Obsessions: Shore Leave’s Colin Lynch

The South End chef shares seven tropics-evoking must-haves to get through winter.

Photo by Adam Detour

Bar Mezzana chef Colin Lynch has anchored a second South End restaurant: Shore Leave, a subterranean escape for Pacific Rim–inspired plates and tiki cocktails. Here, he shares his favorite ways to bring a taste of the tropics to frigid Boston winters.

ito shoten tamari

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Ito Shoten Tamari

“Ito Shoten is a 200-year-old producer from Japan. They age every bottle for three years. It’s very rare to find a tamari that’s as good as some of the soy sauces I’ve had, and it’s gluten free.” Lynch purchases it from San Francisco’s Japanese Pantry to use on dishes at Shore Leave.


MKS Design Oyster Knife

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MKS Design Oyster Knife

Lynch shucks oysters with this knife from Cambridge-based designer Adam Simha’s cutlery collection. “I love the shape of the handle. The steel he uses is practically indestructible, so it will never break. You’ll be shucking for life.”


wlater g sardines napkins

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Walter G “Sardines” napkins

“Everything at Lekker is so beautifully designed, but these I really love.” The South End décor store is near Lynch’s restaurants, which makes it easy for the chef to pick up necessities such as these hand-block-printed linens by Walter G on the way home.


privateer rum tiki gin

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Privateer Rum Tiki Gin

“Privateer is an Ipswich brand, and I grew up right down the road in Newburyport. Maggie Campbell is a master and a great friend; her Tiki Gin is an obvious favorite of mine.” Beverage director Ryan Lotz will use it for funky, refreshing cocktails at Shore Leave.


Photo by Toan Trinh

Tiki Mugs by Andrew Iannazzi

“Andrew is a local glassmaker who used to work at Eastern Standard,” says Lynch, who uses these colorful vessels at home. “His glassware is available at the Boston Shaker in Davis Square, one of our go-to spots for all things drinkware.”


Al Frantoio di aldo armato pepperoncino flakes

Photo by Toan Trinh

Al Frantoio di Aldo Armato Pepperoncino Flakes

“Easily triples the flavor and spice level of any other chili. You can buy it at Formaggio Kitchen. I love it sprinkled on mango with some lime juice.” Lynch is also making his own sriracha sauce with Fresno chilis to bottle and sell at Shore Leave.


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Bamboo Steamer Baskets

“For steaming dumplings, bao buns, or fish, they’re amazingly useful.” Lynch will use the baskets at Shore Leave to make maitake tempura steamed buns, brioche lobster har gow dumplings, and more. williams-sonoma.com.