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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mouthful: Cold weather comfort food

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JCT KITCHEN & BAR: JCT’s vegetable plate is just what we crave when the spectrum of brown winter foods has grown tiresome. Chef Ford Fry uses an assortment of seasonal vegetables from the Local Farmstand located outside of Star Provisions and cooks them with great care. Fry adds some heft to the dish with the addition of pillowy homemade gnocchi as a base. The dish is finished with a buttery sauce made with chicken stock. A vegetarian version using white wine is also available. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18. 404-355-2252. www.jctkitchen.com.

RIA'S BLUEBIRD: Chef/owner Ria Pell’s Brisket Breakfast is not only soothing, but a guaranteed hangover killer. Pell slow cooks the brisket for 14 hours and uses the braising liquid to create a spicy tomato broth. The broth is ladled into a large bowl and topped with chunks of the fork-tender beef and two poached eggs. The combination of the silky broth, rich egg yolks, buttery beef, and crunch of the accompanying toasted baguette creates an orgy of textures in each bite. It's had us hooked since we first tried it years ago. 421 Memorial Drive. 404-521-3737. www.riasbluebird.com.

SOTTO SOTTO RESTAURANT: Hearty pastas with rich meat sauces are a no-brainer when there's a chill in the air. One of our favorites is Sotto Sotto’s Lasagnette alla Bolognese, a sort of free-form lasagna. Chef/owner Riccardo Ullio takes the long strands of homemade lasagnette pasta (a lasagna and pappardelle hybrid) and tops them with a slow-cooked traditional Bolognese sauce (made with veal, pork, beef and bits of charcuterie) and creamy bechamel sauce. He then flash bakes the dish in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven to marry the flavors. 313 N. Highland Ave. 404-523-6678. www.sottosottorestaurant.com.

(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)

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