Robert and I had a fantastic dinner last night at Anchovies & Olives. Halfway through, we had already declared it the best meal of the year! Like many dining establishments, Anchovies & Olives was doing a special prix fixe menu for New Year’s Eve – five courses at $75 per person. That’s not cheap, but in this case it ended up being worth every penny. Each course came with a choice between two different dishes. We decided to keep it simple and order one of each to share. Might as well sample everything, right? Highlights for me included the tiny kusshi oysters topped with green apple ice, the hamachi crudo (raw yellowtail served with blood oranges, shaved beets and horseradish) and the seared arctic char with trumpet mushrooms and braised radicchio. Robert enjoyed the escolar crudo which came topped with spicy coppa, persimmon and arugula. Our favorite dish of all, however, was the squid ink spaghetti with sea urchin, mussels and bread crumbs. The pasta – made fresh in house – had a wonderful firm, chewy texture. Combine that with super-sweet mussels and perfectly crunchy fried bread crumbs and you end up with one truly unforgettable dish. Talk about closing out 2009 on a high note!

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