Best New Restaurant

Light Bistro

When Matt Mathlage and Eric Dietrich flipped the switch on Light in the spring, they illuminated one of the most imaginative menus in town, made up of about 20 tapas-style small plates and 10 larger but still tightly composed entrées. Befitting his "progressive American" concept, Chef Matt transforms earthy ingredients like venison, arugula, ostrich, and eggplant into smart little tidbits of edible art. His compositions are spare, his approach is essential, and the flavors are often totally unexpected. The creations are painstakingly plated on sheer white backgrounds, all the better to show off rosy meats, miniature hedgerows of microgreens, and artful dabs of intense reductions. All this takes place in a dim, tasteful setting of coppery wall coverings, abstract oil paintings, and plenty of old red brick, making Light Bistro a true bright spot on the city's dining scene.
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