My sister Leah visited last week from Albuquerque, and we spent an evening we wandering up and down the length of the Greenway and along the waterfront path. Boston looked beautiful, especially compared to the elevated highway that the gardens replaced. Then we joined family for dinner at Trade.
Bon Appetit mag just named Trade one of the best new restaurants in the US. When I first ate lunch at a pre-opening tasting, I remember wondering a little about Trade. With its eclectic small plates menu and its coolly urban vibe and high-decibel noise level, Trade didn’t call to me the same way Rialto, Jody Adams’s flagship restaurant, does. And the food was tasty, but a little all over the place, I thought. Another early visit still left me slightly unc.
But all good restaurants need a little time to grow into themselves, even when the guiding chef is as genius as Jody Adams. And last week’s visit won me over. Trade and its food have gone from coltish and a little awkward to sleek, smooth and pretty marvelous.
Gazing out Trade’s floor-to-ceiling windows while eating fantastic roasted clams with tiny slices of pickled okra and chunks of cornbread, lamb flatbread with eggplant and Manchego, and a truly delicious cold corn soup with shreds of smoked bluefish, well, all this and more made the evening more magical. (I didn’t get to taste the burger because my son wasn’t sharing). The young chef Andrew Hebert came out to say hello, looking tired, and the place was jumping — lots of tables of businesspeople, couples, young and old, a well-dressed and lively crowd. They were happy to be there, and so was I. The Bon App award was no surprise.