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Best Place to Eat and Smoke 

City Tavern

There are plenty of unglamorous joints in the metro area where lighting up a cigarette during dinner isn't a sin (or illegal -- yet), but it's harder to find a sophisticated spot where smokers aren't treated like public nuisances or puffing pariahs. At the City Tavern's granite-topped bar, however, it's not vulgar to smoke and sup at the same time. Regular bartenders Sean and Mike are quite gentlemanly about changing ashtrays, lighting patrons' cigarettes and serving dinner right there. They offer linen napkins, wonderful bread and cold butter, and suggest the best happy-hour appetizers -- the ones that are discounted by $2 between 4 and 6 p.m. -- like the crunchy fried oysters tucked inside a cornmeal crust, and the delicious fried shrimp in lemon-pepper batter. "We gets lots of smokers who come in just to dine at the bar," says chef Tim Doolittle. Is there a better combination on a chilly night than a cup of steaming New England clam chowder, a Caesar salad, a dry-aged Kansas City strip with Stilton cheese sauce and a Marlboro Light?

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