First the rain, then the humidity. The summer has not been good enough to enjoy the great outdoors, and it hasn’t been a great summer to enjoy Boston’s restaurants outside. With better weather finally arriving, your chance to try a menu that will even have you eating peas, and loving it, is here too, courtesy of the Radius Restaurant Group.
The folks at Radius and Via Matta restaurants — co-owned by Boston’s successful restaurant business trio: Chef Michael Schlow, Christopher Myers and Esti Parsons — created special dishes that include the little green and round veggie. However, the chefs knew exactly how to serve it so that nobody would throw fits over eating this legume.
The Swordfish with fresh beans, cippolini agro dolce and pea greens, served at lunch only at Via Matta, 79 Park Plaza, is unique and delicious. The fish is grilled with fresh rosemary, thyme and chili flakes, while the fresh, green beans and yellow wax beans, with cippolini are roasted with sherry vinegar and honey. The mixture of bitter and sweet plays very well with the fish without overwhelming the palette. As if the dish were not good enough already, visitors take pleasure in knowing that the pea greens are a locally grown product from Eva’s Garden in Dartmouth, Mass.
If you’re looking for dinner, Radius’ Spring Dug Parsnip Soup is the dish to try. The parsnips for the soup are peeled and cooked down in milk with just a touch of butter and a sachet of thyme and black peppercorns. Afterwards this is pureed and seasoned with salt and a little sherry vinegar.
There is a warm salad in the bowl consisting of blanched English peas and a dice of roasted parsnip dressed with champagne vinegar and chives. Under the salad is a nest of Eva’s Garden pea greens and on top of these are crispy parsnips that are julienned and fried. In the bowl there is also s quenelle of English pea ice cream. The parsnip soup is poured over ingredients in bowl tableside. The presentation, and the taste, will impress you equally.
The ideas for such dishes come from Matthew Audette, Radius’ chef de cuisine, who provides delicious, high-spirited and inventive cuisine. Audette has appreciated food since childhood, growing up in Douglas, where butchering Thanksgiving turkeys was a family tradition. Raised on a farm, with produce grown and eaten fresh everyday, the chef never entered a grocery store until he was into his teens. His degree from Johnson and Wales, together with an appreciation for organic, fresh, ingredients made Audette into a skilled chef.
All-together a local chef, using local ingredients, makes for a great local restaurant menu. Make sure you get a reservation and also remember to try both restaurants for cocktail hour. Both places have a high-end atmosphere and affordable drink lists. Visit www.radiusrestaurant.com or www.viamattarestaurant.com for more details and contact information.