Subscribe Now

At first, the seared salmon at Lime, a new restaurant in Chelsea, seems like a familiar dish. But look again—the lovely piece of perfectly seared fish is resting atop purple yams instead of the more traditional mashed potatoes. And it’s topped with an especially vivid salsa verde—a bright and flavorful blend of tarragon, parsley, capers, garlic, and anchovies that provides the perfect counterpoint to the rich fish. 

The result is a feast for the eyes and the palate, soothing and exciting at the same time, and that’s exactly chef/owner Petal Joseph-Seale’s intention. Drawing on a background that spans from her childhood in Trinidad to Jody Adams’s kitchen at acclaimed Boston restaurant Rialto, where Petal worked her way up to executive sous chef, she has created a cuisine that is beautifully integrated, clearly drawing from different influences to make something new.

As such, the menu skips gracefully from small bites like a mezze plate and sweet & spicy wings to elegant entrées like that salmon, with the intent of pleasing you whatever your mood. In chef Petal’s native Trinidad, “lime” means to socialize, eat, and drink with family and friends, so the food and atmosphere are engineered for hospitality and relaxation. The dining room is comfortable, with a mix of banquette-style tables near the windows, high-tops, and a generous bar area. The menu similarly shifts to serve diners’ whims: Grab some wings or a burger at the bar, or settle into a comfy chair for an elegant main course paired with a selection from the adventurous wine list. Everything on the list—even the cocktails—has been selected to enhance the cuisine, and the well-trained staff can guide you to a perfect pairing.

Seared salmon

So start with a drink. The Dreaming of Sardinia cocktail blends Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and house-made orgeat with Don Ciccio Karkade hibiscus aperitif and cherry juice, yielding a luscious mix that is elegant and deeply flavored with just a slight sweetness. It has a good weight, meaning it stands up to the Sweet & Salty Wings—perfectly moist, with a crusty char on the exterior, bathed in a dressing that combines hoisin, aged soy, sriracha, ketchup, and sesame oil into a sauce that will leave you licking your fingers. That’s perfectly okay, our server reassures as she drops off some extra napkins. The wings are served with a house-made ranch dressing—the same one that turns up with the Mezze plate, alongside light, fresh hummus, seasoned with hand-ground geera (Trinidadian for cumin), coriander, rosemary oil, and sumac, as well as roasted red peppers, marinated olives, and tzatziki, all served with crispy flatbread. Smaller appetites or snackers shouldn’t miss the house-made potato “crisps”—you can’t eat just one, especially with the spicy ketchup made from scratch.

Moving on to mains, Lime gives a lot of love to vegetarians and vegans. Petal says the menu is really a reflection of how her family eats at home, so the seared tofu and the curried cauliflower are dishes her kids grew up with. Vegetables and flowers from Eva’s Garden in South Dartmouth are frequent ingredients on the menu. Petal first met Eva Sommarpia, who owns the certified organic farm specializing in culinary herbs, greens, flowers, and wild foraged goods, while working in the kitchen at Rialto, and has sourced as much as she can from Eva ever since—rose petals turn into rose jam for specialty mimosas, sangria, and, of course, desserts. She uses flowers as a garnish or even cooked in a dish, and of course lots of herbs in season as well as picked, dried, and stored for the colder months.

Even the omnivorous selections benefit from Eva’s Garden. On a recent summer visit, the tamarind-glazed roasted Cornish game hen was topped with cooked daylily buds and pea shoots, and served with baby turnips. The sides and garnishes will change with the seasons, but the deeply flavorful chicken stock pooled around the dish—simmered with garlic, tomato, jujube, wolfberries, and tien tsin peppers for a gentle heat—is a constant. Ask for a spoon: You’ll want to savor every drop.

Do not skip dessert. Petal’s kitchen alchemy extends to sweets that are just as beautiful as they are delicious. A recent evening featured a chocolate mousse topped with a rhubarb-orange compote and a guava crème brûlée. Again, expect the flavors to change with the seasons—the chef is an expert at sourcing ingredients at their peak, and you are in good hands.

The Menu Dreaming of Sardinia cocktail $17, Potato crisps $8, Mezze plate $12, Sweet & spicy wings $12, Seared salmon $27, Tamarind-glazed Cornish game hen $26, Chocolate mousse $9 

Contact  73 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, 617-466-0730,