Before opening Requin on the Southwest waterfront in October, Mike Isabella tasked its eventual chef, Michael Rafidi, to include on the menu “a good roast chicken, escargots and foie gras,” recalls the serial restaurateur and visionary behind the French-Mediterranean dining room. The chef obliged. His boss never brought up salads, but Rafidi, whose spirited Spanish-Moroccan cooking at Arroz in the Marriott Marquis landed that restaurant on my list of Top 10 newcomers in my fall dining guide this year, did what he typically does and came up with a seductive first impression.

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