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9 top dishes of 2011 

The best things I ate in Atlanta this year

Page 4 of 6

Cranberry soufflé with pink peppercorn ice cream at Bacchanalia
A marvel of texture (sugar crunch, airy soufflé, creamy ice cream, gooey hot cakey cranberries) and flavor, this is one of those instances where a small amount of invention goes a long way. The slight prickle of pink peppercorns juxtaposed with the spun sugar-like crust and tart cranberry of the soufflé made for an almost magical dessert, like what the pinkest wicked fairy godmother would use to lure you to her castle of cotton candy. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410.

Sweetbreads and fried dough at the Sound Table
I had this one night when I stopped by the Sound Table on my way home, planning to grab a quick cocktail and check out the new menu but not eat anything. But this dish stood out: sweetbreads with fried dough. Because I'm obsessed with fair food and sweetbreads, I had to try it. I was rewarded with a huge steak-like sweetbread, crisped on the outside and creamy on the inside, over pillowy hunks of crunchy and appropriately oily fried dough. It worked. Really worked. But, perhaps just as importantly, it showed humor and wit, a willingness to reach into the realm of our most fun culinary traditions and meld them with our most ambitious. 483 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534.

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