We have wanted to eat at Rialto ever since seeing Jody Adams on Top Chef Masters. We ate in the bar. There was only one waiter working the bar area and he was rushed and distracted at best. We ordered:
CHICKPEA PASTA: peppers, eggplant, chickpeas, garlic, and saffron ($26). The pasta itself was interesting. My hubby didn't care for the texture, but I thought it was fine. What wasn't fine was the total BLANDNESS of the dish. It was boring, boring, boring. Since the pasta essentially had no taste, the sauce needed to be peppy, complex, and incredibly flavorful. It was not. I ate 2 bites and declared the dish not even worth eating. I think this is only the second time in my life that I have ever not eaten a dish that I have ordered. What a shame, especially at this price point ($26).
PAN ROASTED BROCCOLI: evoo, pecorino ($5) = good.
SEARED ENDIVE: pomegranate, honey ($5) = awesome.
VEGGIE PENNE: mushrooms, brussel sprouts, squash, kale pesto, parmesan cream ($14) = mediocre. Also, incredibly boring (snore!). My hubby described this dish as "pasta 101" and we both agreed that we make penne better at home.
The dishes were dropped off by someone other than our waiter and our waiter only returned to our table when it was time for the bill. We were never served dinner rolls with our meal and when I asked him about this, he told me that he could bring us some. At this point, we were already long done with dinner and plotting what other restaurant we would go to so that I could get something to eat.
If you are vegetarian, my advice would be to order off the Antipasti menu. If you are vegan, I suggest you go elsewhere.
We did see Jody Adams in person so that was pretty cool!
I have been trying to transition to a vegan diet and have been finding this REALLY difficult in Boston. I do not expect restaurants to have tons of choices for me to choose from, but I do expect the 1 or 2 choices they do have to be palatable. Particularly at a place the caliber of Rialto.