Adriatic Exceeds High Expectations
Monkfish, Lollipop Lamb, And Great Service
By Joey Ferrari
My wife and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on September 2nd, and having lived in Salem for nearly two years we decided to try a place that was always high on our “to dine” list and consistently received great reviews. We chose Adriatic for obvious reasons, word of mouth, Mediterranean fare, proximity to our apartment, and looked forward to a satisfying and memorable dining experience commemorating our nuptials. Our anniversary dinner not only exceeded expectations in every way but landed Adriatic on our short list of favorite Salem restaurants
We walked in a little after 6 P. M. and were greeted by a smiling hostess eager to seat us. Although we were unable to reserve an outdoor table because Adriatic doesn’t reserve patio tables given the changing weather, the hostess sat us at one of the two remaining patio tables per my wife’s insistence. “Excellent place for people watching,” she said. Couldn’t agree more.
No sooner did we take our seats did our waitress greet us with a smile and a recitation of the evening’s specials. Not only did our waitress accurately recite each component of the four dinner specials, down to the last ingredient, she did it with a great deal of enthusiasm making us more seriously consider ordering the specials than in previous instances at other restaurants where the staff would read the specials in a robotic fashion or off a notecard.
The warm atmosphere and knowledgable staff was indicative of the classy dining experience we were about to experience.After carefully reviewing the menu which has a wide array of dishes ranging from seafood, steak, pasta, and of course vegetarian options, we decided to begin with the Monkfish Kebabs appetizer. Beki loves monkfish but we rarely dine at places that serve it, and serve it as well as Adriatic. Soon after bringing bread and a couple glasses of red wine our waitress brought the Monkfish Kebabs. They were professionally laid out with onion, pepper and tomato accompaniments, and tasted as good as we expected. They were very meaty pieces as well with hardly any fat. We were pretty hungry at this point and consumed the Monkfish appetizer in about 3 minutes which explains the photo of our half eaten appetizer.
Soon after our monkfish binge we ordered our entrees. As is customary for my wife she ordered two appetizers as her entree in traditional “tapas” style–the Roasted Beets and Lamb Lollipops–while I, being a seafood lover, decided on the Mixed Grill Platter complete with salmon, shrimp, monkfish, swordfish, and calamari over a bed of mixed greens topped with a lemon vinegarette. Our entrees arrived in 20-25 minutes which left plenty of time for a second glass of red wine in the interim.
The Roasted Beets, sliced in small chunks and accompanied by orange, goat cheese, carrots, cilantro, and an orange vinegarette, was very fresh and satisfying. Plenty of the delicious beet juice was left on the plate which mixed beautifully with the vinegarette dressing. The Lamb Lollipops were very flavorful and cooked to order; my wife opted for medium rare. She devoured those in short order. Finally, the Mixed Grill Platter was not only very tasty but very well assembled on the plate allowing this diner to get an ample amount of greens and fish in one forkful.
We were so full after dinner that we passed on desserts, but were seriously tempted by the tiramisu with lady fingers and the “semifredo” consisting of chilled mousse, orange, and pine nuts. I asked the waitress to wrap up what remained of my Mixed Grill Plate (for lunch the following day) and we left knowing we had found yet another Salem restaurant in which to celebrate special occasions.
Overall we couldn’t have been happier with our anniversary dinner–the cheerful staff, the attention to detail, the promptness in receiving our food/drinks– it was truly a great dining experience. We highly recommend Adriatic for a casual dinner with friends, a quick bite to eat for lunch, or spending an evening with your loving wife on your wedding anniversary.