It doesn't have to be sashimi to be raw. The Italians call it

il crudo

, and the recently revived city branch of Girasole, slipped into a gold-plated boutique of a space in Symphony House, has one of the better versions I've tasted.

Consulting chef and manager Michele Iovino has created a trio of composed raw fish that is vividly flavored, colorful and fresh: ribbons of Meyer-lemon-marinated branzino wrapped around sweet mozzarella balls beneath a sweet streak of mild mustard; firm slices of ricciola (a.k.a. "himamasa," or kingfish) are splashed in blood-orange juice with diced avocado and grapefruit; ruby-colored bluefin tuna is dusted with lime zest beneath a shine of extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. It isn't cheap, at $19, but the platter is portioned generously enough to make a perfect sharing appetizer for a light pre-theater meal.

Il Crudo, $19, at Girasole, 440 S. Broad St., 215-732-2728; - Craig LaBan