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By STEPHANIE WISEPhotos BENJAMIN ROBERTSWant a taste of some of the best culinary creations the Iowa City area has to offer? This list has you covered. From delicious drinks to decadent dessert, we've concocted what might be considered the perfect Iowa City progressive dinner. Dig in.BlAckSTONE, 503 WESTBuRy DRIvE, IOWA cITyBlackStone owner Erik Shewmaker has said the thing about their mojitos is, once you taste one of their signature flavors, "a classic mojito just can't compare." Their pear mojito ($6) is no exception - made with Absolut Pears, Bacardi Limon and pineapple juice with fresh mint leaves and limes, it's a refreshing way to kick off a fabulous night on the town.DrinksGRAzE RESTAuRANT, 115 E. cOllEGE ST., IOWA cITyStart your meal off right with a platter of Graze's world-famous chicken lips ($1.89 each). Generous pieces of boneless chicken breast are hand-breaded, dipped in Hot Lip sauce and served with Budweiser blue cheese. Like the rest of owner Peter Harman's menu, they fit into his "sharing is caring" philosophy - "When the last bite is as good as the first, and the flavor changes with every bite, that's amazing food," Harman has said. "Appetizers give us the opportunity to do that."AppetizervESTA, 849 QuARRy ROAD, SuITE 100, cORAlvIllE Who says soup and salad have to be the most boring part of the meal? Vesta's variety of soups and salads won't leave you just wishing for the next course. Enjoy a cup of the creamy tomato bisque ($4) and chase it with a spinach salad ($7) with almonds, capicola, dried cherries, beer-battered onion rings and a Bing cherry vinaigrette.ATlAS, 127 IOWA AvE., IOWA cITyHope you've saved room for the main course, because Atlas' Iowa Pork Tenderloin ($19) is good to the last bite. Ancho chili-rubbed pork tenderloin is snuggled alongside crispy bacon and pepper jack potato fritters, sugar snap peas and sweet mango chutney. Mildly spicy and full of flavor, it's a dinner for kings and queens - or anyone craving a delicious entrée.cHEz GRAcE FRENcH RESTAuRANT, 89 SEcOND ST., cORAlvIllEThere's a lot of preparation that goes into the only dessert on Chef David Zaghloul's menu - crème brulee ($8). But it's worth it, he says, for the crowd-pleasing reactions he gets when any customer cracks the caramelized sugar top with a spoon. "I have tried different desserts, but every year it's the same thing - everyone likes the crème brulee," he said. In the summer, look for variations with fresh figs or Grand Marnier, but "the most popular is the pure vanilla," he said. n12345Soup & SaladMain CourseDessertDigin.cHIckEN lIPSSPINAcH SAlADIOWA PORk TENDERlOIN46 roomJUNE 2012

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