Taste Test: The Gingered Beet Salad at Trade

The gingered beet salad at Trade, sans ginger. (Photo by Fiona Coxe)

Trade, located in the heart of the redeveloped Atlantic Wharf area, is the latest offering from local culinary darling Jody Adams (read all about the opening here). While Adams’ flagship, Rialto, focuses on upscale regional Italian fare, Trade takes a more global, casual approach.

On a recent visit, I settled into a bar stool, with a great view of the space’s fancy Wood Stone oven. While the flatbreads looked tempting, I instead went for the gingered beet salad. The dish contained a generous portion of roasted red beets and a few golden beets; these were topped with a mix of micro greens and herbs, hearty slabs of ricotta salata (a saltier, firmer ricotta), and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. The beets were cooked just right, offering just a slight resistance to my fork, while the seeds provided a great contrasting crunch. The greens were quite fresh, and I enjoyed the natural saltiness of the cheese.

There were a couple of holes in the dish, however: the salad was billed as additionally containing whole grain mustard, which was missing. As for the ginger in the “gingered beets?” There was a lone piece on the plate, which was a shame as it provided a much-needed punch.

As a whole, the salad was perfectly portioned and was made with obvious consideration of both flavor and texture combinations. Although the design was great, the execution was flawed. A sharper eye in the kitchen would fix this concern, however, and I foresee wonderful things for the restaurant if they keep an eye on the details.

(Trade, 540 Atlantic Ave., Boston. Info: trade-boston.com.)