Vienna / Modern American / $$$
It’s a challenge not to fill up on bread at Clarity. “I’ll bring you more if you want,” your waiter assures you, when he delivers your first roll.
“I need to save room,” you tell him.
“It’s just out of the oven,” he says. Damn.
Once you demolish the first one, at once airy and chewy, he lets you know that the second has chorizo in it. Foiled again.
You will not be having dessert. You can’t skip the caramelized Maine day-boat scallop tartare. The finely chopped shellfish is surrounded by puddles of tangy, sweet charred-peach chutney.
You may order a burger, or a fish dish, or optimally medium-rare slices of local lamb. Or you may leave caution to the wind and bust a gut with the Nick Rib, a veritable paean to excess. It’s a cult hit that combines house brioche with tender fried pork in what may be the most compelling barbecue sauce you’ll taste.
Or will you be having dessert after all? There’s a creamy tahini-flavored custard with coconut granita and pineapple sorbet, a sort of Middle Eastern take on the piña colada. But it’s not too heavy, either. Perhaps that’s because chef Jon Krinn knows that you will not be able to resist the call of the roll.
See this: Score a seat at the chef’s counter to watch Chef Krinn work his magic, or soak up the sun in the cheery outdoors.
Eat this: The menu changes daily, but fish and meat dishes are especially reliable.
Service: Proud to serve great food, and happy to let you know it.
When to dine here: Dinner is great (and an opportunity for a tasting menu), but the lunch attracts buzz for a reason.