Seasonality is clearly a factor in Puritan’s offerings. The burrata appetizer felt like the last of the late-summer holdouts as the menu headed into fall (despite the 80-degree weather we experienced in the second week of October). The creamy cheese sat atop a salad of endive, toasted pine nuts, figs, and salsa verde for a great balance of sweet, bitter, and tangy flavors.
Next was my favorite dish—the swordfish pastrami. I’m embarrassed to say that a childhood dislike of sauerkraut made me a latecomer to the cult of the Reuben sandwich and smoky, salty pastrami. This deconstructed take on the famous sandwich was clever and fun. Thin slices of cured, smoked swordfish replaced the pastrami, and an intense brown drizzle—pumpernickel puree—packed a caraway-flavored punch. Sea beans and a smattering of pickled carrots added great crunch, but the surprise star of the dish was the quenelle of mustard gelato on top. Creamy, sharp, and ever so slightly sweet, the gelato was unexpected but worked with the other ingredients to create something really interesting. According to our server, the dish has been on the menu since the restaurant opened, and I can understand why.