Jody Adams Is Leaving Rialto This Summer to Open a Back Bay Spot

The chef will focus on Trade, Saloniki, and this new Mediterranean project.

Image of Jody Adams Provided

Image of Jody Adams Provided

More than 20 years after cofounding Rialto, award-winning chef Jody Adams will leave this summer to focus on her “family, non-profit work and exciting new restaurant projects.” This morning, she announced a new, Mediterranean seafood restaurant from her partners at Trade, opening late in June.

Executive sous chef David Ladner is taking over at Rialto, a Harvard Square mainstay.

Adams started her career in Boston more than 30 years ago, working under legends Lydia Shire and Gordon Hamersley. Along with partners, she opened Rialto at the Charles Hotel in 1994, and she took sole ownership of it in 2007. That same year, she opened the Mediterranean-inflected hotspot Trade, in the Financial District.

The restaurateur dove into fast-casual earlier this year with Saloniki, a modern Greek sandwich shop in Fenway, with the help of Trade colleagues Eric Papachristos and Jonathan Mendez. The trio talked to Boston about potentially expanding the quick-service concept.

“In due time, we’d like to look at location No. 2 and see where it takes us,” Papachristos said in March. “It’s something we’re seeing with a lot of other chefs and different concepts in New York, L.A., and around the country. They’re really captivating audiences by having good food. Right now, our focus is having the best product and service coming out of the store.”

In a Rialto newsletter sent out on April 28, Adams wrote, “Rialto and I have had an extraordinary run together. Harvard Square, all of you and my incredible staff have enriched my life beyond words… I know there will be tears, but I also know this is the right time.”

Ladner started at Rialto five years ago, and quickly rose the ranks from line cook to executive sous chef. The Johnson and Wales graduate also worked in Florida, Ohio, and Rhode Island. “When it comes to his motivation and what drives him, he credits the rhythm, respect and creativity of the Rialto kitchen,” his official bio reads.

Adams will officially hand over the reins of Rialto to Ladner in June, but first she’ll “throw a ‘big, fat’ farewell party” to say goodbye, she told the Boston Globe. The Mediterranean seafood spot will open late in June on Ring Road in the Prudential Center complex, according to previous reports by Eater Boston and Universal Hub.

Rialto, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, 617-661-5050,

Update, 4/29 8:30 a.m.: This post has been updated to confirm that Adams’ next project will be a seafood restaurant in Back Bay.