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Best Of 2013: Italian

When I wrote a 10-year-anniversary review of Paravicini's a few months ago, I was quite impressed by a number of plates, from an excellent eggplant rollatini to a cream-gushing Burrata and decadent mandarin orange vanilla panna cotta. I summarized that the neighborhood eatery had made good on its early potential. And you clearly agree, having awarded it Best Italian in the city dating back to 2005. "It's a stick-to-what-you-know kinda thing," says chef/co-owner Franco Pisani. "When I cook, less is more. Most of my dishes are five ingredients or less. Too many people are trying to complicate food flavors too much, building layers and layers. I just stick to the basics: good, fresh ingredients." — Matthew Schniper

Bites 2013: Tiramisu

A good tiramisu is like a classic painting in that all the culinary brushstrokes are authentic, you know when you're seeing the real deal, and a lame knockoff simply will never capture the original's spirit. Paravicini's tiramisu is the equivalent of a primo museum piece, with the ideal creamy texture plus balanced coffee and chocolate notes. A masterpiece. ($6)

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