How does the Westside's crown jewel remain at the top year after year? Extraordinary hospitality, for starters. Service is balletic, yet the staff never comes off as too starchy or aloof. And no restaurant in town delivers fine-dining dazzle like Bacchanalia.
In 2011, chef-owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and their executive chef David "Andy" Carson decided to switch the prix fixe format from four courses to five. Doing so added a third savory dish before a cheese plate and dessert, spurring the kitchen to more intricate creations. One recent highlight: a slice of rosy, steaky magret duck that sidled up to a grain pilaf shot through with duck confit. Chestnut puree and artful dribbles of sour cherry jus added depth and contrast. Like the whole meal, it was heady without being fussy. Bonus points for the expanded, meticulous wine list, and, as always, the glorious cheese cart.