Dishes that looked as good as they tasted in 2010


Solay Bistro, Sambusas

Here, brittle, golden-brown, flaky, turnover-like pastry pouches house a fragrant and gently oniony ground beef mixture. Served with a fiercely hot whizzed jalapeno sauce, these samosa-like wonders exemplify Solay's great (and cheap!) Indian-slash-Somalian-slash-Ethiopian cuisine.


Tadka, Bhindi Amchur

Gooey - OK, slimy - okra can be a challenge. That's why these tangy and crispy okra fries from Tadka (a swanky Indian eatery) are an easy-to-love triumph.


Cibo, Lamb Scottaditi

In Italian, scottaditi means "burn your fingers," as in you won't be able to wait for these lamb chops to cool off from a hot grill before jamming them into your quivering mouth. Cibo's version starts with darkly crusted lamb rare in the middle and sliceable by a butter knife. On top is a potent "sauce" of grainy mustard and dried fruit that incites the beautiful meat.


Sage, Pacu Fish Ribs

Fish ribs? Why yes, I'd love some - especially if they're Sage's crisply seared, baby-back-sized pacus (a huge South American fish). Served with pretty watermelon radishes and a tangy tomato jam, the dish is like a paean to a summer cookout.


Rigsby's Kitchen, Carbonara

Sometimes, a decadently rich reimagined classic can be a beautiful thing. Case in point: fat strands of lovely, handmade tagliatelle souped up with colorful root vegetables, crispy pancetta bits and a poached local egg.


Latitude 41, Lobster "Mac & Cheese"

What's more comforting than mac and cheese? Mac and cheese made with orecchiette, truffly butter, loads of succulent lobster meat and crispy "frico"-like fried cheese.