Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ada Street

The Michelin announced the restaurants that it would award it's Bib Gourmand to this year last Tuesday (Nov. 5).  The Bib Gourmand is an indication of good food and a good value with a diner being able to get two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.  I like going to restaurants awarded the Bib Gourmand because it's a pretty good guarantee that I can get a good meal without breaking the bank and there are several that are on my list of places to try.  When the list came out, I decided to reduce the number of restaurants that I need to try by one.  Ada Street has been on my list since it opened because it has a good pedigree, it's a DMK restaurant (DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, and County BBQ), and it's pretty close.  While it's not in my neighborhood, I don't have to ride across town to get to it.  Ada Street, the street, is in an industrial area and is located next to a city garage.  There are no storefronts and I have to guess, not much walking traffic so Ada Street, the restaurant, is in the middle of nowhere.  The door for Ada Street is solid and painted black with the name and address on the door.  This is the only indication that there is anything there.  Walking through the door leads to a hall leading back into the restaurant.  There is a room off to the side that looked like a private dining area.  The hostess station sits in a wide spot in the hall with the hall continuing behind.  After a couple of turns, there was a floor to ceiling LP rack.  Diners could choose records for the restaurant to play, but, like a jukebox, you had to wait for those that came before you.  When I got there, they were playing Heart, "Barracuda" so I was happy.  When I entered the dining room, I saw that it was built in a former garage.  There was a garage door on one side and the open kitchen was opposite the garage door and next to the hall that led into the room.  The bar ran the length of the dining room and is where I sat.  The rest of the dining room seating was 2 and 4 tops.  The room was painted black and there were hanging lights.  The bar was also black but it was topped with brown marble.  When I was seated, the bartender introduced himself (Joseph) and asked my name before even explaining the menu.  He then left me a few minutes to decide what I might like to drink.  I decided on a drink called Love Her Madly which consisted of North Shore #11 Gin, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse, and a Lime Slice.  North Shore #11 is a very good gin and this was a very good drink.

The food menu was divided into 4 sections: "pick it up", those dishes that you would eat with your hands, "with toast", those dishes that are eaten on toast, "forks, spoons, & knives", those dishes that are best eaten with silverware, and "after", which were desserts.  Most of the dishes were small plates so it took several to make a meal.  I ordered one finger food, a couple that you eat with silverware, and dessert.  I started with Polenta Fries that were served with Chipotle Puree.  The fries were crunchy and flavorful and the chipotle puree added a nice spiciness to it.  The puree didn't taste like pure chipotle and actually tasted like a really spicy ketchup.  This was not a bad thing, it did taste really good and went well with the fries.

I then went with the Fried Brussels Sprouts that were served with  Lemon Aioli.  The sprouts were cut into sixths although not all the way through and were well browned.  They were flavorful and tender and crisp at the same time.  The Lemon Aioli added a nice tang to the cabbage flavor of the sprouts.

My other silverware dish was Duck Confit with Cavatelli with a Poached Egg, Spinach, and Parmigiana Reggiano.  This was really good and I would say this even if duck were not my favorite meat.  I was told to break the egg yolk and mix the yolk into the pasta which made for a very nice and savory sauce.  The duck confit was tender and flavorful, the cavatelli was about the same size as the pieces of duck, and the spinach went together well with everything.

For dessert, I had the Pretzel Bread Pudding with Maple Whipped Cream.  This was a very good finish to a very good dinner.  It came out in a very warm frying pan.  The bread pudding was sweet and salty and the maple whipped cream provided a good maple flavor and a creamy sauce as it melted.

Dinner here was very good.  The food and drink was very good, the space was nice,the service was fantastic, and the fact that the waitstaff referred to me as Gary was a bonus.  The vinyl selection seemed very cool and this seemed like a fun place to hang out.  I will definitely be back.      

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