MOST MOVING APPETIZER
Takoyaki at Bon Chon: small stodgy dumplings of octopus with attached bonito flakes cut so onion-skin-thin they wave around in the dumplings' rising heat. Tastes good, too.
Blue-crab remoulade at Cognac Bistro.
BEST COLD APPETIZER
Cold noodles with sesame sauce at CK Shanghai.
BEST WEIRD APPETIZER
"Spanish tortilla with morcilla" at Tico.
BEST ASIAN APPETIZERS (TIE)
Shami kebab and galouti kebab at the Maharaja.
"Spicy Sour Soup" at Floating Rock.
BEST CLICHÉ SOUP
"Onion Soup with Cheese" at Cognac Bistro.
BEST CLICHÉ ENTRÉE
Chicken tikka masala at the Maharaja.
BEST CLICHÉ RESTAURANT
Tico. Why a tequila bar in Boston? Maybe just so Michael Schlow's outfit could do one right: nuevo Latino fusions that actually complement the smoky taste of tequila and the best margaritas.
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE SUPERCLICHÉS
Strega Waterfront. I had a great time.
Jerusalem kebab bake at Jerusalem Pita. A vast pot pie, the kosher "trucker's special," topped with a thin, Iraqi-style pita called a "laffa," this Jewish food from Baghdad was legendary.
Filet mignon at Annabelle's.
EXPENSIVE STEAK WITH UNDERDRESSED WAITRONS
BEST CHICKEN ENTRÉE
Chicken pie at the Artisan Bistro. It's $24, but it actually tastes like chicken.
"Fat Tray," with pulled pork, pork ribs, and brisket, at Sweet Cheeks.
"Bucket of Biscuits" at Sweet Cheeks.
BEST GREEN VEGETABLE, NOT VEGETARIAN
Collards at Sweet Cheeks.
APOTHEOSIS DU FRY GUY
Hush Puppies at Sweet Cheeks.
WHY SWEET CHEEKS ISN'T THE RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Because they put too much starch in the butterscotch pudding.
DOG PLAYS THE PIANO AWARD
The Ledge has good sweet-potato fries.
TATER TOTS OF THE YEAR
Truffled at the Brahmin. Served with three sauces, one of which is ketchup, so it's okay.
POUTINES OF THE YEAR
I said last year that this award would only be given out once, but then I had Trina's fries with sausage gravy.
BEST NEW BEER LIST
Five Horse Tavern.
BEST SHORT WINE LIST, REDS
The Abbey, led by Septima malbec and Marques de Caceres crianza Rioja.
BEST RYE COCKTAIL
"Imperfect Manhattan" at Canary Square.
BEST RUM COCKTAIL
"Ten-Cane mojito" at La Casa de Pedro.
"Stanhope Bellini" at the Brahmin.
BEST INVENTED COCKTAIL
"Lady Day" at Storyville.
FUSION DESSERT OF THE YEAR
Chocolate flan at La Casa de Pedro.
BEST DESSERT, BESIDES CHOCOLATE
Rosemary-vanilla bread pudding at Island Creek Oyster Bar.
BEST CRÈME BRÛLÉE
The Ledge, where they add coconut and cointreau.
BEST SMALL DESSERTS (TIE)
Apricot bread pudding ($3) at Cognac Bistro; Eskimo bites at the Ledge.
Geoffrey's key lime pie.
BEST FLIGHT OF DESSERTS
Aragosta Bar and Bistro.
Robert Nadeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.