Adele is in the Old Fourth Ward
The renovated Atlanta structure has an industrial-style design similar to the sister restaurant – open interiors, expansive ceilings with visible duct systems, white brick walls, cast concrete floors and pull-out garage doors. A few dishes from the original menu were also considered worth repeating in this town: a mountainous Caesar salad of finely chopped kale; light, delicate gnocchi in a lemon-like caper cream sauce; and a bowl of thick, full-bodied chocolate budino for dessert – I like to repeat all orders.
But chef Hannah Young, who previously worked at the Nashville venue, has left her personal mark on the Atlanta menu, especially with seasonal ingredients.
Salads emerge from unexpected flavor combinations, such as shaved cauliflower, golden raisins and onions tossed in a white balsamic vinaigrette, or tender, pencil-thin fried asparagus in a yogurt dressing that is slippery with horseradish.
Among the starters were homemade ricotta, sprinkled on grilled bread and topped with dolls of sweet and tasty red onion jam, more pleasing than smoked chicken wings masked by an overly sour tamarind taste.
Young, an Arkansas native, has an affiliation with smoked foods. Smoked trout is a star among starters, transformed into a thick dip, garnished with smoked peppers, cayenne and chives, and served with crispy pita tablets and a rainbow of nicely trimmed carrots. Smoked duck, although satisfactorily tender, could not match the anointed, bone-in short ribs – a hearty two-course entree presented in a cast iron pot with a massive serving of fried potatoes and raw mustard green for lack of dressing.
In a city teeming with shrimp and groats and burgers, Adele’s versions are not excellent, unlike the gnocchi transport from Nashville, which brings pillow-like pasta; silky, citrusy, brine sauce; and an end of crunchy breadcrumbs. One of the best main courses on the menu, it is strange that this is the only vegetarian main course, especially from a kitchen that seems interested in being creative with plants (try the roasted carrots tossed in saffron oil and cayenne spiced granola).
The bartending team is also skilled. My dining partners were particularly pleased with the house’s gin and tonic, as well as the yellow jacket (tequila, yellow chartreuse and lemon with a frothy aquafaba hood). Teetotalers: Ask for the non-alcoholic version of a horsefeather (a sparkling whiskey-pineapple-hibiscus-ginger beer cocktail) for a modest $ 5.
However, the service almost stole the show. The servers were well acquainted with the menu and ready with answers and recommendations. The pacing was smooth and even. Plates and silverware were reset between courses, and the table dried clean. An extra plate was dropped off for shrimp shells, one of many small details that added up to the kind of hospitality you can expect at an establishment with a white tablecloth with far more expensive food and drink.
These properties make Adele’s not only a welcome addition to a historic street in transition upwards, but also a worthy destination for any diner looking for creative yet familiar dishes, excellent service and reasonable prices.
Service: outstanding – attentive, enthusiastic, communicative
Best dishes: bruschetta, kale salad, fried asparagus salad, gnocchi, charred carrots, fried ribs, budino
Vegetarian selection: marinated olives, bruschetta, kale salad, shaved cauliflower salad, fried asparagus salad, crispy potatoes, charred carrots, pimento mac and cheese, gnocchi
Alcohol: full bar
Price range: $$$
Credit card: all major cards are accepted
Opening hours: happy hour, 4.30pm-6.30pm Tuesdays-Thursdays; dinner, 17.00-21.00 Tuesdays-Thursdays, 17.00-22.00 Fridays-Saturdays; brunch, 10.30-15.00 Sundays
Parking: limited street parking, free on-site parking at Edgewood Avenue and Bradley Street
MARTA station: The King’s Memorial
Wheelchair accessibility: yes
Noise level: average
Outdoor seating: patio
Take out: yes, call or order in person; no delivery
Address, telephone: 525 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 470-890-1700
Editor’s note: AJC has updated its price code to reflect the increased cost of restaurant service.
Price code: $$$$$ means more than $ 100; $$$$ means $ 100 or less; $$$ means $ 75 or less; $$ means $ 50 or less; $ means $ 25 or less. The price code represents a typical full course meal for one, excluding drinks.
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