Best Calamari - 2005
You can't swing a DeLonghi deep fryer without hitting a plate of calamari nowadays. The critter has wandered onto the menus of chichi downtown bistros, mom-and-pop Greek tavernas, south-side sports bars. Given the relatively unrefined American palate, it's a bit surprising that we gobble down squid with a fervor typically reserved for mozzarella sticks and all things "popper." But with popularity comes bastardization -- rubbery calamari, eensy-weensy calamari, calamari doused in ketchup. Not so at Steve Komorek's consistently superlative Trattoria Marcella, where the calamari is a thing of beauty -- a triumphant plateful of golden rings and tentacles (a pox on those who don't serve the tentacles because they're "creepy"), served atop flash-fried spinach, finished off with lemon quarters and luscious curls of Parmesan. This is, quite simply, one of the most delicious dishes in our great city. Why aren't you eating it right now?