We went to Adriatica on Saturday. It just opened a few weeks ago. The owner is Mustapha who owns Figs in our neighborhood. Here is our disclaimer...we have gotten very friendly with him in the past few years because Figs is a favorite of ours.
Adriatica is at 217 Chestnut. I think it is in an old bank building. When we arrived Mustapha gave us a tour. You walk into a small reception area and can go to the very large bar area on the left or into a dining room on the right. In the back past the first dining room is a large kitchen area. Past that is another large dining area. Mustapha said that there is also a private dining room for 30. On the other side is a retail fish market that is not in operation yet. They do not have a liquor license yet. I think they will get one by the end of this week. I asked Mustapha where he gets his fish from and he said that he has most of it flown in with just a few items from local suppliers.
We went with two other couples. They are both tough critics. The bottom line is that the food was terrific. The service was pretty good particularly considering that it is a new restaurant. The menu is heavily seafood based with a few meat entrees.
For appetizers we had baked brie with honey and lavender, spicy red pepper shrimp, clams casino, crab cakes.
The brie was really unusual. Thin slices served in a clay dish. It came very hot and stayed hot even to the last piece. It was crispy on the bottom and soft and gooey on the top. The honey lavender combination was delightful. My only complaint is that it was supposed to be served with moroccan flat bread which didn't come when it was served. We asked for it and the server just brought the regular table bread. The crab cakes were mostly crab with a bit of panko filler. They are baked and served with tempora green beans. Fabulous! The cakes were really good but the green beans were one of the highlights of the meal. The shrimp were a bit spicy served in a buttery broth that we sopped up with the bread. The only miss was the clams. They were whole on the half shell with a slice of crispy proscuitto on top. The flavors just didn't meld.
For entrees we had the special king crab legs(about $28 for a pound), rack of lamb with vanilla cous cous(I think $20), dover sole ($19.00 a pound), crab cakes and plank roasted salmon. Most of the entrees were at or just under $20. They have four or five fishes at $19 a pound and you can have them prepared four different ways.
The crab legs were the best I have had in a long time. Comperable to ones I had in Seattle. The lamb consisted of five lolipop sized chops. They were not served medium rare as requested but tasty all the same. They were served over a slightly sweet cous cous mixture.
Everyone seemed to like the fish. I didn't taste them. One dover sole was not properly filleted and had some bones.
For dessert we had the profiteroles stuffed with three different ice creams and the chocolate pyramid filled with hazelnut cream. Both were very good.
Its nice to have another good seafood restaurant in Philly.