The 'It List'

3325 W. Cary St. 354-6060

Although only open for 18 months, Acacia has taken firm root in Carytown's church gone haute. Chef-owner Dale Reitzer has been chosen by Food & Wine magazine as one of the 1999 Best New Chefs in America. His co-partners — wife Aline and Jim O'Toole — capably handle the dining areas. The three are disciplined and hard-working, though youthful veterans of the restaurant business, essential ingredients for success in the trenches of the trade.

When the fashion is fusion, blasts of taste, and presentation architecture, it takes confidence and culinary sophistication to let the main ingredients have their role in the center of the plate. Reitzer's finishing flourishes complement rather than compete, and an accompanying vegetable is not just an add-on but an integral part of the preparation.

Acacia is the place to have fish. Even if you aren't a big fan, Reitzer may make you a convert. Not that your choices are limited to creatures of the deep. You'll find that meat is given the same thoughtful treatments.

Service is knowledgeable and polished. There's a growing wine list that is worth perusal.

An outstanding feature of Acacia is the dining portico high above Cary Street. Those who enjoy good food should book a table at Acacia. Choose a perfect summer night and double your

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