BEST LUTEFISK (1998)
Lutefisk is, of course, dried cod rehydrated with lye and water served at Christmas to remind us all of how lucky we are to be living in present-day Minnesota and not starving in turn-of-the-century Scandinavia. Don't ask us why, but every year around Christmastime, Pearson's (an otherwise very nice establishment) offers the consummate preparation of this hot fish Jell-O with the bleachy, ammonia aftertaste. For $11.95 you'll get your lutefisk drizzled with butter and dusted with paprika, served with a ramekin of hot buttery dill cream sauce next to a mound of mashed potatoes formed into a well and filled with brown gravy. When they offer you a choice of vegetable, try to go with something light-colored, like corn, lest you violate the Scandinavian whiter-shade-of-pale food rule.