled with fresh herbs. A simple cake donut makes a perfect pairing.
Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer at POSH
Next time you're downing a giant bowl on ramen at POSH on a Tuesday night, skip the usual cocktail selection and try a bottle of Triple Goddess Ginger Kombucha Beer. First things first be warned the bottle is big and being made from kombucha doesn't mean it's not boozy (8% ABV to be exact). That aside the flavor makes a great companion to Japanese cuisine. It's tart and vinegary (like kombucha) but also floral and slightly sweet thanks to the ginger root.
Kouign Amann at Liberty Market
If you were into that whole Cronut thing then you might have already heard about kouign amann; many people have pointed out that this Breton specialty is similar to Dominique Ansel's now infamous creation. What you might not realize, however, is that pastry chef LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market makes an excellent version. The buttery pastry is like a cross between a croissant and brioche with the added benefit of having a layer of caramelized sugar on top. The contrast of the sugary top and the flaky interior layers is just about perfect.
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Steamed Mussels at The Revival
If you haven't had a chance to try the new menu chef Kelly Fletcher put out at The Revival in Tempe, I'd recommend adding the spot to your list. The selection of small plates and entrees draws inspiration from all over the world while sticking to a Mexican theme. I'm still craving the bowl of steamed mussels I had as a starter during my late dinner there. The combination of chiptole, homemade chorizo, and tender mussels makes this a satisfying dish. The creamy broth deserves to be sopped up with a side of crispy, buttery bread.