Licorice and cinnamon flavors from fennel and pickled carrots meet in the neat Fall House Salad

Who else in town serves fish ribs? Check out the sexy, dark crusting on these lovelies. They come from a pacu, a large fish I was told originated in Brazil. The meat underneath that crinkly sear was supple and delicious, tasting more like pork than seafood.

And I love the stunning, "paen to another elapsed summer" appearance of these earthy-tasting watermelon radishes!

This trout with a bright "saffron vinaigrette" (kinda like Hollandaise on steroids) was also grill-crusted and delicious. However, good as it was, it was upstaged by its accompanying "Laughing Bird" shrimp.

LB shrimp are sustainable, farm-raised critters from the Caribbean (Belize); they're particularly firm, sweet and clean tasting shellfish--unlike so many iodine-y shrimp I wince upon biting into. Bright orange on the plate, they are a great ingredient I wish more places were using around town.

But inspired ingredients like pacu fish ribs, sustainable laughing bird shrimp and beautiful watermelon radishes--along with a chef who's usually in the kitchen doing a lot of the actual cooking himself--are attributes that help distinguish the terrific Sage from the rest of the white table-clothed pack.

Read the full review in this week's Alive.