Famed Chef Jonathan Waxman opened Adele’s in an old 1950’s automotive repair and tire store in the Gulch area of Nashville, at 1210 Mcgavock Street. He ran the kitchen at Chez Panisse in Berkeley before opening places in New York and San Francisco. He named the restaurant after his mother Adele. It is a large restaurant on two levels with different dining spaces. From a covered enclosed terrace to a lower and upper dining space, to a private room in the back, they can seat well over 200 people. The space is industrial, minimalist with greenery, cool artwork, retractable doors, concrete floors, big picture windows, white oak bar, and chef’s counter facing the open kitchen and wood-burning oven. I like the touch of colour with the mint green metal chairs at both bars.
We went for lunch, where Chef Waxman and his Executive Chef Matt Davidson are serving clean American/Californian food with a side of Southern comfort. The menu is divided into share, salads, mains and sides. We ordered some cheese puffers and pretzel rolls to start, served on a wooden board. I would have liked to see the two homemade butters served at room temperature rather than straight out of the fridge. I thought the kale salad with pecorino, anchovy dressing and breadcrumbs was well done. But a standout was the shaved raw cauliflower salad with golden raisins, and scallions in a white balsamic dressing. A signature dish, also once served at Barbuto in NY, is the JW chicken in a salsa verde. Cooked perfectly in the wood burning oven. It was so moist and flavorful, probably due to the fact that it is most likely dipped in butter. He really is a master of chicken. I would recommend ordering this chicken with a side of his JW potatoes with rosemary. Also amazing, most likely due to the fact they are double or tripled fried. The carrots and peas in a za’atar and honey sauce were also a good accompaniment. If I had a bigger appetite I would have surely ordered the meatballs over the polenta, a fixture on the menu, and they looked delectable (just sayin).
Being Nashville, there was a bourbon heavy list, as well as wines, bubbles, beers, and cocktails. I recommend the Matador, with local Belle Meade bourbon, Maurin Quina, Yzaguirre Rojo, and blood orange juice.
The rosé sangria with rosé wine, brandy, orange liqueur, and fresh fruit gets two thumbs up too.
There were many interesting choices on the dessert list, but the winner was the hazelnut bar, a fudge brownie, with hazelnut mousse, white chocolate ganache and butterscotch. The next best – a baked Alaska, with blueberry ice cream and lemon curd in the center.
Every member of the staff was genuinely warm, welcoming and hospitable.
The food at Adele’s was simple and seasonal, sourced from local farms and purveyors, and is well executed.