Rialto Is Actually Closing This Month, Not Just Losing Jody Adams

The Harvard Square Italian restaurant will shutter June 22, and reopen with a new chef and concept 'in the near future.'

Image of Jody Adams Provided

Image of Jody Adams Provided

What would Rialto look like without chef Jody Adams? This was a question Boston diners were asking last month after she announced her impending departure, but now it’s a moot point.

The restaurant will shutter June 22, coinciding with the expected farewell from the executive chef. “In the near future,” Adams says, the spot will reopen with a new, as-yet unnamed chef and concept.

Adams opened Rialto in the Charles Hotel with partners in 1994 and took sole ownership of nearly 10 years ago. “Rialto and I have had an extraordinary run together,” she wrote in a newsletter April 28. “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.”

The note said David Ladner, currently Rialto’s chef de cuisine, would take the reigns of the Italian restaurant.

But today’s personal newsletter from Adams simply says, “More than two decades of dining, celebration and merriment will come to an end with Rialto’s last evening of service on June 22nd. Please come by in the remaining few weeks to raise a glass and say farewell.”

“I want to invite friends and guests to come enjoy Rialto one last time with me over the next several weeks,” Adams said in a statement sent to Boston June 8. “I have so much gratitude to our friends, neighbors and team who have supported us and made Rialto so special over the past two decades. Both the hotel and I have offered our staff positions within the hotel and my other restaurants to ensure that they have a place to land. Rialto will close and reopen with a new chef and concept in the near future.”

While there are just about two more weeks to savor Rialto’s slow-roasted Long Island duck, lobster and saffron bucatini, and focused, regional tasting menu (Rialto is in the Lazio region lately), Adams’ culinary prowess is still strong at Trade, her Mediterranean-inflected spot on the Greenway, Saloniki, her take on a Greek sandwich shop in Fenway, and come July, in Back Bay at Porto, a seafood spot inspired by the Mediterranean coast.

Rialto, at the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-661-5050, rialto-restaurant.com.

UPDATE, June 8, 11 a.m.: This article has been updated with a statement from chef Jody Adams, including that the Rialto space will reopen with a new chef and concept.