Friday, March 28, 2008

Branzino in Boulder

Branzino resonates strongly. Several years ago in Venice, a waiter at Da Raffaele recommended branzino carpaccio. It was served in paper thin slices with olive oil, lemon and garnished with minced tomatoes and capers. I can still taste it. With that memory lingering, I have paused when ordering suzuki sashimi at Fin in Lenox, Massachusetts but Nick Macioge has never disappointed me. Apparently the Adriatic and Sea of Japan are far enough apart for both to fit comfortably on my palate.

As a first time visitor to Radda Trattoria, a hip restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, I asked our waitress what would be the best item on the menu. Without hesitation she offered branzino. A Mediterranean fish in the Rocky Mountains? Before arriving at Radda, my companions had mentioned how good the wild boar was. I thought she might retreat but the lass stood her ground. I accepted her recommendation. It was excellent. The skin was crispy, the bones had been removed and replaced with fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon. Cippolini onions on the side made Chef Matthew Jansen's creation a memorable meal.

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