By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano
Vienna | European | $$$
It’s not that Juste Zidelyte doesn’t care that a collection of odds and ends has no business sitting next to each other on a tasting board, it’s that she knows better than we do. There’s chicken liver mousse, pairing well with currant jam, and then herbed ricotta, which could slide across a halved marinated egg—or is that bacon jam topping chicken liver mousse, or bacon jam on the egg? But wait, also find caponata and pickles and pickled raisins and olives. What’s going on here? Not sure? Doesn’t matter. It’s fun to play in this Lithuanian-native’s imagination of what mixes and matches.
Not everything is a puzzle. A lamb ragu over housemade cavatelli is just that: saucy, meaty, bright, kicky. But wait, find peas and Calabrian chili, and cool, creamy burrata, and nothing is as exciting as finding a meal inside a sleepy space that has no business serving food this good. // 147 Maple Ave. W., Vienna