Downtown's Nara, which opened last fall, gets our vote for its innovative and delicious spin on an old standard. Nara's chili was created by chef Terry Barkley, who said sayonara to the Asian-fusion venue last January but was good enough to leave his recipe behind. Tim Brady, the current executive chef, continues to make the spicy blend with black beans; ground beef; crushed tomatoes; yellow and green bell peppers; fresh jalapeños; and a custom-made chili powder with crushed Szechwan black peppercorns, ground jalapeños, anise and cumin. Despite its exotic spices, this chili isn't a fiery affair; it's just as soothing and comforting as the good ol' Tex-Mex variety. Traditionalists may gripe that Nara's chili is served with rice and a fried wonton instead of saltine crackers, but on a cold day, it says "feel-good food" in any language.