Rialto gives good value for its $30 Restaurant Week menu: excellent apps of vegetable salad (fine goat cheese and grilled eggplant stand out) and curried zucchini soup (a pleasant pureed summer number, pretty pale green color). Very good entrees (a smallish chunk of nicely-grilled bluefish, the surprise being how well it sat against a cold orzo salad with mint; made me think that bluefish might be the Lamb-of-the-Sea; my date's obviously homemade pasta dish being just a notch below the level of typical Rialto pasta courses).
We both got the flan with roasted figs for dessert, and both found it a pale imitation of typical Rialto desserts, simplistic and stale and ordinary, way below the standard.
But we're not complaining, and as folks who have both done marketing for a living, we continue to be believers in the RW concept: the first taste isn't exactly free, but it lets you drink in the full-price atmosphere and service at a cut rate. After that, it's much easier to envision coming back and paying full price than when you were just pressing your nose against the glass from outside.
Rialto is one of our favorites in Greater Boston -- we're going to go at least a couple of times a year anyway -- but we're frugal enough to guiltily take advantage of Restaurant Week, and happily overlook any little shortcomings.
Service definitely kept their chin up and delivered despite the shrivelled check totals: kudos!
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