22 Elm Pl, Rye
Even the sharpest-eyed foodies should forgive themselves if they missed the quiet opening of Meso Mediterranean Cuisine in December. Yet walk inside the restaurant’s bright interior, with blonde wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, and tiled bar, and you’ll quickly perceive it already has the air of a neighborhood fixture.
A joint venture for Miguel Olmedo, Bobby Khorrami, and Dane Asermely, who’ve spearheaded various Manhattan eateries in the past, Meso brings big-city flash to a quiet street off Purchase Street, the main thoroughfare in Rye. Jewel-toned cocktails — such as the Royal-Tea (Caravedo pisco, raspberry, lavender syrup, lemon juice, and egg white) and the El Dorado (Bulleit Bourbon, apricot reduction, walnut bitters) — sail by on silver trays to wet your whistle as you crunch on tissue-paper-thin zucchini fritters dunked in tangy tzatziki. Burrata salad is elevated to intriguing heights, the rich cheese sidled up to by slices of prosciutto and succulent wedges of caramelized peaches.
Seafood is the A-lister entrée: Atlantic salmon is pan-seared with eggplant, spicy harissa, and bright tabbouleh; while seafood risotto has theatrical flair, topped with Scottish shrimp and lobster tail, and studded with bay scallops and garnet pomegranate seeds. Shellfish also appears in lobster spaghetti, adorned with warm cherry tomatoes. Meat-eaters have plenty to love as well, including honey-glazed duck breast and a tender, braised shank of lamb.