A lifelong New Englander, chef Colin Lynch grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies at the Culinary Institute of America before settling in Boston. During his time at the CIA, he completed an internship at Chef Barbara Lynch’s flagship restaurant No. 9 Park and returned to work with her following his graduation. He was on the team there as she received her James Beard Award for “Best Chef Northeast” in 2003. Lynch was then promoted to the role of Chef de Cuisine at No. 9 Park starting in 2004. During this time, he played a key role in expanding the Gruppo to the South End with B&G Oysters and The Butcher Shop, developing menus, concepts and the teams.
In 2007, he took on the expanded role of Executive Chef for the Gruppo, where he was responsible for the entire back-of-house operations, including menu development, training, quality control, and supervision over all Chef de Cuisines. This role included planning the Gruppo’s new Fort Point restaurants in the FP3 development, Drink, Sportello and Menton. While leading the opening of Menton, his efforts resulted in the restaurant achieving Boston’s first Relais & Chateaux designation, a nomination for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” in 2011, a nod from Esquire as one of the best new restaurants in the country, and the first four-star review from The Boston Globe’s food editor, Devra First.
In June 2016, Lynch opened a restaurant of his own with wife Heather Lynch and former Gruppo colleague Jefferson Macklin. Bar Mezzana, located in Boston’s South End, has received rave reviews from local press and guests who praise the inspired crudo, handmade pastas, and warm hospitality.
In fall of 2018, Lynch and his team opened Shore Leave, a subterranean neighborhood tiki bar and restaurant in Boston’s South End. In naval terminology, “shore leave” is the permitted time that sailors get to spend on dry land for a little rest and relaxation after being at sea for long periods of time; Shore Leave reflects this notion of freedom and escape, drawing inspiration from the layered flavors and textures the team would crave if awarded their own tropical island vacation.
Their next endeavor, No Relation, was a nine-seat, secret sushi restaurant tucked away down a narrow hallway at the back of Shore Leave. Lynch leads the inventive omakase menu, where he showcases the skills he acquired guiding the kitchen of Boston’s formidable O Ya restaurant. His experience at O Ya helped inform his approach to crudo at Bar Mezzana, and now his approach to sashimi and nigiri at No Relation. On the nightly changing menu, he works closely with local fisherman and international purveyors to weave together a journey of flavors from around the world.
In the spring of 2019, Lynch returned to his South End neighborhood roots and opened Black Lamb, an American brasserie and raw bar dedicated as a love letter to the community that supported him as a young chef. Black Lamb presents the warm hospitality for which Lynch is known, paired with a casual, modern American menu and nostalgic daily specials.