Best Neighborhood Restaurant - 2010
Squeaky Bean - CLOSED
You've worshiped at the shrine to Farrah Fawcett that merits its own shelf above the bar; hoofed your way through the pig platter; contemplated holding chef Max Mackissock hostage because he refuses to part with his chicken-liver mousse recipe; and shimmied while unapologetically inhaling the shake-n-bake sweetbreads. But it's Mackissock's beef cheeks that are the silent sleeper on Squeaky Bean's bang-up board of seasonally inspired dishes: The meat, long-braised, cloaked in a deep and rich veal stock and crowned with fennel and chiffonade of spinach, collapses at the swipe of a fork; right beside is a roasted potato, hollowed out and puddled with a creamy fonduta bolstered by bacon and chives, which elevates the proletarian tuber to rock-spud status. All this goodness comes from a stubbornly diminutive kitchen that's roughly the size of a pig's snout. Just imagine what Mackissock could do with more room! But then, we could never imagine the restaurant leaving this wonderful corner of Highland, where it fits so seamlessly into the fabric of the neighborhood that it's almost a shock to remember that the Bean first squeaked just last May.