January 19, 2016
You know how at VegFests people just keep coming up to you with clipboards trying to get you to tak...
You know how at VegFests people just keep coming up to you with clipboards trying to get you to take their particular pledge to go vegan for a month or something? I just sign them and then all of a sudden I get 35 emails a day from different Vegan organizations telling me about advancements in animal liberation, climate-change awareness dinners, Vegan Mac and Cheese competitions, and all sorts of events that celebrate veganhood around the city. That's how I heard about the Meatless Monday Prix Fixe dinners at Adelina's in Brooklyn. Every third monday of the month, they are going to have a different chef cook a 4-course meal at Adelina's. Last night's chef was Adelina's own, Toby. It was $45 per person and I made my reservation in advance.
We arrived a little early for our 8:15 reservation and were sat promptly. We took a few minutes to ponder our main course selection and which wine on tap (!!!) we wanted to get. The couple seated next to me was on their last course, the cake. I anxiously awaited, as it looked delicious, not to mention that the slice each person was given was easily enough for two.
At Candle 79, they always give you an amuse bouche, "one bite," before your main course, but last night at Adelina's they called this bowl of soup their amuse bouche. That was okay with me, because this soup was totally amazing. Hiding beneath the surface were big cannellini beans (my favorite bean) in a flavorful broth. It wasn't too salty, which I liked. It let me taste the ingredients, rather than just salt.
Next came the Bruschetta, our antipasto. It was smeared, albeit sparingly, with a nice red pepper pesto spread on the toast, topped with roasted red peppers and tomatoes. My bread got burned a little so I ate Alex's. Tax.
I. Loved. This. Salad. We were not given the polenta croutons we were promised, and even I, the biggest crouton fiend of all time, was not upset about it. There were only three ingredients in this salad, and damn, they were good. The cherry tomatoes seemed to have been marinated ahead of time. They had a sweet and fresh bite to them. The porcini mushrooms were unbelievably meaty! The spinach had a nice mustardy vinaigrette and it just really didn't need another thing. I mean, I would have dug the polenta crouton, but it's not like this salad was crying out for it, or anything else.
Alex picked the Pizza Frita, which was lightly fried pizza dough with pesto and cashew ricotta. The pizza tasted so... savory! Not simply salty, but had a particular savory-ness that was really great. I do think it lacked sauce, since it was a little dry. They could have spread out the pesto better, too. The cashew cheese wasn't really the star of the show, like it should have been. I hate to say it, but Paulie Gee's does a better job with the cashew ricotta. Don't follow him on Instagram though...
I got the pasta. The "cream sauce" wasn't all that creamy, and it came out a little cold. It needed some salt, or lemon or something. It did have an olive or two thrown in the mix, but not enough to bring it all together. The guy next to me had me wishing I got the lasagna.
So since we have such dazzling personalities and were keeping each other company while being in deep discussion of current events, most likely dissecting our most recent favorite record, we hardly noticed that we'd been sitting there for almost two hours. When I made the reservation for 8:15, I had no doubt in my mind that being just two people, we'd be out of there by 9. Ten o'clock rolled around and we had been looking at our empty dinner plates for quite some time. The waitress came and put spoons down for our cake but then no cake came. We had fun coming up with suggestions about what the cook might have been doing while we waited. Making a cake sculpture? Went on a quick Whole Foods run? Got caught up watching Making of a Murder? Took a nap? Eventually our cake came, both slices much too large to finish. I'm pretty sure the guy was baking the cake while we waited. You know, the cake? The only thing you can make ahead of time? Maybe the cat knocked it over and he had to bake us a new one. Whatever. We got our cake and almost 2 1/2 hours after we got there were allowed to go home. We have sweats to wear and wine to drink. Anyway: Adelina's gets a thumbs up for going meatless last night, and especially for the wine on tap!