Restaurant- Adriatic, Salem

 

Saturday night, our friends have a babysitter, and my bride of 28 years and I are not up for cooking! What to do, head out to eat of course!!

A new restaurant opened recently in the old space of the Edgewater Café in Salem and it looked interesting every time I walked by so that was the choice, The Adriatic Restaurant. Located on the corner of Front and Washington they have prime space in the old Salem News building, sharing the block with Passage to India and Tavern on the Green.

Entering the restaurant you are faced with a beautiful, oddly triangular shaped bar. Just to the left is the hostess station and she pleasantly informed us that the wait would be around ten minutes, so we decided to try the bar for a before dinner cocktail. Right in front of us were four empty seats! The next time a patron opened the door and the 25 degree wind blew in we knew why.

After a cocktail with the extremely likeable bartender we told our table was ready and headed to the main dining area. This room is colored in sand and stone colors with an open kitchen in the way back for the pizza oven. The lack of bright colors could have led to an austere feeling but instead the room felt warm and welcoming on a cold evening. The room is actually much larger than it looks since it actually loops around the back of the bar and forms a whole other dining area.

Seated at our table our waitress promptly arrived and introduced herself. After a little small talk she recited the specials, took our drink order,a bottle of wine and an IPA for me and headed off to collect the beverages while we perused the menu.

Everything looked interesting and tempting but the menu wasn’t your typical steak and potatoes. Our waitress returned and asked if we were ready to order and based on the starving expressions we were! We decided to split 2 appetizers, Grilled Octopus with gigante beans and a citrus vinaigrette ($10) and Prosciutto di Parma with

Braised Artichokes, Fresh Mozzarella ($12).

We ordered our main courses at the same time, my bride and her friend both ordered the same, Hand-cut Papardelle(a thick flat noodle) with Wild Mushroom Ragu, Black Truffles, Mascarpone($18) while the other husband ordered the special, braised lamb shank($22) and I went for the Monkfish wrapped in Pancetta with Potato, asparagus, and Olives ($20).

We received a basket of fresh baked bread and olive oil for dipping and the entire basket disappeared, it was delicious!

A little conversation and our appetizers arrived. The Octopus was a plate of four small creatures grilled and served with large white beans. The Prosciutto  was four thinly sliced pieces topped with the mozzarella and artichokes. The presentation of these dishes was almost too pretty to eat! Still, that didn’t stop the forks from flying until it looked like the plates wouldn’t even need to go into the dishwasher they were so clean. Delicious!

A reasonable time later our main courses hit the table. The Papardelle was a heaping bowl of pasta swimming in a rich brown sauce. The Lamb Shank was presented upright with potatoes and vegetable and a wonderful smelling gravy. My monkfish was a large piece served atop a mound of mashed potato with asparagus spears.

Conversation died as we savored the taste of our meals, everything was cooked perfectly and my little taste of everyone’s meal excited my mouth with the subtle but distinct flavors of the food.

Main course done it was time for a little dessert! I wanted a flan but they weren’t serving that so I decided to pass on sweets but my dining partners ordered gelato  and espresso. Since the waitress obviously felt I was needy she brought me a plate of biscotti, I made out the best in the dessert deal!

I highly recommend the Adriatic as a wonderful place for a dinner out, not too expensive but not cheap either. The setting, friendly staff and great food would work for almost any occasion whether it is special or not. Enjoy!

 

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar

155 Washington Street

Salem, MA 01970-3540

(978) 594-1832