Healthy and Sane

Rialto during Boston’s restaurant week 2009

August 18th, 2009 · 14 Comments · restaurant reviews

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to eat out. I know it’s not figure friendly but really there is not much better in this world than having a wonderful meal, prepared by a talented chef, in a gorgeous space… with great company, of course :) This Sunday was really just this perfect kind of a night. We were celebrating my mother in law’s birthday, and decided to take advantage of Boston’s restaurant week. I’ve been eating out quite a bit lately and honestly was starting to crave a healthy home-cooked meal, but the second we stepped foot in Rialto, I knew I was in for a treat!

The space was much more modern than I envisioned for some reason. I really liked the clean lines of everything, and the large windows facing the Charles Hotel courtyard allowed a good amount of light into the space… again, making everything extra clean and fresh. The award winning chef, Jody Adams, was often seen in the dining room, chatting with the staff. I was *this close* asking to take a picture with her, but I didn’t want to embarrass my husband and parents in law. 😉



With started the meal with ordering some wine – the 2005 Domaine de la Crillone, Cotes-du-Ventoux that was offered for $33 (restaurant week price). Restaurants often hike up prices for their beverages during restaurant week to make up for lower food prices, so it was nice to see a few reasonable options. This bottle was very dry and full flavored. We all enjoyed it with our dinner.


Speaking of dinner, this little bit was on the inside of our menu…


I like recycling, but no plates with our bread? The waiter told us we should feel free to get messy with the bread… and messy we got! Mmm, crusty rolls with olive oil and course salt for dipping.


Isn’t the EVOO dish gorgeous? 😀



I don’t remember eating bread without plates in Italy, but regardless I thought this was a bit silly for a classy restaurant like this. The bread crumbs were all over the tablecloth, which was not brushed after this bread course. I actually had to use my hand to wipe the area around me to make the food pics presentable for you guys :mrgreen: The bread was delicious though and the EVOO was nice and nutty. Perfect start to the dinner (especially since I was starving!).

For my first course I ordered the beets three way salad, but the extremely attentive waiter (after checking with the kitchen) informed me that the beets have been marinaded over night with shallots. Given my extreme aversion to everything in the onion family, this idea had to be scratched. My second choice was the simple local lettuces with chardonnay vinaigrette, radishes, flowers. Thankfully the only onions/onion related substances were in the chardonnay vinaigrette and the chef easily made a special dressing for me. Great service!


Can we talk about the flowers in my salad? I guess I’m a sucker for flowers because they just really made me happy. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m going to start throwing edible flowers in every meal I make. I bet you guys will think I’m a master chef 😆


The greens tasted fresh and the dressing was nice and light. They actually brought some other dressings on the side for me. There was no need for them, but I thought those little guys deserved a little photo shoot of their own 😉


For my main entree I ordered the roasted trout in lemon with warm potato salad, bacon, and horseradish. Again since I’m a pain in the ass, they had to make some substitutions for me since there were onions in the potato salad and the sauce. My trout came with the most delicious mini roasted potatoes and the chef made a special sauce with creme fraiche and lemon to round out the meal. This was fantastic! The fish was so fresh and light and was well balanced by the stronger flavored potatoes and bacon, and a lemony sauce.


And then came dessert! I really love how you automatically get dessert with pre-fixe menus. I mean I always want dessert but this way there is no question about whether I will get it :) Our waiter mentioned that we can upgrade most items from the restaurant week menu to the options available on the regular a la carte menu for just a few extra dollars, and the second “molten chocolate cake” passed his lips, I knew I had no choice but to order it! Luckily everyone else got the other desserts I wanted to also try, so I got the best of both worlds 😎

So this was fun… when we got the wine, we toasted to my mother in law’s birthday and I guess our waiter overheard it because he arrived with a Happy Birthday dessert for my MIL!! It was such a surprise to all of us. The service was really above and beyond! Here she is… I told her to pretend like she was blowing the candle. This looks like she’s trying to will the dessert into submission 😉


And here is the best molten chocolate cake of my life!!!! Yup, seriously mind blowing. This is the chocolate crema with raspberries, honey, and prosecco off their regular menu. This $4 upgrade was worth every penny. I thought I died and went to heaven… licking every chocolate crumb of the plate. :)


Adam was nice enough to give me a taste of his chocolate torta. Delicious – intense, chocolaty with a hint of espresso. I like intense 😀


My parents in law both ordered the blueberry sorbet which of course I also had to try since they were raving about it. It was the most unusual sorbet I’ve ever had – in a good way. More like blueberry preserves that were put through an ice cream machine. Both the flavor and texture were so unique. Everyone absolutely loved this one (although I would still choose the chocolate crema any day of the week!).


