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Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Mare, North End, Boston

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Restaurants & Bars 8

Mare, North End, Boston

Limster | Jun 13, 2005 02:06 AM

Rubee tipped me off to this new place from the Bricco/Umbria team. Located on the corner of Richmond street.

In the amuse, a wash of spring in the light, clear asparagus soup surrounding an island of salmon tartare, well flavoured, but not as resonant as the best I've had.

The fragrant crustacean flavour in the aromatic oil is soft-spoken but haunting, alternating with a more herbal chive oil, binding together the scatter of greens, the curls of tender crayfish and a disc of mashed potato, all air and cream, served lightly chilled to good effect. A beautiful dish by any measure. (Perhaps a strange dissonance in calling it potato creme brulee, when there is no evidence of caramelization.)

The juicy, tender grilled octopus invokes the Ligurian coast with the pairing of a pesto and mashed potato.

Outstanding texture on the swordfish casonelli (sp?), dumplings that are texturally complex, a coat of tenderness that evolves into a firm resilence in the span of a bite, before finally yielding to the meaty minced swordfish, that perhaps resembles pork too much, an echo from the buttery sauce dotted with pancetta and maybe a hint of spice. Loved the crispy sage leaves.

Summer berries are gently coated with caramel, and given a classic flavour pairing with balsamic vinegar that is woven into a light whipped cream.

A very casual setting, dominated by a shimmering multichromatic wall and a liberating expanse of windows along the two sides of the restaurant. Fairly pricey (many apps in the mid-teens, main courses in the $30s or more), but more reasonable than the overpriced Bricco. Worth a trip.

P.S. the windows on Richmond street afford a full view of the kitchen. Probably worthwhile to check if Marisa Iocco is in the kitchen.

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