Where To Bite Local Produce – Trade [Boston, MA]
A truly divine meal comes from a combination of divine service, a fabulous cocktail list, and a thoughtful menu you can feel good about ordering from.
At Trade, a passion for supporting local farmers and a “waste not want not” sensibility make dining out something you can feel good about. A seasonal menu features only products that are fresh and abundant – ingredients are local, and there are a number of vegetarian options. A Chef’s Choice vegan option is always available, depending on the produce in house.
I was drawn in by the light atmosphere of this bayside restaurant, and by the unique menu and vegetarian variety. But once inside, I was overwhelmed by this restaurant’s class and culinary perspective.
Recommended Dishes: The appetizers at Trade include some of the most innovative and delicious dishes I’ve sampled in a while – the local burrata with heirloom tomatoes, balsamic and local lettuce, as well as the pomegranate glazed eggplant pictured above, were two of the evening’s highlights. On the side, “A Little Extra” you can’t leave without trying is the roasted summer squash with fennel and muhammara – an Arabic hot pepper dip.
The Not-So-Good Bite: All of the recommendations I just made may be for naught. Because the menu relies almost entirely on what local farmers are turning out, the selections are in constant flux. While I certainly hope to have another bite of the pomegranate eggplant, and am hoping to sample the avocado mango-tamarind chutney, this “not-so-good” bite is really one of the best things about Trade. New options, reflecting the season’s best, make Trade a timeless dining option.
The Good Bite: My dining weakness has always been the bread basket – who doesn’t love to rip into a fresh country loaf or soak up the extra sauce with a slice of olive baguette? My parents and I requested bread service – and were informed that Trade doesn’t offer this option. While this was a little disappointing, it turned out to be a good bite in the end. We didn’t fill up on unecessary, empty carbohydrates, and, what’s more, took home a little word of advice about waste. “Waste not, want not,” the signature phrase of Trade’s team.
The Best Bite: A number of vegetarian options and the endless supply of local foods – including a Pineland Farm skirt steak from Western Mass that satisfied my father’s carniverous appetite, made dining at Trade a true treat. But after informing the waiter of my vegetarian diet, she and the chef offered a vegan option tailered to my vegetable preferences. Brown cashew rice with sauteed chili greens, asparagus and mushrooms was an off-the-menu surprise that I ate every bite of.
The next time you’re passing through Boston’s waterfront, this local gem can’t be missed. Open for lunch and dinner, you’ll be educated, nurished and satisfied. The waitstaff is bursting with knowledge about the ingredients, the dishes, but doesn’t hijack your night out with information-overload.
Service is smooth, the atmosphere is relaxing, but best of all, you can feel good about every little bite – or giant mouthful. There are few restaurants that hit every note, but this upscale restaurant is all the class without any of the pretention.
Whenever you’re treating your body, and supporting local providers, you’re doing a good-food deed. And these are all things to feel good about when you walk along the bay with a full stomach.
Until next time, I’m off to find another local bite.