If only all of our forefathers looked so good: This metro-woodsy dining room manages to be both sexy and convivial, filled with helpful servers and an eye-catching painting of a giant, black cock (rooster, people). Lincoln's a little Northwestern, a little Mediterranean, but it's all chef Jenn Louis, whom you can spy in the kitchen doling out perfect hanger steaks paired with feather-light onion rings, richly spiced pork ragu with toothsome tagliatelle and burn-yer-fingers-hot roast chickens. Her partner in crime, David Welch, works the front of the house—he's a charming pusher of excellent value wines and plates of hot, chewy thyme flatbread. With a menu filled with recognizable entrees elevated by clever flavor twists, count Lincoln as a go-to choice for both Meet the Parents and Seduce the Date dinners. Plus, although Louis is all about the meats (the woman once baked an apple pie with a bacon-lattice top), her vegetarian nods, like a panzanella that turned out to be a colorful, puckery crunchfest of nutty toast, heirloom tomatoes, blue cheese and shallots, sing with an earthy vibe that's tough to match.
Order this: A texturally miraculous dish of eggs and Castelvetrano olives baked in cream, topped with herby breadcrumbs. Best thing I ate last month.
Best deal: Entrees are big and shareable. Close your eyes and pick one.
I'll pass: The North Williams eatery was nearly packed on a recent Tuesday night. Does that mean I won't be able to get in on a Friday?