Italian Cuisine with a New England Twist? Yes! Rialto Rocks Our World

This is easily one of the best hotel restaurants we've ever eaten at – Rialto, in the Charles Hotel. You must be saying to yourself…damn, that girl has a lot of “bests.” Best this, best that. No joke, this whole dining experience was almost pure perfection from start to finish. We take the elevator to Rialto on the 2nd floor and immediately when we walk out I think – wow, this place looks like the Mondrian in WeHo but more stylish. It's not modern, it's contemporary with its curved gray furniture that reminds of the seating at Lawry's. The simple single orange flower on each table gives the place character. Some notable awards from super star chef Jody Abrams & Rialto: 1993 Food and Wine Magazine named Jody "one of America's ten best new chefs." In 2004 Gourmet named Rialto one of "world's best hotel restaurants." In 2006 Jody was awarded with the "Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award" In 2007 The Boston Globe reviewed Rialto and awarded it four-stars, their highest rating. In October, 2007, Esquire Magazine was so taken with the renovation that they named Rialto one of the top 20 new restaurants of the year. Here is Chef Jody Abrams:

Here we are outside:

It's dark inside the restaurant so instead of blinding everyone with our bright flash (and almost getting our asses kicked, like I almost did at Terroni) we take pictures of our food! We start off with Pat and Barbara's perfect grilled littlenecks with andouille (sausage) and toasted garlic bread:

The clams were warm and delicious… The Summer truffle risotto with prosecco and soft herbs wasn't very big portion-wise but made me fall in love with mushroom…

The Summer Picnic–crispy soft shell crab, lobster salad and fried Maine crab ravioli was light yet delicious with thin strips of cucumber and avocado….

Last, the grilled Wolfe's Neck sirloin steak with portabella, arugula and endive salad, Parmigiano Reggiano and truffle oil was the ultimate dish (see first pic.) Now I don't care who you are freakin steak with parmigiano reggiano cheese is to die for. The steak was seasoned to perfection (no A1 or worcestershire for me)! The bed of arugula and endive salad was a perfect compliment. Now only when our dining experience really rocks my world do I seek out the manager or chef to thank them. Here is Mana, the manager there who was so sweet and nice. We exchanged information and she promised to take care of us and our members next time any of us come!

And this is Sam with Mohammad, our waiter, who was there for us all night.

Who Should Go? People who don't mind spending a little bit of money for a beautifully designed restaurant, superb service and delicious food. Convenience is key – if you are staying at The Charles Hotel it's totally worth going to. Tip: Though we didn't get these, Mana recommends the leek, potato and celery soup with chanterelles, pancetta and nasturtiums and the honey ricotta cheesecake with blueberries and almond. Next time! Rialto (Yelp) 1 Bennett St Cambridge, MA 02138 617.661.5050 Thanks, Mana, for a wonderful evening. Oh yes..and thanks for running after us to give us a final hug goodbye. Let's definitely keep in touch!

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