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Issue Date: May 2007 Issue

Silver Spoons: You can get some big tastes from small plates.

Best Small Plates

Kim Schneider
For those days when you can’t decide on just one dish, small plates come in handy. Look at the menu, choose a few and off you go. Or just try them all. They won’t go to waste — we promise. We hit Sergio’s Saravá (13225 Shaker Square, 216-295- 1200) after work with a few friends, ordered up a frenzy of small feasts — sans forks, of course. Be sure to get to Saravá early. They have a great 3-for-$12 deal during happy hour that will allow of you to experience the small plate concept on the cheap. Here’s a sample of our faves:

Crisp Spanish cheese: This hunk of breaded mozzarella (in brick form instead of the sticks you find in most bars) oozed cheese into the kalamata olive and caper-spiced tomato sauce, giving a whole new name to fried cheese. OK, we lied — this one requires a fork.

Artichoke fritters: We weren’t fans of artichokes going in, but once they arrived, we quickly changed our minds. A crisp breading gave way to a light, fluffy, savory center that we would never have placed as artichoke. The lemon-thyme dipping sauce added a clean and refreshing taste, making this our absolute favorite.

Sergio’s Olympic olive mix: It seems simple enough, and that’s what we like about it. A plate of olives seasoned with spices — crushed red pepper, garlic and olive oil — was all that we wanted and more. The saltiness of green, black and kalamata olives teased our senses even though we knew exactly what we were getting.

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