City Landing

City Landing is located in the Financial District near the Aquarium, filling Sel de la Terre’s old space on Atlantic Ave (at State Street). It’s been on my list since it opened about 2 years ago, but the original menu seemed a bit pricey so I never stopped by. I took a peek recently, and not only did the prices look more appealing, but the menu had such a great variety I knew it’d be a great spot to bring a large group of people.

Not only does City Landing have a wide range of contemporary American dishes, but it also offers a full vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu. Even the dessert menu has at least 1 vegan option. I’ll eat just about anything from any menu, but it’s nice to have so many options for different types of people / dietary restrictions.

It took a while to decide what to order – soup and entree? salad and pizzetta? – but the fall flavors made up my mind for me. It’s hard for me to not order seasonal dishes – like pumpkin anything – so I knew I’d be trying the Curried Mussel-Pumpkin Bisque with thyme creme fraiche. A beautiful presentation that matched the amazing flavor. I’ve never seen pumpkin bisque paired with mussels, and it didn’t upset me, but it also didn’t make or break the dish. Mussels or no mussels, this is one of the best pumpkin soups I’ve had all season.

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{We actually went back to City Landing a couple of weeks later with a different group of friends, and while I wanted the pumpkin bisque again, I made myself try the Yellow Tomato Bisque with creme fraiche, chive oil. Another gorgeous presentation, and this one had just as much flavor as the pumpkin. I highly recommend you somehow find a way to try both!}
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For my entree I had the Veggie Burger with chipotle aioli, avocado, roasted red pepper, pea tendrils. This burger was loaded with toppings / condiments that really made this dish what it is. It held together well and had a nice consistency, but the flavor really came from the aioli, avocado, and red peppers. A winner in my book, and I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my time.
IMG_6207The veggie burger came with a “choice of fries or greens” but instead I asked for a side of the Butternut Squash Crisp with sage sunflower seed streusel. I confirmed before I ordered that it was in fact a sweet side. Sweet or savory, it sounded too good to pass up, and I was right. The crisp topping is the same you’d find on any fruit crisp. A perfect fall / Thanksgiving-inspired side dish.
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I told my husband he could try a few bites of the Butternut Squash Crisp if I could dig into his side of Creamy Pumpkin Polenta. This is my favorite preparation of polenta: creamy but slightly gritty. If you’re a polenta fan it’s definitely worth a try.
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The women’s room was well decorated with a pretty statement mirror.
IMG_6204Overall I would absolutely recommend City Landing. We went twice within 3 weeks, and each person we ate with really enjoyed their meals. Some popular and well-liked dishes among our friends were the Roasted Boneless Half Chicken, the Caramelized Day Boat Scallops with mushroom ravioli, and the Bucatini Lamb Bolognese. The second time around I had the tomato soup with the large New England Chopped Salad with no blue cheese or bacon. The salad was ok, but that was my own doing since I removed 2 key ingredients. The Caesar Salad was popular however (my husband ordered it both times). Besides my poor salad decision, every dish everyone ordered went over very well!

http://www.citylanding.com

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Trade

The first time I visited Trade was back in May 2012, about 6 months after the grand opening. My friend and I split a few items, including the burrrata, tomato & fennel soup, Trade’s famous lamb & sausage flatbread, and a chocolate budino for dessert. I enjoyed everything we ordered but never found my way back to 540 Atlantic Ave. This is no way reflects the menu items, but has more to do with the fact that the Boston restaurant scene is booming, and I’m trying (and failing) to keep up with all of the new openings.

I was lucky enough to recently meet Meghan Brady at last month’s Helping Hands event, sponsored by the Columbus Hospitality Group. Meghan is Trade’s Events & Marketing Manager, and she invited me into Trade last week to chat with her and indulge in some of Trade’s signature fall favorites.

Pumpkin Soup with pickled apples, pepitas, and honey
I just adore soup so I’m typically a tough critic when it comes to this fall / winter staple. I prefer purées topped with some sort of added crunch or texture, and that’s exactly what I got with Trade’s pumpkin soup. The consistency was perfectly smooth without being too thin or watered down. The honey added a slight sweetness, and the apples and pepitas provided that level of texture I always look for.
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Chicken Meatballs with provolone, sage, and pine nuts
Three meatballs came in a cheesy tomato sauce. Not only were the meatballs surrounded by pine nuts, but they also contained pine nut purée, adding flavor and moisture to the meat. Chicken meatballs aren’t a menu selection I see often, so I’m glad we ordered these. Highly recommended!
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Farrotto with squash, raisins, and pecorino
I have never heard of Farrotto before, and that’s because it’s a hybrid of farro and risotto. Brilliant! This dish is exactly what I’m looking for on a cool fall day: packed full of winter squash, cheesy, buttery, and a great comfort food appetizer. I highly suggest ordering this as a starter or side to split; it’s decadent and a must try.
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Mushroom, Fig, Sage Pesto, Gorgonzola, Walnut Flatbread

I really wanted to try a flatbread, and this one sounded so tasty. Too bad I can’t have Gorgonzola cheese (damn pregnancy rules); so in its place I substituted ricotta salata. It was definitely good, but I’m pretty sure it would have been 10 times better with the Gorgonzola. You just can’t substitute that type of flavor!
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Ginger-Braised Beef Short Rib with turnips, curry carrots, and orange
I couldn’t leave without trying at least one entree, so we ordered the short rib. The picture doesn’t really do it justice since you can’t get a good view of the meat, but just as you’d hope and expect, it pulls apart easily and basically melts in your mouth. This dish had great levels of flavor with the curried carrots, tangy orange, and savory meat.
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And last but not least, I was kindly treated to a birthday Apple Cake, as it was the day before my big 30th. What a great way to end a ‘flavors of the fall’ inspired meal.
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Trade has a great menu for splitting dishes among a group, but also offers enough entrees so you don’t have to feel pressured to share. The restaurant space is an open concept, so the bar and lounge blend into the dining area, which keeps the entire atmosphere lively and energetic. Trade’s private dining room is separated from the restaurant by a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. When it’s not occupied by a large group, the space is available for every day diners.

Serving lunch and dinner daily, Trade has a variety of options that can please everyone in your crowd. Keep you eyes peeled, possibly next summer, for some potential outdoor patio space!

http://trade-boston.com