A handsome new cast-iron skillet designed and made in Japan by Vermicular has a great deal going for it. It’s lighter than typical cast-iron cookware and has a special kind of enamel coating that is textured (though the manufacturer recommends not using metal utensils that might degrade the finish). It is acid-resistant and an extremely good conductor; as you sauté you will see the steam from evaporation rising quickly, with the result that liquid reduces easily to thicken your sauce. It pays to lower the cooking temperature a bit when sautéing so ingredients do not burn. The drawback is that the lovely heat-resistant wooden handle cannot go into the oven. Vermicular plans to introduce an ovenproof design next year; a glass lid is sold separately. There are two models, one slightly smaller and deeper than the other.
Vermicular Frying Pans, $155 for the deeper 9.4 inch pan; $160 for 10.2 inch; $40 for glass cover; vermicular.us.