DW Bistro

Many favorite local dining spots vanished abruptly this year. (See our “R.I.P.” story.) But in their place, others flourish and even inspire. One example is DW Bistro, partly owned by Dalton Wilson, the Jamaican-born, New Mexico-raised host (hence the DW). The space has recently expanded into an adjacent storefront, but still retains its original charm, star-like chandeliers, white brick walls and a surfeit of contemporary art.

The kitchen is run by Ricardo Santana, whose food is not fusion but distinctly separate Jamaican and New Mexican cuisines. At lunch, Jamaican chicken curry soup is an indulgent choice, made with coconut milk, laced with shredded chicken. Jerk chicken, shrimp and ahi tuna salads are all wonderful; so is New Mexican-style slow-cooked pork, with tender red chilies in a sauce on basmati rice.

There’s also lighter fare, such as curried vegetables, squash, green beans and carrots in a coconut-milk-based sauce, and the moistest turkey burger you’ll ever eat. If you aren’t planning on an intense afternoon at work, finish lunch here by indulging in Jamaican carrot cake, perhaps the best on the planet.

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Kobe Meatballs in Lettuce Cups, Sushi Roku

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Kobe Meatballs in Lettuce Cups, Sushi Roku

A recent addition to the menu, this dish offers perfect spheres of rich, ground Kobe beef on skewers with caramelized onions and mustard soy truffle sauce, and are meant to be eaten with the accompanying butter lettuce leaves. The combination of intense beefiness with the crunch from the lettuce, sweetness of the onions and umami of the dipping sauce is a study in well-balanced flavors. $18, Sushi Roku, in the Forum Shops at Caesars, 733-7373.

DTLV

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