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Off the Charts

Small Wonders: Food and Drink Issue 2013

  • Michael W. Bunch

Butter tasting, Etch

Chef Deb Paquette's a Nashville legend, so the menu at her chic new spot Etch includes old favorites like her Beets & Berries salad. But she's always seeking new flavors and worthy trends, hence the butter tasting. Ramekins of fresh butter embrace four savory flavors: duck (dairy butter enriched with duck fat), smoked plugra (European butter smoked with perfect restraint), goat (made of mild, creamy goat's milk) and truffle (the famous aromatic turns butter into a Continental party). —DKF

  • Michael W. Bunch

Frico, City House

Montasio cheese. Potatoes. Fried to a golden brown. It doesn't get much simpler than City House's frico, and it doesn't get much better, either. City House owner/chef Tandy Wilson calls it the father of the cheese stick, but that doesn't begin to do it justice. Did you ever want to eat the decadent, crispy top layer of a pan of potatoes au gratin, and leave the rest? This is for you. —JS

  • Michael W. Bunch

Goi cuon, Kieng Giang

A somewhat healthier alternative to the fried egg roll, Vietnamese goi cuon (aka fresh roll) is no less satisifying, and Kien Giang makes some of the best in town. Vermicelli, shrimp, pork and mint are wrapped in rice paper, then served with a bowl of hoisin-based sauce dotted with crushed peanuts. Though goi cuon is considered an appetizer, an order (two pieces) makes a great light lunch. Also available in vegetarian or shrimp-only versions. —JS

Honorable Mentions:

Sigara boregi, Anatolia;
goat cheese brûlée, Eastland Cafe;
devolved eggs and brown sugar bacon, Bricktop's;
Pupu Platter, Omni Hut;
pretzels, Viener Fest

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