Bar seating, allowing you to see everything that emerges from the kitchen, is de rigueur at The Harvest Vine , for anticipation is nine parts

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Best Place for a High-Heeled Date

The Harvest Vine

Bar seating, allowing you to see everything that emerges from the kitchen, is de rigueur at The Harvest Vine, for anticipation is nine parts of pleasure. Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez's small, Spanish-inspired plates guarantee you don't get sated too soon—plus, many of them are meant to be consumed hand-to-mouth. The Harvest Vine possesses a genuine European atmosphere; you will feel very well taken care of without any of the pretension you might encounter at similarly high-end restaurants. (But don't let that keep you from dressing up.) The mood is intimate and unrushed, despite the many small sauté pans on the fire. A nibblet of perfectly tender calamari or a snifter of foie gras will whet your appetite for rich fare like suckling pig or braised venison, while simple dishes will surprise you with their nuanced delicacy. Sautéed with golden raisins, pine nuts, and cream sherry, the longstanding spinach dish offers a near-perfect blend of herbal flavor punctuated by nutty richness. If you like to splurge on wine, they have a spectacular cellar of obscure Spanish bottles. After dinner, consider the indulgence of a jerez (sherry) or a crackle-topped crème bruleé; either (or both) just might finish you off.—Adriana Grant 2701 E. Madison St., 320-9771, harvestvine.com.

 
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