Susur Lee's Reverse Course Meal

12/01/2010 01:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The traditional progression of courses makes no sense, when you think about it. Who can eat a veal chop after they've just had a big plate of octopus? Or enjoy octopus after some meaty little appetizers? No, the way to do it, as Susur Lee of Shang has discovered, is to go backwards, starting with the heaviest dishes and moving up to the lightest, asking the least of your stomach when it is most full. In this, as in much else, Lee is wise.