L'Antibes is an oasis of serenity in the party-central Short North. Above is a half portion of a succulent scallop special that was so rich--with a dairy-fied sweet potato puree serving as a firm bed for crispy bacon "lardons"--that a halfer turned out to be enough...well, especially when paired with the dessert below.

I love this beautifully aromatic pear poached in Gewurztraminer spiked with cardamom. It's rife with Xmas-type spicing, and paired with its honey-yogurt sauce makes for a dinner finisher that will refresh your palate instead of wear it down with yet more heaviness. This is an all-too-rare, spare, deceptively simple, exquisitely executed and even healthy-sided dessert. For much more dessert coverage, only of the more elaborate-looking and hence more seasonally appropriate kind, check out the next Alive .