Best Rack (2005)

Angela's Bistro 51

This rack is bright green, and this is a good thing. The green, as frilly as a shamrock boa, is a bright herb encrustation unmolested by intense heat. The lamb chops themselves are gorgeously ruddy, creating a kind of Christmas holiday wreath in meat. The bones are propped vertically, leaning into a crown pinnacle around a central core of portobello mushroom risotto sown with garlic sautéed spinach. This is tall food that doesn't annoy. The flesh is slightly loose, saturated in juices and silken with streaks of raciness--not the kind that elicits winces, but the kind that rounds flavors as they hint at tension. Pooled around this crown of lamb bones is a demi-glace--a restrained one that serves as more of a gauzy moisture curtain than a heavy viscous blanket. Rack 'em up.

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