$33 for this spectacular meal was really a bargain! It’s been a while since we’ve had a fancy meal and I was reminded of why I treasure experiences like this. This was definitely a meal to remember! Oh and you may see this dessert in future posts because I will definitely be back at Rialto just for dessert next time we’re in Harvard Square.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Tiffany

    Every time I’m in Harvard Square, I eye this place and make a point to put it on my restaurant wish list. It hasn’t happened yet, though. But after reading this review, maybe I’ll arrange for a stop-in before we leave for our vacation on Sunday!

  • #2 - Madison

    I am “that girl” too–when I hear molten chocolate cake, or see it on a menu–it’s a given! I will be ordering that! I love warm things with cool things too. I would much rather order bread pudding with a cool vanilla sauce than creme brulee. I would order a warm brownie sundae with ice cream over a piece of cake or pie. YUM!

  • #3 - Lauren

    Looks like you guys enjoyed an amazing meal. Everything looks so yummy, and those flowers are the perfect touch on the salad!

    It’s not often you find service that fantastic at restaurants… how nice that the chefs cared enough about your meal enjoyment that they made substitutions!

    I usually don’t order desserts when out for dinner, but I agree that the Restaurant Week fixed price 3 course menu makes ordering dessert an easy decision ;).

    John and I are taking advantage of Restaurant Week(s) again this week by finally going to Henrietta’s Table. I can’t wait!

  • #4 - sister inna

    yeah that molten chocolate cake looks to die for. feel free to take me along for desert next time i’m around 😉

  • #5 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Oh my, what a lovely meal! I also love eating out. However, I wouldn’t know that chef if I saw her! You must be a real restaurant afficionado :)

    The trout looks great, really fresh. I have a distant relative who refuses to eat fish if the head is still on. I think it’s so childish, but I just laugh because she is missing out on some of the freshest fish!

  • #6 - Elina

    Tiffany, restaurant week is still going on this week. If you can make reservations, I would highly recommend it! 😀

    Madison, you just made me hungry. haha 😆 All those dessert combos sound to die for!

    Lauren – that’s right next door to Rialto! Henrietta’s Table is great too. I love their emphasis on using local/in-season produce :)

    Innz, that list is growing quite fast, huh? Tatte, Rialto… we better start keeping track 😉

    Lara, she is a local celebrity chef and is actually on many billboards around Boston. I also checked out the restaurant’s website before going and read her bio, etc. Otherwise I wouldn’t know her either :) Oh and I think my MIL was a little scared of her head-on trout, but quickly got over it after tasting how delicious it was :mrgreen:

  • #7 - Pam (Highway to Health)

    Looks amazing! I need to take advantage of restuarant week!

  • #8 - Molly

    Awesome recap! My office is in the Charles Hotel building, so I have no excuse not to go!

  • #9 - Shelly

    Yum! New Orleans does something similar during the summer (b/c its our slow season, tourism speaking) and I have been taking full advantage of the pre-fixe menus around town! :)

  • #10 - ttfn300

    omg i’m drooling, that is definitely going on my to-try list :)

  • #11 - Elina

    Pam – yes, restaurant week is such a great deal! We always try to go to a place that’s super pricey to get the best bang for our buck 😆

    Molly – OMG, after trying that dessert, being so close to Rialto would seriously be dangerous. Maybe we can go there sometime after one of our longer runs :)

    Shelly – I’ve never been to New Orleans! I bet the restaurants there are awesome. 😀

    Ttfn – yep, I must-go to for sho 😉

  • #12 - kitchenbelle

    Thanks for the great recap! I am going here tonight! You’ve made me even more excited for the meal! :-)

  • #13 - Jenny

    oh wow – not only does that food sound divine but the presentation is gorgeous!

  • #14 - KO Prime restaurant review

    […] impression of this meal. I’d come back here just for it! (hmm, I think I’ve said that before… what can I say, I love dessert! […]