Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adelea's On Main in Salado

In an area that good restaurants are few and far between, it's a breath of fresh air to find a decent eatery. The town of Salado isn't exactly that close to where I live, but around here 30 minutes is pretty close to anything. Salado is highly recognized for their support of local artisans and antique dealers, but a few quality restaurants have been popping up recently.

On a particular Friday evening outing, me and the wifey stumbled upon Adelea's On Main in the town of Salado. We were actually headed farther south to Austin to take salsa lessons and chow down at Chez Nous off of 6th street. My plans were also to review Chez Nous, but a series of unfortunate events made me think otherwise. So my wife insisted on cutting our trip short and heading into Salado to have drinks at the Salado Wine Seller and eat at this restaurant "Adelea's" that she had heard about. Set within an old home and refurbished to cater to mouth stuffing clientele, the owners haven't changed the charm that the vintage house creates.

Adelea's poses itself as a mid-century English country restaurant-Southern tea room hybrid. Equipped within the restaurant is the dated look (in a good way) of the Hemingway Bar. The menu is adorned with English styled tea preparations with triple tiered finger sandwiches and pastries.

I always look at the wine list first at any restaurant, because, for me, if the wine list is highly thought out then the food will usually be a reflection of that attention to detail. The wine list was surprising with many unique wines and varietals to pair up with every dish on the menu. I started with the Italian rose from Di Arie 2007 which I thought would pair well with the first two dishes of Crab and Avocado Tower and House Made Hummus.

The tower was made of a base of cold jasmine rice topped with pico de gallo, lump crabmeat and drizzled with red pepper coulis. I didn't particularly care for this dish because I thought it had been terribly thought out. The cold rice was grainy, and I would have much more approved of warm rice. The crab in the dish tasted muddy like blue crab was used and instead snow crab/king crab would have been much more complimentary to the overall dish. So not the greatest of starts. The home made hummus gained some ground with its delicious topping of tomato jam and excellent olive tapenade. My wife really enjoyed the hummus.

The waitress offered the lunch menu along with the dinner menu just in case I found anything that struck my fancy. And I zeroed in on a crazy dish of Blue Cheese Kettle Chips. Straight out of a culinary arts student's stoned out munchy cravings would ever a dish like this ever be constructed. Imagine regular Kettle Brand chips topped with crumbled blue cheese and drizzled all over the top with sweet balsamic reduction and white truffle oil. I felt like a high class toker eating this food. To say the least the dish was fantastic and hit me right in the sweet spot.

Our entree was the roasted salmon with chipotle potatoes, green bean, and corn salad. There were no faults with this dish. The food was simply put together, cooked properly and the ingredients didn't clash with each other. I tried pairing the dish with their Gagliardo Fallegro 2007. The wine ended up not being what was expected from their description on the menu. The wine had an inherent nuttiness along with its slight effervescence that wasn't the greatest of pairings with the fish dish. But oh well, can't get every pairing perfect.

Toasted coconut creme brulee was the star of the show for our dinner that night. Creme brulee is usually a staple on many restaurants menu's because it is easy to make and can't be screwed up, and hardly impresses anybody as well. But Adelea's is a turn from the familiar and the dessert taken to the next level of deliciousness. Easily the best creme brulee I've ever had. I might be semi partial to this dish and favor it more because coconut happens to be one of my favorite fruits.

My wife and I really had an enjoyable time at Adelea's, with more hits than misses on its menu I would be more than obliged to return and recommend this place to others. I am excited to some day go totally all out and don a seersucker and panama hat and go for tea time at this place and kick back with some family, sangria, and finger sandwiches.

Rating: B

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