Best Of 2004

Best Seafood Restaurant: Arthur Clay's

If you and your honey are of a mind to drop a hundred-and-a-half on a meal for the ages, we heartily recommend diving into Arthur Clay's seafood menu. Chef/owner Steve Scherrer knows fish, and his connections to ocean fishermen are personal. Scherrer talks weekly, and often daily, with coastal fishermen doling out their daily catch. The result: Every day Scherrer creates a new menu based around fish that were frolicking in the sea not 24 hours before. He couples these succulent treats with tidy side helpings -- blossoms, roots, gnocchi, haricot verts. One recent stunner: an entrée of bluefin tuna cut into half-dollar-size medallions of deep, dark maroon, seared beige around the edges and resting in a subtly tangy hot-and-sour lemon broth. Sitting to one side of the bluefin were five little bok choy leaves rolled into the shape of tiny footballs; to the other, five lemon-ginger gnocchi that melted in your mouth. That followed a delicate avocado and crab salad teamed with chunks of summer melon. Add to that ace cocktail and dessert menus, an army of professional servers and a well-imagined wine list, and you're talking peerless.

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