Twenty one years ago, I was a sophomore in high school. I was far away from where I am now, on the west coast going through awkward life stages as a teenager. Did I ever think that so many years later I’d end up near Boston, married with a child, and looking forward to special mama’s-night-outs like this? Probably not.
And at that time, a great chef opened up a wonderful restaurant in Cambridge, called Rialto. It’s beautiful, comfortable, consistently delicious, and creates warm feelings each time I’ve dined there. It’s the culmination of Chef Jody Adams’ passion for locally sourced ingredients, her focus on regional Italian cuisine, and dedication over the past 21 years.
My friend and I wished Chef Adams a very happy 21st birthday for Rialto by dining at the restaurant to celebrate by enjoying their classics in a 3-course fixed price menu. The choices have been on the menu since 1994 and are still favorites to this day – my friend and I can attest to that!
I started with the Pat & Barbara’s grilled littleneck clams as my first course. It’s a favorite of mine that is simply awesome each time. It’s served with toasted garlic bread and normally with slices of Andouille sausage on the side, but they omitted it for me since I have a pepper allergy (and instead I got two additional clams as a substitute – hooray!).
My friend enjoyed the Bucatini for her first course. It’s made with lobster, green and red tomatoes, chilis, and saffron so it has a little bit of a spicy kick to it.
I devoured the slow-roasted Long Island duck as my second course. It’s served with braised escarole, fingerling potatoes, and Sicilian green olives. And that juice? Oh yes, you betcha it was sopped up with delicious bread. Nom nom nom.
By this point, we were getting pretty full! I think most of the time people assume that a prix fixe menu’s portions will be smaller than normal entrees, but that was the complete opposite in this case (this is a good thing by the way!). Luckily there was still some room left for dessert …
… a super ooey, gooey, yummy dessert at that! We both enjoyed the chocolate crema warm, flourless chocolate cake which was served with roasted plums, gingersnap cookie, and ginger gelato. Ohhhhhh mannnnnnn.
And on top of all of the deliciousness we experienced, it was a real delight to be greeted by Chef Adams herself. To be able to wish her a happy birthday to Rialto in person had me quite star struck – I’m such a dork that way! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful night out with a dear friend while enjoying (and celebrating) the successes of such a great chef.