Jody Adams and Trade Partners are Opening Porto in June
Make your reservation to say goodbye to Jody Adams’ Rialto now. The chef is leaving the Harvard Square spot next month, in the hands of chef David Ladner, and she just revealed her next concept. Porto will bring fresh seafood, a raw bar, and a little nightlife to Back Bay at the end of June, she first told the Boston Globe.
Last month, Adams announced her departure from Rialto, the Italian restaurant she cofounded more than 20 years ago and later, solely owned. She also confirmed plans for a Mediterranean seafood spot with her partners at Trade, Eric Papachristos and Sean Griffing. Eater Boston first reported the Back Bay venture last summer.
Porto derives its name from the shared Portuguese and Spanish word for “port.” Jon Sanchez, formerly of Ames Street Deli and Study, is chef de cuisine. His fare will showcase both raw and cooked seafood, locally sourced when possible, and the bright flavors of the Mediterranean coast.
Today’s announcement hints at dishes like whole-fish roasted fish with olives, fried smelts, brandade “dip” with sunchoke chips, harissa-spiked steamed mussels, a Mediterranean twist on a lobster roll, plus pastas, grilled steak and Cornish game hen. There’s a raw bar with East and West Coast oysters, and a patio on Ring Road, next door to Back Bay shopping.
Current Trade general manager Elissa Rae is taking on that role at Porto. She’s also developing the beverage program, with cocktails, craft beers, and large selection of Mediterranean wines.
“The energy in Boston’s Back Bay will complement the atmosphere we are creating at Porto,” Papachristos says in a press release.
Along with Papachristos and Trade manager Jonathan Mendez, Adams debuted Saloniki earlier this spring. It’s the James Beard Award-winning chef’s first foray into fast casual, with a fresh update on the Greek sandwich shop. In March, Papachristos told Boston that in due time, Saloniki could expand beyond the Fenway neighborhood.
“We don’t want to do it from a perspective of, this is duplicatable. But it’s something we’re seeing a lot of chefs doing with different concepts around the country. They’re really captivating audiences by having good food,” he said.
With openings like Michael Schlow’s Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar and Brendan Pelley’s debut Pelekasis, there’s a new wave of Greek and Mediterran flavors around Boston.
“The quality of [Mediterranean cuisine] and health benefits to it… [is something] I’ve incorporated into menus from the beginning,” Adams previously told Boston.
In today’s release, she says, “Thousands years before the first tomato arrived in Italy, local people were feasting on shellfish, octopus, sea urchins and branzino. Porto gives us the chance to shift the focus a bit. We want to emphasize a less-well known side of Mediterranean fare that’s just as delicious and healthy.”
Porto is located on the corner of Ring Road and Boylston Street. It will serve lunch and dinner.