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Staff Picks: Our Favorite Dishes of 2011

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Dec 31, 2011 4:00PM

2011_12_31_ricotta.jpg Yesterday we recapped what other blogs and publications deemed their favorite dishes of the year, here are some of ours.

Caitlin Klein: For me, the stand-out dish of 2011 is Urban Belly's lamb and brandy dumplings. They're meaty, salty, and insanely good. Honorable mention goes to the Sullivan Chicken at Henri for the perfectly crisp skin and beautiful plating.

Molly Durham: Turkey leg confit and the milk braised pork shoulder at The Purple Pig - Two of the most tender meats I've ever encountered, without a doubt. These things must have been soaked in some heavenly mixture of juices for days to taste this good. The turkey has some nice spices to it and the pork shoulder is savory and creamy, with a side of mashed potatoes. Extreme comfort food right there.

Ricotta and honey comb with toast at Davanti Enoteca *(above) - It's always surprising when one of the starters on the menu ends up being such a favorite. Davanti's "vasi" (mini mason jars with Tuscan toast) sound good but are 10 times better than they even sound. The buttery ricotta mixture is so simple, and in combination with the honey comb and the perfectly crisped toast, it proves hard to be hungry enough for the rest of the meal.

Amy Cavanaugh: I adored the tender little pockets of goat cheese tortalacci at Autre Monde Cafe. Tossed with brown butter, black truffles, and parmesan, the dish is at once elegant and comforting, and precisely what you want from a pasta dish. I also loved the arancini with braised goat at Ceres' Table. They're rustic but refined, and completely delicious.

Other favorites from the year include Gio's Café and Deli's Baked Cavatelli, Aberdeen Tap's Grinders, Grand Plateaux of Seafood at Maude's, Duckfat Popcorn at Lush Wine & Spirits, Noodles by Takashi's Miso Ramen, and Pizzetta with Roasted Fennel at Terzo Piano.