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
This year’s semifinalists for the James Beard Awards have just been announced and a few local favorites have been nominated:
- Trade for Best New Restaurant
- Drink for Outstanding Bar Program
- Jody Adams (Rialto and Trade) for Outstanding Chef
- Joanne Chang (Flour Bakery + Cafe) for Outstanding Pastry Chef
- Maura Kilpatrick (Sofra Bakery and Cafe) for Outstanding Pastry Chef
- Oleana for Outstanding Restaurant
- Roger Berkowitz (Legal Sea Foods) for Outstanding Restaurateur
- L’Espalier for Outstanding Service
- No. 9 Park for Outstanding Wine Program
- Troquet for Outstanding Wine Program
- Jim Koch (The Boston Beer Company) for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional
- Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa) for Best Chef: Northeast
- Jason Bond (Bondir) for Best Chef: Northeast
- Tim Cushman (O Ya) for Best Chef: Northeast
On March 19th, this list will be paired down a bit. Updates will be posted on the James Beard website.
I tend to bar hop a bit, and Harvard Square is ideal for this little hobby. This past Friday was a beautiful (and not too chilly) night to wander around the Square. We started early at the Russell House Tavern, one of our favorite local spots. Chef Michael Scelfo not only knows how to butcher a pig, but he’s kind enough to share pictures while he’s doing it. I recommend following his tweets. RHT serves Jack D’Or from Pretty Things, so I’m always happy there.
Next, we swung by the newly opened First Printer, on Dunster Street. New, as in a week old. The bartender was very nice and clearly excited to have the bar full. Enjoyed a bowl of Guinness Beef Stew. Of course, I’ll never judge a restaurant on one visit, especially during opening week – so I’ll definitely go back.
Thought we’d go visit our great friends at Upstairs on the Square, but they were closing early for a private event for Hasty Pudding. We could only enjoy one quick cocktail. They recently renovated and added a new bar and pizza oven and we’ll head over again soon to try those out.
Rialto was our next sipping spot. We love the bar here because the service is always wonderful and the cocktails tasty. Jody Adams is one of the nicest chefs we know and always incredibly generous. The patrons are quite interesting and you’ll never know which Nobel winner you’ll be sitting beside.
Last stop was Charlies Kitchen because I had a hankering for a double cheeseburger.
Posted by Benson Willis, General Manager of Hotel Veritas