Best suave Sicilian (2008)
Many attempts have been made to create an upscale Sicilian spot, but it was left to former Tribeca Grill chef Don Pintabona to make a success of it at Dani. He did it with a number of amazing dishes, including fresh homemade ricotta drizzled with grated almonds and wildflower honey, fried calamari with a smoked-paprika crust, and, best of all, cavatelli heaped with braised beef cheeks and wild mushrooms. Neither is the chef afraid to forage northward for inspiration: His sage-crusted pork chop is a variation on the Milanese veal cutlet. The flavor is enriched by the mustard-fruit relish moustarda, which originated not far from Milan in Cremona.