Best Small Plates San Francisco 2007 - Terzo
We'd never get tired of the small-plates fad if all small plates were as good as the ones served at sleek, modern Terzo. Chef Mark Gordon sends out dishes from his open kitchen that are full of lusty flavor and easy to share. The seasonal menu evolves from week to week. Vegetarian options have included crisp flatbread with seasonal toppings, smoky grilled asparagus topped with a fried egg and sided by a dab of peppery romesco, and delicate ravioli filled with creamy ricotta and green garlic floating in Meyer lemon-scented broth garnished with peas and Parmesan. We also feasted on succulent house-made sausages served with beans braised with chard, massive yet airy beef meatballs in marinara sauce set atop polenta intriguingly flavored with green chilis, halibut dabbed with sharp green charmoula on fresh garbanzo beans, and tender lamb cheeks anointed with harissa melting into their bed of oniony couscous. Desserts are treated with equal respect: If the chocolate-and-caramel tart sprinkled with fleur-de-sel or the lemon budino are on offer, don't hesitate.