50 Best Restaurants: The Friulian Menu at Rialto

Photo by Anthony Tieuli

For a ritzy restaurant, 50 Best Restaurants pick Rialto makes it pretty easy for folks on a budget to make a controlled splurge. Case in point: the Cambridge restaurant’s Piccolo menu, a 3-course menu that’s available Sunday through Thursday for $40, and the four-course regional menu for $70, with optional wine pairings for an additional $40. We’re big fans of the latter menu; while $110 per person is no chump change, it’s an unfailingly good value, and there’s comfort in knowing exactly what your bill’s going to look like at the end of the night.

As far as what you’ll get on said menu, each month chef Jody Adams chooses to feature a different region of Italy, dreaming up dishes that showcase the area’s specialty ingredients and techniques. The wine pairings, naturally, come from that region as well. This month, she’s exploring Fruili. “Tucked between Vienna and Venice, Friuli is a hidden nook rich in fruit, spices and handcrafted white wine,” the menu reads. To which we say: Mangia! Here’s what the lineup looks like for the rest of November. (1 Bennett Street Cambridge, MA 02138. Info: 617-661-5050, rialto-restaurant.com)

First Course:

Antipasto… San Daniele prosciutto, Montasio cheese, sweet and sour quince, pickled turnip

Wine pairing: Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso, Azienda Agricola Grillo, 2008

Second Course:

Squid ink lasagna… scallops, oysters, pumpkin, romanesco

Wine pairing: Tocai Friulano, Marco Felluga, 2008

Third Course:

Red wine braised rabbit… pancetta, paprika, dried fruit ravioli


Grilled swordfish… Friulian bean stew,
white wine braised cabbage, house cured bacon, juniper

Wine pairing: Schioppettino, Azienda Agricola Grillo, 2009


Sweet fruit and nut Gubana pastry… pear sorbet, walnut cream, hot fudge

Wine pairing: Picolit, Sauvignon, Friulano, Russiz Superiore Horus, Capriva del Friuli, NV

We’re blogging about the 50 Best Restaurants on Chowder all month long at bostonmagazine.com/50best. Join the conversation on Twitter (#50Best) with @ChowderBoston.