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Best Of 2013: Overall Restaurant

Chef Brother Luck, who just left the Craftwood Inn to start his own venture downtown, deserves most of the credit for the last year's worth of interesting eats, such as kangaroo steaks and a foie gras PB&J. But even if Luck led the Craftwood to its first-ever Overall Restaurant win, it must be noted that chefs here have long handled the game-heavy provisions well, doing very pretty things to animals ranging from lamb and rabbit to buffalo, elk, ostrich, goat and wild boar (not to mention swimmers like trout and bass). Incoming chef Matthew Schee's new menu just launched days prior to this publication; the 38-year-old aims to add tropical influence from his many years spent cooking in Key West. Family heritage from New Orleans may also creep in with some Cajun/Creole notes. But rest assured that whatever's done, it'll fit the elegant atmosphere. The beautiful, historic building has been a fine eatery since the 1940s, when it attracted the visiting Hollywood celebrities of that era. Today, it remains fit for guests of eminence, but you'll still feel relaxed among the dark woods and white tablecloths. Cheers to the best of the best. — Matthew Schniper

Bites 2013: Craftwood Inn Tapas

You go to Craftwood to eat game meats, expertly treated. Seasonal menus switch up the preparations, and it's often difficult to choose between all the allure. Enter the tapas sampler, currently featuring house-made duck sausage under pomegranate syrup; Arancini (fried risotto balls) stuffed with Fontina and pheasant confit; and elk-antelope-deer meatballs coated in a sexy black-garlic sauce. ($18)

Price: $$$

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