This time of year in Boston is like a rebirth: Bright necklaces, sundresses and sandals showing off freshly pedicured toes replace the wool scarves, heavy sweaters and boots. But the city’s wardrobe isn’t the only change — the late spring and early summer is when restaurants and bars switch the menus from hearty fare like stews and pot pies to fresh garden salads and tropical tipples. So dress for the warm temps and head to these two hot spots for some seasonal eats and drinks.
At Rialto in Cambridge, the new spring/summer menu just launched, inviting you to indulge in the lighter side of chef Jody Adams’ creative culinary concepts. Some of the favorites remain, such as the grilled littleneck clams and slow-roasted Long Island duck, but you’ll also find lighter fare at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant, like the spring vegetable salad with favas, peas, poached egg, ramps and carta musica (a Sardinian flatbread), as well as local burrata served with artichokes, fresh tomatoes and mint.
Rialto’s cocktails also got spiced up. The Beekeeper concoction mixes Bussey Brook honey (crafted by Rialto’s own beekeeper, Kristin McDonnell) with Barr Hill gin, Suze liqueur, honey-lemon-verbena syrup and Crème Yvette. The new L’Arancia drink combines Asti Spumante, bay sugar, peppercorns, orange blossom water and candied orange. Now that the weather is on the sunny side, the restaurant’s outdoor patio is perfect for people-watching while sipping one of the new cocktails.
On the other side of town, chef Brooke Vosika and his team at The Bristol Lounge located inside the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Boston spruced up the bar menu for summer guests. Wok-steamed vegetable potstickers with ginger ponzu dipping sauce; heirloom tater tots with goat cheese fondue, truffles, hot sauce and scallions; and fresh East Coast oysters grace the menu. And the new collection of cocktails includes The Emerald Isle (gin, fresh basil juice and fresh lime), the Old Cuban (Bacardi 8 Rum, mint and champagne) and the Cucumber Lavender Sour (cucumber vodka, ginger, lemon and lavender bitters).
We caught up with Julianne Pavelle, one of the bartenders at The Bristol Lounge, to get a sneak peek at the bar’s newest summer signature cocktail, the Chill Breaker, a light and citrusy sangria-style libation with Ketel One vodka; lime, lemon and grapefruit juices; mint syrup and club soda. Check out the video below for the step-by-step instructions to make this refreshing drink.
Full recipe for the Chill Breaker
2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
2 slices each of grapefruit, lemon, lime
1/2 oz. each of grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice
1 oz. mint syrup
2 oz. club soda
Fill wine glass with ice. Add vodka, fruit juices and simple syrup. Add wedges of fruit and top off with club soda.
Photo Courtesy of Rialto Restaurant