Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Wade's Take:
Formerly at the location of Coquette, Adsum has a corner lot with large windows facing Queen Village. It immediately makes the place feel entrenched in the neighborhood. Hopefully, that helps it stick around, for I found it definitely worth a revisit. 

Adsum is one of the wave of new, trendified gastronomy lab kitchens. It's done right. Chef Matt Levin, formerly of Lacroix, has launched Adsum as a place for foods that fill people's cravings... the type of food other chef's crave when they close up shop. The menu definitely reflects that. Forget the high end salads, forget the organic chow... this place is all about fats, starches and fried goodness.

I started with the fried oysters with pickle juice remoulade. The oyster selections were phenomenal... large, plump and meaty. The fry batter was crisp and dry, lacking excess fat. Atop the remoulade, which had a clean tartar sauce appeal to it, this was a fantastic appetizer.

I'd heard about the perogies in advance and knew I'd be ordering them. It's a light, refreshing take on the classically heavy dish. The potatoes are whipped with milk and garlic super fine and stuffed into a soft dough shell more like that of an asian dumpling. Burnt onions that taste of thyme lay over the perogies, and woven between each perogie on the plate is the smoked buttermilk. A forkful of  the perogies and onions, smeared with richness of the buttermilk made each bite excellent.

The chocolate donuts were fair, but missing some creme fraiche or some similar substance to balance with the cocoa. 

Three out of 4 cravings

Jess' Take:
Adsum has such a foodie feel to it, I felt immediately at home when we sat down. One look at the menu and you know that you're there for the flavors and creative combinations, and not for a heart healthy meal.  Gotta love it.

I started out with the grilled rock octopus, served with black pepper caramel. Although the octopus was extremely tender, the sauce tasted like it was straight out of a store-bought BBQ jar. It was overpowering, sweet and completely dominated the dish. It's unfortunate because the portion is a good size.   

For my main entree I went for the fluke served with grilled snails and mushrooms. This dish MORE than made up for my disappointing appetizer. I'm a huge mushroom fan and this dish definitely served them up - big and juicy. The snails were tender and tasty and the fish was light and flavorful. Each element also incorporated a strong, but not offensive, garlic flavor. It was amazing.

Wade mentioned that we ended with chocolate donuts. They were more like donut holes which weren't quite cooked all the way through - coated with sugar and warm and gooey in the middle. I agree, the taste was a little flat. Dave mentioned they could use some salt and he's spot on there. But, nonetheless, they were a great sweet ending to the meal.

By the end of the meal, my appetizer was a distant memory (although one that I must take into consideration with my rankings). So, Adsum, you shall receive a 3 out of 4 from me.

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