Haiti is about 700 miles away, but you don't have to go that far for some seriously authentic Haitian food. The best of the island's cuisine — a colorful blend of African- and Caribbean-influenced fare with a hint of creole — can be found at La Belle Jacmelienne. Step inside the tiny eatery and you'll feel as though you've made the trek. There's a tiki-inspired order counter and colorful wall murals, all meant to spirit you off to an island retreat — even if it's just for lunch. Here, root vegetables, ridiculously hot peppers, meats such as oxtail, and a unique blend of spices work together to form basic, zippy dishes that sing with a soupçon of French complexity. Friendly staff will gladly explain the basic offerings, such as hearty portions of legim stew, a complex dish with plenty of spices, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, peppers, and spinach. It also includes braised meats such as pork or oxtail and sometimes even seafood like conch or crab ($14 to $19). Or go for the griot (fried pork), prepared with an orange-based marinade that walks a fine line between sour and salty. The dish is served with pikliz, Haiti's official condiment — a spicy pickled-vegetable slaw made with white-vinegar-soaked Scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, and cabbage. Be sure to wash it all down with some Couronne fruit champagne, the island's popular soda, and your trip to Haiti will be complete.