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At Coup Des Tartes, we're impressed with such dishes as pork tenderloin, taken a little Jamaican with jerk rub, a little Southwestern with peach salsa, a little French with chèvre mashed potatoes, and all American with sautéed spinach. Lamb shank takes on a Moroccan flair with Indian spices, harissa-spiced vegetable ragout and dried fruits atop couscous. And we've never had such divine Alaskan halibut, drizzled with fresh basil oil, and stunningly served with Absolut Citron-spiked risotto, teardrop tomatoes and spinach. Freebie plates of French olives and a BYOB policy make dinner here even more special.
Though Valencia Lane changes its menus with the seasons, its foie gras shows up regularly, and is always prepared simply. One of our favorite preparations here has it expertly seared, partnered with a few thimbles of flavorful pineapple chutney, dots of tart 100-year-old balsamic, and a little hill of radish sprouts. It's a remarkable explosion of complementary textures and flavors that has us licking the plate. Long live Valencia Lane's liver!
This means select produce from boutiques like Victory Farms, an organic empire that produces amazing micro mizuna, a salad green that tastes of mild mustard; micro arugula, a joyously bitter salad green; and, of course, the tastiest, most tempting tomatoes of which a pizza could dream.
Whatever the topping, each pie is fired in a wood-burning oven. It's worth the wait, and wait you will -- this bistro is packed every night, with no reservations accepted.
Here's wishing all men pizza on Earth -- straight from Pizzeria Bianco.
At 4 Brothers, we can count on having more than a half-dozen varieties displayed in their pans on the long order counter. Our favorite is the Napoli Special, loaded with spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and extra cheese. Slices get a quick warming in the oven (not a microwave), and a couple of bucks later, we're on our way, humming a sausage-scented "New York, New York" under our breaths.