Best Small Plates 


We slogged through stacks and stacks of tiny dishes at the new slew of small-plate restaurants to come to this conclusion: We like Liaison best. We like the way they do classics like mussels in white wine, coq au vin, and French onion soup (amazing) -- maintaining all those rich flavors while lightening everything up California-style. We like all the stinky cheese on the pre-dessert cheese board. We like how friendly all the waiters are and how pretty the food looks on the big, rectangular plates. And, best of all, we like how full our wallet feels even after we've paid for dinner.

You hipsters can have your cosmos and your mojitos and your caipirinhas, your unfiltered sakes and your Blavod. We've fallen in love again with one of the cocktail nation's grand old dames -- the Sazerac -- but only as the bartender at Nizza la Bella shakes 'em. This old-timey New Orleans favorite mixes up bourbon, cognac, Peychaud's bitters, herbsaint, and a twist of lemon for a sublimely intoxicating treat. Have your favorite teetotaler drive you to Albany for a couple.

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