Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dreaming of Rialto

I am drowning in ear/nose/throat gunk this week, which T was carrying around last week and some other lucky person shall receive from me next week, I suppose. Powering through has involved lots of meds, lots of water, and this soup, which somehow I can taste even though I can't really smell anything. I've made two huge batches of this soup is three weeks, that's how much I love it ... and it won a seal of approval from my parents, so I'm not alone in singing its praises.

In my current state of sensory deprivation, I keep thinking back to my meal last Friday with T and my college pal Nancy. Dinner was in Cambridge at Rialto, which somehow wasn't on my radar in my six years as a Boston resident aka broke college student/recent college grad. I fell in love with Rialto's chef/owner Jody Adams on Top Chef Masters this year, a season in which I otherwise snoozed my way through. As soon as our trip to Boston was finalized, I made sure our Friday night was free to get to know Jody a little better. 

Being starstruck happened much sooner than I expected. While we were waiting for Nance at the bar, I spotted Jody Adams sitting right in front of us watching the Sox game and drinking a glass of wine. I might have done some major fangirl tweeting...

...but I couldn't bring myself to go over and say hi. I'm bad in these moments, or perhaps overly respectful, because I always imagine myself on the other side of the squealing introduction and feel annoyed for the person I'd love to meet. It's always been that way for me. And so I just watched her stalker-like instead. LAME.

At any rate, the three of us made our way to dinner and dove into the menu. I think I'd need to go back five times before the menu changed just to taste everything I wanted to taste. True to reputation, the food was regional Italian tinged with the freshness of New England farms and the sea. Stunning food, served in a spectacular avocado and salmon-colored restaurant. I didn't take a single picture of our food because we were too busy enjoying the hell out of it, and I'll take that over the distance required to photograph it any day.

Now, the food. I had the most amazing fisherman's soup, not chunky and full of fish as I'd expected, but instead reduced to a rich broth and served with small toasts. Next up for me was a salted cod gnocchi, which will go down as one of the most memorable dishes I've ever had. The salt of the fish played off the dough fantastically, and was served on a bed of sweet roasted tomatoes and eggplant, peppered with briny capers that played off the fish wonderfully. T had local littleneck clams served right on the rack used for roasting, and then a truly delicious duck that left my mouth watering for a glass of red wine. N had a gorgeous medley of spring vegetables followed up by a beautiful whole-roasted fish with a really yummy aroma. We were too full for dessert. But oh, to try that pistachio olive oil cake!

Gorgeous food, gorgeous space, gorgeous woman! (Biggest fangirl moment: "She's so pretty!")

Times like these, when tasting anything at all is an achievement, remembering meals like this one offer the best kind of respite from interior gunk and sinus pain. And now, to get well again and go back as soon as humanely possible!

Go to Rialto if you're in the Boston area. And go read Jody's blog ... I discovered it today and am (of course) entirely smitten.


  1. She's so pretty!!! Maggie, I just drooled all over my computer reading this- I want all y'all's meals right now!

  2. Rialto shall be added to my do do list next time I'm in Beantown! Everything sounds divine. (P.S. Feel better!)

  3. I loved Jody Adams on TCM! Your meals sound divine - I must head to Rialto next time I'm in Boston visitin my brother & sister in law. Hope you kick that gunk soon!


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