September's Can't-Miss Dish

Salmon crudo from Bar Mezzana
Salmon Crudo - Bar Mezzana
By Ellen Bhang · 09/03/2018

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 a delicious wine to sip alongside it.

On the plate: Salmon Crudo

Where to find it: Whether early or late, Bar Mezzana is always crowded with beautiful people sipping cocktails at the white marble bar or tucking into sumptuous plates of pasta in the airy dining room. Situated in the Ink Block development that once housed the Boston Herald, this South End restaurant is stop-the-presses good.

Notes on the nosh: Make summer stretch longer with a cool and savory crudo. Chef Colin Lynch is a master of crudo, the deceptively simple-looking preparation of raw seafood that channels the sensibilities of coastal Italy. To make the salmon crudo—a staple of the menu since the restaurant opened—Lynch first cures the fish in lime zest and sea salt. This ingenious technique makes the flesh pop with color and enhances its silky texture. Adorning each coral-hued slice is a wee dollop of green chili salsa verde, made with jalapeños, wax peppers, cilantro, mint, and lime juice. A drizzle of fruity olive oil provides the finishing touch.

Sip alongside: If you’ve ever dreamed of abandoning city life for something more pastoral, follow in the footsteps of husband-and-wife winemakers Pasquale Mitrano and Elisabetta Luorio, who decamped to Salerno from Naples and established winery Casebianche. The couple’s 2017 “Il Fric” Rosato Frizzante is beguiling. “It’s completely unfiltered so it has a deep pink, cloudy look,” says Caitlyn Roy, Bar Mezzana’s assistant general manager. To hear her describe the fizzy pour, made from aglianico grapes and full of berry and vegetal notes, you can’t help but think of a basket of summer produce. “It’s dry, minerally, and crisp,” enthuses Roy. “All of the boxes we like to check.”

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