At some restaurants, the specialty of the house is obvious: a burger, say, at the Caribou Tavern or DLUX downtown; a bowl of noodles at Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar; the Fetalicious at Glass Nickel Pizza.
But even our favorite restaurants can have little secrets. Who knew, for example, that one of the best dishes at Forequarter, that home of housemade sausage and cured meat, is the braised kohlrabi with blue cheese and pears?
It's no shock that Anna Alberici at Greenbush Bar wants every diner to try her Pasta Bolognese, made with local beef and pork sausage. French macaroons are a colorful and attractive option for Chocolaterian's co-owner to choose as a must-try.
But you might not know to try the 35C, manager Van Inthasak's favorite dish at Bahn Thai, a stir-fried red curry with a mix of meats, vegetables and pineapple. And the chimichanga supreme seems like an entirely unlikely choice for Craig Doyer, the head cook at Village Green.
"It's a sleeper item," he says.
Here, 11 members of the local food service industry offer the one dish on their restaurant's menu they'd love to see people order more often, from stuffed chicken at Quivey's Grove to lamb at Ichiban.
Consider it your invitation to branch out this holiday.
— Lindsay Christians