Not exactly the giant softball-size variety known for numbing your palate to the subtleties of a fine wine. These grilled baby artichokes, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, are much smaller and perfect with a zesty, citrusy sauvignon blanc. With this dish you get plenty of those sweet, tender hearts wrapped in a few more mature leaves for dipping. The choke and stalk are edible and so delicious when they get a little caramelization on them from the grill. Dip in the proffered lemon aoli and marvel at this healthy, natural fast food. $12 for four halves, 1031 S.
Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria
A good wine bar should provide three things: a convivial atmosphere, the opportunity to try a wide selection of wine at a reasonable price, and a few nibbles to balance the experience. My inaugural wine bar was Jacques Melac in Paris, where I often stopped in to try wines from the Languedoc and Loire, and chat with working-class guys busy devouring French sausages, giant hunks of smelly cheese and huge glasses of six-franc red.