It's difficult to imagine how the braised beef short ribs alone couldn't have saved Parella.
The late modern Italian restaurant in the old Figlio space in Calhoun Square didn't even make it to its first birthday. It wasn't the fault of the cooking.
Precise, understated, regionally compelling - the food stood up to any of the best Italian cooking in the state.
The braised beef short ribs were so meltingly tender, they were practically a pudding, remaining a cohesive solid with little more than will and magic. They were spoon tender, deep and complex as low rumbling thunder.
They arrived paired with roasted tomatoes so umami-packed they were practically a meat, and polenta plied with copious cheese and good olive oil.
This dish was elixir enough to stave off the darkest winter doldrums.
But now they're gone, all gone, echoing in our memory like any captivating dream.