Harvard Square’s Rialto Restaurant – and its celebrity chef Jody Adams– are known for excellence in food and service. Her newer venture, Trade, opened several months ago along the Boston waterfront and I kept meaning to try it. (We all know how easy it is to go back to our usual haunts. When you find food, service and ambiance you like, it can be difficult to venture to another realm).
I often like to wine and dine on the later side – and Trade serves their flatbreads at the bar until midnight on Friday and Saturday. We arrived around 10PM last night (the crowd was clearing; I’ve heard the place can be quite packed). We were greeted by a valet/doorman and a the host. The unique space and uncluttered decor immediately stood out. I loved the brick walls sponged with white paint and a woodfire oven that faced front and center. Beautiful lights hung from the vaulted ceilings, like fireflies floating in teardrop-shaped glass. Ethereal. Magical.
We picked a pair of seats at the bar where we could see the fire and feel like a part of the action. I wanted to try one of the specialty cocktails – and was immediately happy to see a fun, muddled drink with Boston’s Bully Boy white whiskey. Named Bully Day!, the cocktail had grapefruit, lime and mint. My date wanted something familiar and went with a dirty martini – he wasn’t too disappointed they didn’t have his standard vodka, Russian Standard.
For food, my eye immediately caught the lamb sausage flatbread – with eggplant, Manchego, peppers and garlic yogurt. Do I even need to tell you how amazing it was? The salads looked fresh and flavorful – the baked ziti looked phenomenal. We’ll definitely be back.
Posted by Jack Sparacino, Concierge at Hotel Veritas
We are so lucky to have no shortage of amazing restaurants here in Cambridge; Upstairs on the Square, Rialto and Bondir just to name a few. I have a long list of other restaurants I want to try and someday I intend to make it to them all. However, when push comes to shove and it’s time to make a decision of where to dine I seem to keep returning to the same wonderful place, Hungry Mother. There are many reasons I have become a repeat offender at this southern inspired restaurant, first and foremost the food. It is not fussy, it is not overworked, the technique and ingredients shine. You feel welcomed and comfortable from the moment you walk in the door. I am completely in love the rustic decor with subtle modern hints. Beautiful wooden table tops not mussed up with a table cloth.
Each time the menu, while staying true to it’s southern roots, has delighted with different options. However, an item that hasn’t changed is the boiled peanuts. With beautiful flecks of Maine sea salt and a soft meaty interior they are addictive yet not heavy and filling. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Fried Oysters with Maine shrimp buttered grits, pickled ramps and bourbon smoked paprika oil and the festively named Southern Vibes which on this trip had a beautiful country ham, pimento cheese, and 26 month aged benton’s ham. We were also treated to gift from the kitchen, absolutely divine Deviled chip-in eggs with bacon and smoked paprika.
Simple beautiful food.
I am not going to go on and on about the execution of the food and how the flavors worked with each other I will leave that to the professionals. Bottom line everything I tasted, and I tasted everything at the table was simply delicious, warmed your soul and made you want to eat more of it. To me this is how food should be.
While, the food is the star no doubt. What truly leaves a lasting impression and continues to draw me back is the service. As someone who has devoted their life to service I can be very difficult to please. Hungry Mother has impressed me time and time again.
While, I will try to branch out I know it won’t be long till I head back to get my fix of everything that is Hungry Mother.
Posted by Alison Doughty, Hotel Manager at Hotel Veritas
Central Square is a ten minute walk from Hotel Veritas, but about a million miles from Harvard Square. Dan and I met at Green Street, a back-street, one-story, brick-front building which we would absolutely avoid if we didn’t know how great it was. The restaurant opens at 5:30pm – not 5:29pm, we’ve tried – and the bar is sometimes packed by 5:31pm.
I had my usual Grey Goose with a splash of soda and a wedge of orange. As much as I love Green Street, they still don’t serve Bully Boy or Ice Glen, but they have some of the best bartenders in Boston and Cambridge. Dan started with with classic gibson, then segued into an aqueduct. Wednesday is taco night (for Tuesday Taco night go to Tremont 647 in Boston), so Dan snacked on the mahi, steak, and pork tacos. I loved/hated the chicken wings with nuoc cham, basil, coriander. By hated, I mean loved.
We left early in order to get home in time for a new episode of Modern Family, the best comedy currently on television.
Posted by Benson Willis, General Manager of Hotel Veritas