The renovated structure in Atlanta features an industrial-style design similar to its sister restaurant – open interior, expansive ceiling with exposed ductwork, white brick walls, poured concrete floor and retractable garage doors. Plus, a few dishes from the original menu were deemed worthy of repeating in this city: a mountainous Caesar salad of finely chopped kale; light and delicate gnocchi in a lemon cream sauce with capers; and a bowl of thick and rich chocolate budino for dessert – all orders I will happily repeat.
But executive chef Hannah Young, who previously worked at the Nashville site, has put her personal stamp on the Atlanta menu, particularly with seasonal produce.
Salads pop up in unexpected flavor combinations, like shredded cauliflower, golden raisins and scallions tossed in a white balsamic vinaigrette, or pencil-tender roasted asparagus in a yogurt vinaigrette that’s zesty with horseradish.
Of the starters, the homemade ricotta, smothered in toasted bread and topped with dollops of sweet-salty red onion jam, was more satisfying than the smoky chicken wings masked by an overly sour tamarind taste.
Young, originally from Arkansas, has an affinity for smoked foods. Smoked trout is a star among entrees, turned into a thick dip, topped with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and chives, and served with crispy pita wedges and a rainbow of beautifully trimmed carrots. The smoked duck, while satisfyingly tender, couldn’t compare to the creamy bone-in ribs – a heavy entrée for two presented in a cast-iron skillet with a massive helping of roasted fingerling potatoes and raw mustard in the absence of vinaigrette.
In a city teeming with shrimp, grits and burgers, Adele’s versions don’t stand out, unlike this Nashville gnocchi carryover, which brings fluffy pastas; silky, lemony and brackish sauce; and a crispy breadcrumb finish. One of the best main courses on the menu, it’s odd that it’s the only vegetarian dish, especially from a kitchen that seems interested in getting creative with plants (try the roasted carrots tossed in olive oil). saffron and cayenne seasoned granola).
The bar team is also adept. My dining partners mostly stuck to the house gin and tonic, as well as the yellow jacket (tequila, yellow chartreuse, and lemon with a frothy cap of aquafaba). Teetotalers: Ask for the non-alcoholic version of a horsefeather (a bubbly cocktail of whiskey, pineapple, hibiscus and ginger beer) for the low price of $5.
The service, however, almost stole the show. The servers knew the menu perfectly and were ready to answer and recommend. The pace was steady and fluid. Plates and silverware were reset between courses and the table was cleared. An extra plate was dropped off for prawn shells, one of many nice touches that add to the kind of hospitality you might expect at a white tablecloth establishment with much more expensive food and drink.
These attributes make Adele not only a welcome addition to a historic street in transition uphill, but also a worthy destination for any diner looking for creative yet familiar dishes, great service and fair prices.
Service: exceptional — attentive, enthusiastic, communicative
Best Dishes: bruschetta, kale salad, roasted asparagus salad, gnocchi, charred carrots, braised short rib, budino
Vegetarian Selections: marinated olives, bruschetta, kale salad, shredded cauliflower salad, roasted asparagus salad, crispy potatoes, charred carrots, chilli mac and cheese, gnocchi
Alcohol: full bar
Price scale: $$$
Credit card: all major cards accepted
Hours: happy hour, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; dinner, 5pm-9pm Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm-10pm Friday to Saturday; brunch, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday
Car park: limited street parking, free parking on lot at Edgewood Avenue and Bradley Street
MARTA Station: King’s Memorial
Wheelchair access: yes
Noise level: medium
Outdoor dining: patio
Go out: yes, call or order in person; no delivery
Address, phone: 525 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta. 470-890-1700
Editor’s Note: The AJC has updated its pricing code to reflect the increased cost of restaurant meals.
Price code: $$$$$ means more than $100; $$$$ means $100 or less; $$$ means $75 or less; $$ means $50 or less; $ means $25 or less. The price code represents a typical full meal for one person, excluding drinks.
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