The Heathman

Unlike lesser dining establishments, the Heathman doesn't depend on a glam interior to distract from a passable menu. Instead, its pared-down dŽcor has a soothing, almost Asian simplicity.

Flattering lighting, fine art and attentive service perfectly complement the outstanding food.

With chef Philippe Boulot at the helm, the downtown restaurant has established a reputation for providing one of the city's most consistently stellar dining experiences.

Start with one or more of the salads, which wow the palate with their remarkable combinations of ingredients, such as roasted pear and grilled goat cheese in pomegranate vinaigrette.

A selection of more than a dozen entrees on the dinner menu are big on both size and expert preparation. Selections range from the simply delicious (Angus rib-eye steak with whipped Yukon gold potatoes) to the enticingly exotic (Canard ˆ l'Orange).

Adventurers will want to try the James Beard Dinner, a prix fixe menu that always ends on a sweet note. Susan's Bread Pudding with caramel sauce is a favorite dessert.

Ñ Jill Spitznass