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Andrew Zimmern on Masters of Comfort Food: Ouest

Ouest

Courtesy of Ouest

Pan-roasted squab with duck liver risotto, crisp artichokes and Parmesan.

The Locale: 2315 Broadway

The Chef: Tom Valenti’s food melds the mind of a chef with the heart of a grandmother. Ruth Reichl once dubbed him a “clairvoyant in the kitchen” for feeding diners exactly what they want even when they don’t know it.

The Atmosphere: Ouest manages to offer fine dining without pretension. Warm and inviting, with big, red-leather booths, this cozy spot is the perfect place for a glass of wine and homey meal. “The food is more to satisfy a craving than an intellect,” Valenti says.

The Menu: Valenti produces elegant, imaginative takes on the classics. Start with house-smoked salmon gravlax served with a chickpea pancake, caviar and mustard oil. When it comes to wild game, Valenti rocks it. Go for the pan-roasted squab with duck liver risotto, crisp artichoke and Parmesan. If you’re more into surf than turf, the fresh fish mains, such as prosciutto-wrapped cod, should do the trick.

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