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Best Salad (tie) Dallas 2003 - Nikita & La Dolce Vita

Nikita is a hash of Soviet Bloc funk twisted and sanitized into Red hip, which means it serves caviar and James Bond flicks. But it also has one swell innovation crafted with a lowly proletariat root--the beet, progenitor of borscht. Nikita's golden beet and goat-cheese salad, feathered with arugula and planked with petite green beans, is a masterpiece. Slightly sweet and tangy pink beets loiter on the edges of a plate puffed with greens and doused in horseradish vinaigrette. Add a flight of vodkas, and it will send you into orbit like Laika the Sputnik 2 space dog.

La Dolce Vita
Take a break from overpowering, burnt-cheese-laden, tomato paste-centric Italian food with a light dish from La Dolce Vita. While they do serve classic pastas and pizzas, we often opt for the salads. The caprese, one of our favorites, is flavorful with juicy tomatoes, red onions and fresh, delicate mozzarella mixed with field greens and the house vinaigrette. We adore the arugula salad--crisp, peppery arugula and shaved lettuce drizzled with lemongrass olive oil. The fact that you can dine here without feeling like you ate a bread truck makes it a great lunch spot.

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