Have you ever gone to a restaurant with such high hopes to have a fantastic meal, and be incredibly let down? Well that was our experience at Adara.
We booked the seven course "tour" menu, thinking this would be a great way to try many of the chef's great creative plates. Being a BYO, I called the restaurant the day before to see if they had any wine matching suggestions. When the person who answered the phone told me that they had no idea yet, just to bring a white or a red...that's what the chef told her say...I should have know something would be awry.
When we arrived we were seated at a wonderful table, our wines decanted (we brought two reds), and went through the seven course tour menu. There were two choices for each course, so benig two of us, the General Manager,(who doubled as our captain/waiter), suggested we get one of everything. He also let us know there would many "surprises" that came from the kitchen.
The amuse of the night was a tasteless buffalo mozzarella fritto- It had a nice presentation, and very little taste. Not a great way to "wow" your guests to start a meal.
To sit here and review course after disappointing course would be overkill I think. But let me give you one example of something that would be a perfect example of our meal: The two choices for first course are clam chowder, and gazpacho. When we were starting to order, the GM told us he hope we enjoyed the meal because chef was changing the menu to start the new year, and this would be a reason for us to come back again. The gazpacho was almost inedible...in fact we left 3/4 of it on the plate uneaten. Instead of anyone asking us if something was wrong with it, the GM actually said,and I quote, "yes, no one likes this dish; it's coming off the new menu"! Why would he let us order this than? If no one liked it, shouldn' it have been stricken from the menu from day 1? (or as soon as they knew no one liked it?
Courses came and courses went. The only, and I mean only thing that stood out was the pork belly in course five. In course four, the chefs signature "white truffle envelope" had almost no essence of truffles. I mean, come on!!
Looking back at the meal, and thinking about it the day after, we voted this our worst meal of 2011. I hate wriing negative reviews of places I've been because everyone is entitled to make a living, and who am I to pan a place other that a regular consumer. This said, if you want to taste really creative food that really works and tastes phenominal, than I would recommend passing on Adara, and running to NYC and going to Jungsik in Tribeca...our vote for best new restaurant in 2011.