We rang in the New Year last night at the Rialto, part of the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. And boy what a night it was! We had an absolute blast and the Rialto treated us so well that we can't imagine going anywhere else for New Year's next year!
The Rialto was decorated in silver and white balloons. We got these great silver and white New Year's props: a hat, a tiara and noisemakers. Last year we went to the Noir Bar at the Charles Hotel for New Year's and we had a lot of fun. But every time I would go upstairs to use the bathroom, I'd pass by the Rialto and take a peek inside. The people at the Rialto looked like they were having more fun. Also they had live music! I was hoping to see live music at the Rialto this year but there wasn't any. We still had a fabulous time.
We started our evening with two cocktails. On the left is a Tangerine Tango served in a chilled martini glass. This was a really good cocktail! It had Bourbon, Aperol, Blood Orange, Lemon, Honey and a Blood Orange Rind Twist! Carlos had a Whiskey Sour which was pretty good too. Our reservation was delayed and the general manager offered to give us these drinks on the house! He took care of us the entire evening and made us feel really special.
Our table wasn't ready quite yet, so we moved from the bar to the bar lounge.
Downton Abbey reference FTW!
At the lounge, we sat in a little nook and ordered two more drinks. I had an Old-Fashioned and Carlos had another Whiskey Sour. Rialto's cocktails are well-made with quality liquors and ingredients. Carlos and I have been there before for drinks and dessert but not for food so we were excited to try some of the restaurant's savory delights.
From the Bar menu, we ordered the Stuffed Dates from the Antipasti selection. All the Antipastis are $5 each or $14 if you buy three. They are great way to start off your meal if you don't want a full appetizer. These date were stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, wrapped in pancetta and topped with toasted chopped almonds. They were a taste and texture explosion in your mouth! Salty, sweet, smoky, peppery, crunchy, smooth. They were nice and hot too which made them all that more enjoyable.
Our table was ready, later than expected but the general manager thanked us for our patience and rewarded us with a gift certificate. We thought that was very generous of him so we decided to buy a couple expensive plates to use the card and to also kick back something to the restaurant for treating us so well!
In the dining room, we were seated at a nicely decorated table. There was a vase with a White Gerber Daisy, a white candle and magenta star confetti and crinkled paper. I thought this was very classy! The waitress brought us over an Amuse Bouche also on the house. It was Prosecco with candied orange, peppercorn and the rim had bay sugar. This was so good! I wish I had set it aside to toast with because by countdown time I had no drink left. The cocktails were too good.
Sorry for the dark pictures but flash made these look terrible. Carlos got the Spiced Chicken Under a Brick which came with one big gnocchi, pumpkin, gorgonzola and truffles. I had a bite of the chicken and it was amazing!
I had the Cacciucco (which I still don't know how to pronounce), a seafood soup. It had cod, shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster and calamari. It was topped with a parsley crouton. I love seafood soup and this one was quite tasty but just a bit too salty.
I had some fun with the confetti at the table!
For dessert, we had the Walnut-Apple Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream, poached crab apple and compote. It also came with a nice caramel candy on top. Carlos loved this dessert but I thought it was so-so. I had my heart set on something chocolatey but we both agreed to get this one instead. I wish the pudding was warm but it was cold. Because the bread pudding was cold, I didn't see how the ice cream was even necessary. Next time I'll get the Chestnut-Chocolate Cream Puff which sounds divine.
You can't really see in the picture but a lady sang Auld Lang Syne to us. Then we all used our noisemakers to ring in the New Year. I wish there was a countdown but oh well. Perhaps there was one at the bar. We can't complain because our New Year's was a great time. A couple of friends were supposed to join us, but one of them was feeling really ill. In fact, today I'm supposed to be at my parents home cooking my dad a birthday lunch but they are both sick too! So I guess Carlos and I were lucky to be able to ring in the new year with health.
I hope all of you had a wonderful New Years and here is to a great 2013!