Olio has always been the more casual sidekick to Ben Poremba’s upscale flagship, Elaia. Now, though, without having changed, it’s become something more. As Poremba has expanded his restaurant group, he himself has stepped back from the kitchen, yielding the spotlight to such talented chefs as Elaia’s Ben Grupe and Parigi’s Ramon Cuffie. But at Olio you can still enjoy the “Middle-terranean” style on which Poremba built his reputation, dishes that range from a North African tagine to his locally unparalleled “King of King” hummus to a newer favorite of mine, a riff on the stuffed pita dish arais with tender, harissa-spiced pulled lamb.
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily
Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best
Must order: King of Kings hummus ($8)