Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro

Bulgarian tapas? Yes, at Nina Manchev’s funky, eccentric west-side restaurant, where mysterious elixirs such as the red-tinged Gypsy Juice sit behind the bar in huge glass jars.

Everyone will be eating ajarski khachapuri, cheese bread from the Republic of Georgia with an egg in the middle, and the mixed Bulgarian sausage plate.

But you can also have proper Spanish tapas such as shrimp sautéed in garlic. Whew!

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Kobe Meatballs in Lettuce Cups, Sushi Roku

Dishing With Grace

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.

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