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Best African Food: A more refined Ethiopian experience 

Finfiné

Dinner at some Ethiopian restaurants is so, well, sloppy: sprawling platters of stew and salad and injera in dining rooms sheathed with tons of bamboo screening. Finfiné, on the other hand, serves up refinement in a room that's all dim lights and decorum. The food radiates clear aromas and even clearer tastes. Take kitfo, the Ethiopian raw-beef classic that comes as a prim-looking dome of watermelon-pink flesh. It smells nice and weedy, thanks to a drizzling of herb butter. After only a few stabs at the pile with stretchy hunks of injera, a nicely sour-tasting pancake made from a grain called teff, your fingers smell like herb butter, too. Granted, tej (Ethiopian honey wine) can spoil the magic with the heady taste of rank fermentation — it's definitely an acquired taste. But with a pudding-smooth dish of shiro wat, ground chickpeas cooked with berbere spices, and fingers that smell like toasted sage and butter, a meal here is a study in opulence.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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