Biggest Small Plates 

À Côté

À Côté really blends the line between "small plates" and entrées. If you magically transplanted this chic, casual small-plates bistro to France, say, and served the same grouper with escarole, onions, and golden raisins, half the diners would pluck the cigarettes from their lips to demand why you were giving them a full meal on a bread plate. We Americans just expect our food to overwhelm us. There's nothing light about eating a meal of small plates at À Côté, but boy, is it good. If you choose to stuff yourself full of illusions, why not do it with a butter lettuce salad with avocado and grapefruit, and a pheasant and rabbit terrine with cippolini onions? The flatbreads -- say, the one with potatoes, spring onions, and Gorgonzola -- are the size of two big pizza slices. And we won't even talk about the fries. We can't stop eating the fries. There are just so many of them.

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1501 Solano Ave., Albany, 510-559-9006


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