Frustrated by being constantly outshone by older, full-size ceramic siblings, small plates ultimately proved their worth through superior snacking and pole-balancing abilities. Root for the little guy with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of small plates and wine at dish in Lynchburg.
Dish's all-chef owners draw from pan-cultural cuisines to concoct mini meals for tasting, combining, and sharing. Just as nuclear fusion powers distant stars, the cross-continental fusion menu powers dreams of dinners from distant locales. Indulge Italian appetites with crab, asparagus, and fennel bruschetta ($14), or jet taste buds to Jamaica for jerk chicken and caramelized plantains topped with mango-ginger sauce ($8). Mexican zest manifests as littleneck clams steamed up with jalapeño, cilantro, and tomato and paired with hearty chorizo ($12), and plate-teleportation technology allows Thai-prepared beef with napa cabbage to skip over from Bangkok ($10).
Oenophiles can pair a bottle of wine from the frequently rotating wine list—such as a 2008 zinfandel from Girasole Vineyards ($29) or a 2009 pinot grigio from Lison-Pramaggiore ($28)—with the cheese-tasting menu's 14 selections ($10.50–$49 based on number of cheeses). Beneath dish's hanging wrought-iron signboard, culinary curators forge fresh bread loaves and mozzarella rounds daily for a continuous stockpile of aerodynamic ammunition.