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A Broughton spot reborn

Until regulatory hoops are jumped through, the most obvious change of the former Seasons of Japan Bistro location into the new Lime Grill takes place when you step through the door. Gone are the thatched, tiki hut canopies and the high–backed bamboo and rattan chairs.

The interior of The Lime Grill illustrates how minimal a change can be to affect such a dramatic difference. It is now lit with more mood. Bright paintings, contrasting surfaces and dark furnishings create a cool feeling.

What’s cool tasting is the menu, the work of Thai–born and French trained Chef Wasan Trimas. I recently tried a pair of dishes, and found Chef Wasan to be spot on to his past performance.

The salmon stuffed with crab meat was moist, tender and a pleasing combination of flavors. This is a big portion that benefits from a nicely constructed white wine butter lime sauce that’s as creamy as it is layered with flavors.

Grilled chicken drizzled with dried apricot port wine sauce takes sweetness from the sauce to accompany that delicious grilled flavor that comes from the chicken.

I’ll go back soon to try a slightly different interpretation of a favorite dish from Chef Wasan: Boneless roasted duck with vegetables in Chambord sauce. The dark, moist duck meat is bathed in its own crisp skin — and the combination is the perfect foil for the dark, raspberry taste that comes from Chambord.

There’s also crispy scored flounder on the menu, a dish that fuels chef community lore. The fish under apricot sauce has its origins tied to The Olde Pink House when Wasan worked for Garbaldi’s Inc.

The restaurant claims its corporate Chef Danny Kim created the dish; others say it was Wasan’s creation. Still others say both men adapted the recipe from the family recipe of a dishwasher.

Anymore, it doesn’t matter where it comes from — the dish has become a staple of several restaurant menus outside of the Pink House. And that’s good for diners.

Chef Wasan’s Broughton Street version is under lime sauce. Don’t be surprised to find a delicate flower or creature adorning your plate. When Chef Wasan has time — or by request — he’s shows how masterfully he can wield a cleaver by crafting stunning plate decor from simple carrots or other root veggies.

Fans of Wasan’s former restaurant will be delighted to find Rita Zahara cheerfully creating guests and being a perfect hostess for the new venture.

Dinner entrees range from $14.95-$29.95. Lunch menu prices are less, and the restaurant does take a shutdown between the end of lunch service (11 a.m.–3 p.m.) and dinner (5–10 p.m.; until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday).

There is no alcohol license yet. If you need a glass of vino, take your own.

125 E. Broughton St./ 233–4567