This isn't the place for calorie-counting scolds. But for the rest of us wanting to indulge our guiltiest eating pleasures without going broke, this 8-year-old bistro offers a great option on the street that's ground zero for gentrification in Northeast. The aroma of deep-fry welcomes diners into a cozy restaurant lit warmly by candles that play off burnt-orange walls adorned with paintings. If you've never strayed south of the culinary Mason-Dixon line, play it safe and start with a sampling of Bernie's

appetizer list, which pays homage to the uniquely Southern practice of frying everything from green tomatoes to dill pickles. Cool night? Try the jambalaya, a satisfying rice dish that offers a nice bite with its blend of andouille sausage, gulf prawns and chicken. And don't waddle out the door without wolfing down some homemade cobbler for dessert.