Eat This Now: Wedge Salad at Bavette's


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Ever loved a salad so much that you refuse to slow down, take a breath, or acknowledge your dining companion until every last scrap of lettuce is gone? I didn't even know such a thing could exist until last night, when I inhaled the wedge salad ($13.50) at Bavette's faster than any dish in recent memory. What kind of magic did the restaurant sprinkle over the salad to make it so completely irresistible?

It's easy to first look to the bacon or answers, and there's no doubt that the thick-cut and slightly sweet housemade bacon perched on top certainly helped. But that wasn't the whole story. Instead, we need to focus on the small details here, starting with the dressing.

The salad switches the usual blue cheese dressing for ranch—a move that initially doesn't sound that promising. Before your mind begins to contemplate salad eating contests in Hidden Valley, know that Bavette's ranch is tart, loaded with fresh herbs (dill, of course, but also a healthy helping of chive) and thin. That last attribute turns out to be rather important, because rather than just sitting on top of the lettuce, the dressing is able to seep deep in-between the leaves.

The result still has the look of a classic wedge salad, but with a lot more going on than seems possible.