Best Restaurant

Jardinière

One restaurant might prepare dramatically memorable food. Another might create a unique and luxurious ambience. A third might offer service that's intelligent as well as attentive. When you find a restaurant that encompasses all three -- an improbable scenario, here or anywhere -- you've hit the jackpot. Jardinière, Traci Des Jardins' 4-year-old success story, is one of them. The waiters are so attuned to the kitchen's gustatory pleasures that their opinions are an invaluable resource. The setting is one of Pat Kuleto's most dazzlingly elegant creations: a deco-splendent downstairs and a whimsically voluptuous mezzanine linked by a dramatic, glacierlike central bar. And the food, encompassing equal parts Old World splendor and New World gusto with a dash of left-field whimsy, is rich and delicate and lusty all at once: duck confit with peaches and pistachios; cloudlike Alaskan halibut with mussels and mashed potatoes; Gravenstein pudding with blueberry ice cream. Live jazz every evening provides a lyrical backdrop to this most splendid dining experience.

 
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