Top 20 dishes of 2010, part 2

Landon Schoenefeld serves a Haute hot dish.

Landon Schoenefeld serves a Haute hot dish.

Along with the Best New Restaurants of 2010, I've compiled a list of my favorite dishes from restaurants I reviewed this year. Here are the second 10 of 20 not-to-be-missed items, in no particular order (for the first 10, click here):


• The Kobe beef hot dog at Cafeteria sort of sums up everything about the Parasole restaurant group--these are guys with the cojones to put a $13 wiener on the menu. But here's why you should actually order the thing: It's an enormous, cheese-slathered, delicious mess, the beef is more tender than the typical frank, and the crispy skin is delightful.

• The glass case at Patisserie 46 is filled with a bevvy of exquisite pastries--immaculately crafted petits gateaux, macarons, chocolate candy bars--but my favorite is the humble-looking canelé, tiny, bronzed, bundt-cake-shaped sweets, with an eggy, rum-spiked batter and a lovely, caramelized crust.

• What is a hot dish without the can of cream of mushroom soup? Delicious, if it's the one at Haute Dish, a deconstructed sculpture of short ribs, green beans, house-made tater tots and, of course, porcini bechamel in lieu of Campbell's.

• I was glad to see the glorious, oddball, Art Deco interior of the old Forum Cafeteria revived in the new, abbreviated Forum, and the best execution I've had locally of the trendy but too often mishandled lobster mac and cheese.

Doubles might just be the Caribbean's greatest culinary contribution, and the ones at Caribe--creamy chickpeas stuffed into a pocket of golden-colored bara--are a textbook execution.

Doubles your pleasure at Caribe.

Doubles your pleasure at Caribe.

• There's a dearth of soul food in the Twin Cities, but Willy D's stays on top of its game and serves some of the city's best fried chicken--made to order with a secret spice blend, so the meat is tender and the batter crisp and evenly seasoned.

• Cupcakes may no longer be trendy, but that doesn't mean they don't still taste great. Cocoa & Fig does a fine chocolate raspberry cupcake with Valrhona chocolate cake and Italian meringue buttercream flavored with real raspberries.

• Find small plates and big flavors at Piccolo restaurant, especially the still-runny scrambled eggs flecked with truffle shavings and pickled pigs' feet.

• If you've got 30 minutes and a group with big appetites, Szechuan's whole Peking duck makes a delightful feast, especially when you wrap the rich, crisp-skinned meat in house-made pancakes garnished with hoisin sauce and thin-sliced vegetables.

• Or Milky Crispy Shrimp at Grand Szechuan, which blends fried seafood with glazed doughnut. Wow, that makes it sound awful--but it's surprisingly delightful.