Another Groupon deal, $39 for $70, brought me to this little neighborhood gem. It took a while to find, I’m guessing only locals or word-by-mouth would know of this place, since it is actually situated in the middle of of the residential areas. Adesso was a stone building, looked to be an apartment back in the days like the ones beside it, with a really nice patio on the side. Too bad it wasn’t patio weather, it would be nice to sit in the middle of downtown away from all the crowds and city noise.
$70 for just food alone, no alcoholic drinks, for two people might seem like a lot, since Adesso’s price point werent too extreme, but it was an easy task for Fatboy and I. The restaurant was pretty empty, I noticed most of them seemed to be on the Groupon deal as well hearing the waiters talk.
Rosemary & Herb Focaccia with EVOO & balsamic vinegar
After our order was placed, our server brought over complimentary bread. I was excited, since it wasn’t you’re regular slices of white bread, it was focaccia! You can see individual granules of sea salt, rosemary, thyme, and various other Italian herb staples. It had good texture and flavour, only problem was that it was cold. Not even lightly toasted, it was rock cold, I couldn’t enjoy it even if I wanted to.
Cozze; steamed mussels, garlic, white wine & herbs
First off for appys, Fatboy ordered his favourite mussels, most of them were pretty plump so he was a happy camper. The broth nicely done, surprisingly light, it made for a good soup after the mussels were consumed.
Instalata Di Barbabietole; roasted red beets, golden beet carpaccio, arugula and gorgonzola with honey & hanzelnut vinaigrette
Another one of Fatboy’s must-orders; beets. This dish sounded good on menu, but failed in execution. The red beets felt like they were lightly fried more than roasted due to the crunchy exterior. You can taste each ingredient separately, like the dirt-like flavours of the beets, the peppery arugula and the pungent gorgonzola. What you didn’t get was the so-called honey vinaigrette, neither of the components complimented each other, it was just ‘there’.
This was their featured bruschetta, served on toasted focaccia with sauteed onions, pancetta and some type of greens. I thought the bruschetta would be served on a harder baguette or even crostini, the focaccio – thought toasted, was still too flimsy to hold up the toppings. It was also a mess to eat due to the size, flavour wise it was average.
Tagliatelle Nere; handmade in house black squid ink pasta, slow cooked squid, tomato & garlic
Sprinkled with a bit of chopped parsley, this dish was simple but spoke volumes. The pasta was cooked perfectly, pertaining a little bite, slightly salty and full of flavours of the sea. The squid was so tender, it was not rubbery, each bite broke it down nicely. It still had a slight fibrous chew to it, I wished there was more cause I couldn’t get enough of it.
Filetto di Maiale; pork tenderloin medallions, borlotti & green beans, rosemary & tomato
The pork was divine, stuffed with pine nuts, roasted garlic and (I think) cranberry. With little-to-no fat, it was still moist and tender. The salsa verde on top added an extra flavour, it made the dish much brighter and very aromatic. Fatboy enjoyed it, except for greens and potato, he felt it made the dish ‘too healthy’ for him.
Overall, an excellent meal. Very romantic and secluded dining experience in the heart of downtown that’s not downtown. Only complaint was the service, it seemed to be lacking or nonexistent. It might be because of the Groupon, but it felt like we were being ignored as our waters were not filled regularly, servers were just walking around talking amongst each other. Another thing I found off putting was the automatic 18% gratuity placed on the original bill before placing the Groupon discounts. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they have had bad experiences with patrons before, or that they want to guarantee their staff proper compensation for their service they were giving. However, for Fatboy and I that usually do that when using a Groupon, or for outstanding services/food, it felt a bit rude and uncalled for. Specially because we weren’t really given any service at all, but we obliged.