Here’s how you say “comfort food” in Italian: falling-off-the-bone braised beef short ribs and crisp sautéed polenta from Austin’s La Traviata (314 Congress). Chef Marion Gillcrist seasons her wine-rich braising broth with lemon zest and root vegetables. She punches up the polenta with Parmesan, fresh rosemary, and a pinch of cayenne. The final touch is an addictive, pestolike green sauce of capers, anchovies, and a gardenful of herbs. Think of the dish as beef stew and cornbread with an Italian accent.

Try this recipe for Braised Short Ribs With Rosemary-Parmesan Polenta from La Traviata, Austin.