Good friends + good food = a fun girls night out. 🙂
A group of us – 9 gals in total – got together for dinner at Jody Adams‘ new Boston restaurant, Trade, last Saturday night. A dear friend of mine was in town for the weekend and since we are both fond of Chef Adams (and her other restaurant, Rialto) we decided to check out Trade along with some of our past museum coworkers. It was also the first time that three of us in the party (myself included) were out on a girls night outing since bearing babies, so it was an extra special night out on the town.
The restaurant has a great open atmosphere with little light bulbs hanging all around a space surrounded by huge windows. There are plenty of dining tables in the main dining area, a few tables in a separate glass encased dining area (with doors that were open that night – probably available for private parties), and space at the bar near a wood-stone oven.
Our waiter, Brian, was super patient with all of our questions and even went to fetch a food dictionary when some of us asked him what a nigella seed was. There were several delicious dishes ordered for the table, so I’ll just list some of them below.
A couple of people had the pomegranate glazed eggplant with capers, olives and pine nuts, and commented that it was delicious. Our waiter said that it was one of two dishes that Trade is well-known for (the other one is the avocado dish below). One person said that while she enjoyed it, she didn’t think it would be served cold. A couple of us couldn’t really taste the pomegranate flavor, and one person noted that the cream garnish is something that should be stated on the menu (in case of a dairy allergy, for instance).
The avocado with green mango-tamarind-peanut chutney dish got rave reviews, both for taste and presentation.
The tomato soup received two thumbs up from a couple of people at our table because of great flavor and a little bit of a spicy kick.
The gingered beets with soft greens, ricotta salata and whole grain mustard salad. Love the ribbons of ricotta salata and the bright colors of this dish.
The lamb sausage with eggplant, Manchego, peppers and garlic yogurt flatbread.
Roasted cauliflower … it’s not listed on the website’s current menu so I’m not quite sure what is in it, but I heard it was really good.
The mushrooms and figs with gorgonzola, sage pesto and walnuts flatbread was ordered by three different people at our table. All three agreed that it was quite a tasty dish.
I enjoyed the fried oysters and buckwheat waffles with maple syrup and sour cream along with the grilled romaine and radicchio with garlic, anchovy, egg and pecorino salad. I convinced someone who had never tried fried oysters before to try some and she said it was surprisingly better than she thought it would be; they were still nice and moist with a crispy batter that had just the right amount of saltiness. I liked the charred flavor on the romaine lettuce and the anchovy flavoring was very subtle.
Somehow a couple of us managed to leave a tiny bit of room for dessert so we ordered two for the table to share and sample. One was the baked Alaska dessert, and one of my coworkers snapped this photo of it being baked in the wood-stone oven. It had a delicious coconut and passion fruit ice cream from Christina’s on the inside.
The other dessert we ordered was a budino (think dense chocolate cake) made with Taza chocolate and served with hazelnut wafers. It had a really nice rich texture and flavor that would probably be too much for one person to eat alone which made it great for sharing.
Overall we had a great experience at Trade and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s fitting for both a romantic date and a small group of friends (as seen here), and would be a nice choice for out-of-town guests. The menu has a lot of options for vegetarians (there were three in our party that night) and our waiter paid extra attention to my food allergies. He kindly told me about any of the other dishes that had some sort of spiciness because of peppers so that I wouldn’t try them, which I really appreciated.
Another nice thing about Trade is the complimentary parking available at the Atlantic Wharf Garage if you park there after 5 pm and get your ticket validated by the hostess. The entrance to the garage is on Congress Street. But equally great is that Trade is within a short walking distance of the South Station T station which is only two blocks away.
And before I forget to mention … right away upon walking into the restaurant, I noticed that Chef Adams was sitting in the front waiting area talking to someone. I immediately grew giddy like a little elementary school kid. And even more awesome than just seeing her from afar? She sprang off the couch and came over to talk to me! Of course, I was immediately celebrity-chef stricken and probably sounded like an idiot while talking to her. I think she recognized me from the Greater Boston Food Bank Chefs Challenge that took place in January of 2010 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston that I photographed for a friend; I remember being just as giddy and nervous when I met her then. So in addition to a great dining experience I got to see and talk to a fabulous chef. I’d say it was a very good night!
540 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210