An Unforgettable Fish
You know those foods you just can’t forget? Like a dessert that was so delicious, you scraped the plate with your finger just to get the last chocolate remnants? Or the perfectly chewy, salty, cheesy slice of pizza that comes back to you in frequent daydreams? That’s how I feel about the cod at Brasserie Jo.
At first, I looked right past this bustling bistro in the lobby of the Colonnade Boston Hotel. After all, I was staying there and I wanted to venture further out. But as I made my way around town, asking for recommendations for unique, memorable meals, Brasserie Jo kept coming up. So I gave it a try for lunch.
Several recommended their inventive French brunch dishes like omelettes, crepes and croque madames. But I thought I’d see how Brasserie Jo could meld French and “true Boston” so I tried the Crispy Codfish Sandwich, served with herb aioli and pommes frites. The bartender brought me a bottle of malt vinegar too but I found I didn’t need it because the fish was perfectly seasoned. What really got me was the texture — light, impossibly crisp, with just the right amount of chunky salt. I probably could have eaten a basket of just the crispy batter alone.
It was so delicious, I returned the next night for dinner. There were so many tempting dishes — Coq Au Vin, Sauteed Skate, the Grand Jo Burger (pork belly and beef cheeks). My dining companion got a Flintstones-worthy roasted Marrow Bone with Mustard Crust; he swooned over the creamy texture. I considered branching out but I couldn’t stop thinking about yesterday’s codfish. I gave in. This time it was served in bite-sized pieces made for dipping, and it was just as memorable as the first time, maybe even more so since there was no bun to distract me.
I’ve been back home in Los Angeles for a few weeks now but keep looking for excuses to return to Boston for the codfish I just can’t forget.