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When Maria Hines first opened Tilth, her certified-organic restaurant, the food was good—the duck burgers with fingerling chips damn good—but you could sense the strain the budget imposed on the four-star chef. A few years on, she's upped the prices slightly (all dishes are still available in small and large portions), and her creativity has taken flight. A truffled cauliflower flan with bits of Meyer lemon and fried capers is as unctuous as a French triple-crème cheese, and a sablefish fillet cooked sous-vide has the texture of a poached marshmallow. Hines' servers can muster all the polish of a much pricier restaurant without dumping the friendliness befitting a restaurant housed in a tiny Craftsman. And her sublime choucroute garnie—braised sauerkraut, velvety pork cheek, and a breaded patty made of the meat picked off a pork trotter—transcends the Era of Bacon Overkill.
This place makes me want to be a better person. Well, really just a richer person so I can afford to eat there every day and hire a personal trainer to work it off. The food is yummy and fresh. It's a really cute little place too!
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