Mississippi malossol hardly rolls off the tongue, but with restrictions on foreign fish eggs, domestic roe has been showing up on four-star menus. We asked U.S. chefs for their favorite American caviar and put their choices to the test.

THE FISH T+L'S TOP PICK White Sturgeon
RESTAURANT Charlie Trotter's 816 W. Armitage St., Chicago; 773/248-6228
T+L'S SOURCE Stolt Sea Farm Sterling Classic 800/525-0333;; $38/oz.
OUR VERDICT The perfect balance of briny creaminess and firmness; closest to the imports

THE FISH Choupique
RESTAURANT Arnaud's 813 Bienville St., New Orleans; 504/523-5433
T+L'S SOURCE American Seafood Choupique 504/822-3983; $8/oz.
OUR VERDICT Buttery freshwater eggs with straightforward flavor and mild salinity

THE FISH Paddlefish
RESTAURANT BLT Fish 21 W. 17th St., New York; 212/691-8888
T+L'S SOURCE Tsar Nicoulai Paddlefish 800/952-2842; ; $24/oz.
OUR VERDICT Firm pearls that glide across the palate; perfect for a caviar novice

THE FISH Rainbow Trout
RESTAURANT rm 33 E. 60th St., New York; 212/319-3800
T+L'S SOURCE Sunburst Rainbow Trout Caviar 800/673-3051; ; $14/oz.
OUR VERDICT Don't be fooled by the orange color: these supple eggs stand up to the big boys
—Jennifer V. Cole and Clark Mitchell