June's Can't-Miss Dish

Photo Credit: Saltie Girl
By Ellen Bhang · 06/01/2020

Looking for a no-fail, mouthwatering, gonna-tell-your-friends-about-it plate? Each month, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Bhang highlights the dish you need to try right now—and something to sip alongside it.

On the plate: Gloucester Lobster Roll (Cold)

Where to find it: Ever since Kathy Sidell opened MET Back Bay in 2010, the restaurateur talked about installing “something fabulous” in the 900-square-foot space next door. She found inspiration in a standing-room-only tapas bar in Barcelona, Spain, packed with revelers sipping wine and tucking into tinned seafood. Sidell returned home and got to work, launching Saltie Girl in 2016. Even during the pandemic, this spot soldiers on, offering sleek tins of anchovies, octopus, and scallops to go, as well as New England favorites, including a quintessential summertime sandwich.

Notes on the nosh: Saltie Girl’s Gloucester Lobster Roll, served cold, mirrors the version Sidell herself prepared as a 10-year-old on her father’s sailboat. “We would spend a piece of the summer up in Maine,” she recalls wistfully. “We would come into some harbor and pull up to a lobsterman’s boat and buy dinner from him. I was the designated cook in the galley, one hundred percent, from the time I was a little kid.” Chef Kyle McClelland, faithful to Sidell’s childhood memories, takes chunks of claw meat and tosses those succulent morsels with a dab of egg yolk-rich mayonnaise, chives, and a spritz of lemon. A generous portion is piled into a split-top bun, offering buttery crunch from time on the grill; the item comes with the restaurant’s own Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips. “The lobster meat sings,” Sidell declares. “You shouldn’t have to do much to it. No lettuce or tomato, no celery, no onion—no, no, no! No filler.”

Sip alongside: Treat yourself to a bottle of bubbly, specifically the Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé ($30) from Lucien Albrecht, a venerable brand hailing from France’s sunny Alsace region. Crafted in the same method as Champagne, this effervescent pink wine is made from pinot noir. Once the red grapes are pressed, their skins lend a tinge of color to the clear juice. That juice ferments apart from the skins then undergoes a multi-step process to create CO2 in the bottle. ‘Brut’ describes a level of sweetness that you’ll perceive as ripe and fruity—largely dry, not sugary. Full of strawberry and Bing cherry flavors, this sparkler’s hint of saltiness uplifts the ocean-kissed crustacean meat. You’ll feel like you’re on the water in the Sidell family boat.

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