We love Rialto and Jody Adam’s local cooking philosophy. Although it has taken us sometime to visit Trade, we are glad we stopped by the globally inspired Mediterranean and South East Asian flavored dishes. The restaurant is located near the Intercontinental Hotel, at the liminal area across the street from the Financial District and entryway to Fort Point.
We made a reservation and the table we were waiting for was still sitting a good half hour after our reservation time. Instead of waiting longer, we pressed the hostess for an alternative seating option, which ended up dining at the bar area with wooden bar seats.
While waiting, we noticed the immediate buzz throughout the restaurant, maybe more like a relentless hum. The private dining room was utilized by a business group and we envisioned how fun it would dine in the enclosed glass area. The spacious bar was fully packed with finance district folks enjoying after work drinks and girlfriends meeting for a catch up dinner. We perused the menu and selected potential favorites from the starters, salads and entrees. The grilled squid, pasta and hake all looked appetizing.
We sat in front of the mesmerizing Wood Stone oven. The fire was calming and equally warming. It was entertaining to watch the symphony of pizza dough tossing, topping layering and heating pasta in the oven.
We each commented how much we loved the bulb lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling and that we each wanted them our homes.
Our server was exceptionally friendly and sweet. Given our long wait, the manager was apologetic and brought out a complimentary rosemary, ricotta salata and sea salt flatbread ($11).
The TRADE burger with pancetta, Vermont cheddar and grilled onion ($16) was split into three, a thoughtful gesture since we mentioned we wanted to split it as an appetizer. The burger itself was juicy, but it wasn’t a burger I would make a special visit for. The fries were nicely crisp exterior and tender on the interior. But again, not a destination burger. Radius is one of the best places for a burger in Boston.
It has been sometime now where we have had a whole roasted fish at a non-Chinatown based restaurant. Trade’s whole roasted fish with lemongrass chutney and crispy cumin potatoes was special $24 and is rightfully a popular dish on the menu. The fish was super tender, full of flavor from the lemongrass the smashed fingerling potatoes had nice seasoning of coriander and cumin and had an awesome crisp. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish and would exclusively return to Trade for the fish.
The Seafood stew with mussels, squid, clams, shrimp and coconut was good and the broth had some flavor, but not the depth we were hoping for ($25).
The roasted little necks with smoky chili-nut sauce and charred scallions $11 had a nice spicy flavor and the scallions added another level of depth. The little necks were tasty, but made me think of Stoddard’s more memorable mussels.
The Local lettuce and bibb with radish, herbs and buttermilk was a lovely salad. The buttermilk tang was a nice combination with the spiciness of the herb and radish ($9). Well done and my friend would have this again.
The pineapple crostada was filled with caramelized pineapple chunks. The lightly sweet crostada crust was a nice compliment to the fruit. The spoon of of melty vanilla ice cream and herbs brought an aromatic sweetness which complimented the tang of the pineapple ($9). We would enjoy this crostada again, especially when the fruit center is fresh pineapple.