||Restaurants in shopping malls can do either very well or rapidly decline, depending on its location, ambiance and menu.
Chef and owner Jody Adams of Rialto in Cambridge recently opened Red Clay at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill in May.
The name reflects the terra cotta bowls and plates upon which each menu item is served. Nearly half of the menu offers these unique clay dishes.
Once you arrive, be sure to try the signature drink the Simply Red Cocktail, a blend of Absolut Citron, Triple Sec and orange juice.
Red Clay offers a small selection of ports and grappas and a larger variety of beers, whiskies and sherries.
This 220-seat restaurant offers some unique dishes combined with Mediterranean blends. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Atrium Mall.
Its colorful decorations include earth tones and an enormous open-air kitchen. Guests may view chefs cooking their entrée selections over a large counter overlooking the main dining area.
Our server greeted us with a crusty loaf of break and clay bowl of olive oil for dipping.
The appetizers here are quite tasty. From soups and salads to wood-grilled pizzas, Red Clay offers something for everyone, even the most finicky diner.
We sampled the grilled mushrooms with Italian sheep's milk cheese on crostini ($8). The tender mushrooms were fresh, smothering a piece of toasted bread.
The seafood chowder ($6.50) was amazing. Loaded with chunks of clams, shrimp and smoked bacon, this was a delightful starter.
Salads here include prosciutto, portobellas, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and olives ($12) and local organic lettuces with sweet tomatoes and Dijon vinaigrette ($7).
The pizzas are one of the most popular appetizers.
We chose the tomato, basil, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese ($10), which was loaded with toppings and grilled. The crust was thin and crunchy while the tomato and cheeses remained fresh and tasty.
I sampled the paella with saffron rice, clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, chicken and sausage dish ($18). Served in a terra cotta bowl, this entrée was moderately spicy.
We also enjoyed the pasta bolognese with chicken, lamb and veal, the special of the evening.
Desserts here are to be commended but somewhat steep in price at $6.50 each. A diner nearby insisted we try the banana cake with chocolate chunks, caramelized bananas and mascarpone cream. She declared it quite a success.
We were somewhat undecided which of the five desserts to choose but quickly found our answer when we saw the blond brownie sundae offered. Our server knew we were having problems deciding what to order and was kind enough to bring out additional samples of Po's lemon meringue thing and a caramel nut tart with chocolate crust. The crusty, sugary meringue surrounded a smooth tart lemon crust, topped with fresh raspberries. Desserts here are large - we weren't able to finish all three selections although we did try hard!
Red Clay will certainly become a preferred location in the Atrium Mall. People will no longer just come here for The Cheesecake Factory located on the main level once they discover this hidden secret.
For more information, call Red Clay at 617-965-7000.
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and
Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland,
England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is
planning a trip to Tahiti.
Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing
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