Best Caesar Salad

The Vine Wine Bar & Bistro

In the past few years it has become all too easy to take the Caesar salad for granted. Imposing itself on two out of every three menus, spilling across ever bigger plates, crying for help from the portion police, the king of salads has, alas, been relegated to a mere commoner. Caesar Cardini, the noted Mexican restaurateur said to have concocted the dish back in the 1920s, surely would have mourned his namesake becoming such an afterthought. And so it is that the discovery of a truly pleasing Caesar, such as the one at a new St. Charles eatery (replete with a lovely terrace), calls for some pomp and ceremony: Ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to give you the Vine Wine Bar & Bistro Classic Caesar Salad. At the hands of "Chef D," the romaine crackles. The garlic tiptoes across the palate. The ribbons of shaved Parmesan melt as they unfurl in the mouth. And the dressing? Anchovy-based but tempered in salinity, the sauce is both stately and sweet. A rare and royal rendering indeed.
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