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November 13, 2009

Adela opens in Fells Point

MezzeSmallPlates.jpgTapas Adela opened quietly this week in Fells Point.

This is the fourth place in the Kali's Restaurant Group, and the second tapas bar.

Adela's Web site isn't up and running yet, but I did get a copy of the menu. It's purely Spanish, not a mix of cuisines as so many small plates restaurants are these days. Nothing much costs over $8 except for the paellas for two ($20) and the roast suckling pig for four ($25). ...

I asked one of the business partners, Karen Patten, why Kali's decided to open another tapas place. Wouldn't it be competition for Mezze, just a couple of blocks away?

She explained that Mezze's food is completely different, because it offers only Greek and Middle Eastern small plates. At one point ceviche was on Mezze's menu, but they decided it was too Spanish and took it off.

Adela is open every day from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; the kitchen is open till 11 p.m. It's where Southern Accents was in the Admiral Fell Inn at 814 S. Broadway. (The space has been completely redone by Rita St. Clair Associates.)

Tapas Adela's phone number is 410-534-6262.

If anyone has been, please give us a mini-review below.

Sorry I don't have a photo of Adela yet. The shoot is next Tuesday. A picture of Mezze will have to do.

(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:53 AM | | Comments (3)


I know it is completely unfair to post any impression about a restaurant based on their opening night but since EL asked (and I can never say no to EL) ...

My girlfriend and I stopped by last Saturday night. Apparently Adela opened last Friday for drinks only and last Saturday was the first night the kitchen was open. The space looks great -- a fun little bar scene and two mini dining rooms off the main bar area. We each enjoyed a couple glasses of Sangria (I had the white which was sweet but not overpowering and she had the Cava sangria (champagne sangria) which she enjoyed -- they also offer a red sangria and some Spanish wines).

As for the food, they only offered about a third of the menu since it was night #1 so the pickings were slim. We ordered 2 shrimp dishes, croquettes, spicy potatoes and a salad. The first shrimp dish was excellent -- two mini grilled shrimp skewers with grilled artichoke hearts and grape tomatoes. Excellent flavor. As for the second shrimp dish, we never knew ye. Our waiter came back and told us they were already out of that so he went ahead and just brought us another of the first one. It turned out great for us since we loved the first one but he didn't know that at the time and if we hadn't liked it, I probably would've been a little annoyed that he brought (and charged us for) a second one. But all's well that ends well.

The croquettes were fine -- a little bland but good texture (a mix of mashed potato, cheese and maybe chive?). The salad was a simple (and small) arugula salad dotted with jamon (Spanish ham), blue cheese crumbles and nuts (maybe almonds -- can't remember). It was a tad disappointing as the ham and nuts were few and far between. Mostly a bowl of arugula. The spicy potatoes never came.

The service was sporadic -- both good points and bad points but I would never hold that against a restaurant on opening night.

All in all, a good experience and one in which we will definitely go back when things have settled down in a few weeks. Definitely give it a shot!

Thanks very much for the report. EL

I went this past Friday night and was seeted by myself in the dining room as bar was packed full. (A friend later joined for a drink). At first glance their menu looks impressive well organized and has a good variety to choose from. I ordered four dishes in total all spaced out. All were very well executed both in flavor and presentation. Plato de Entrada with meats and cheeses was a small portion but everything was fresh and of high quality. It came with some miniature bread sticks, olives and capers on the side. Shrimp and garlic was the standout the five medium sixed prawns were extremely fresh with great natural flavor almost feeling like you could eat the shelled tall that was left on. Spinach plate was excellent too with a generous portion the only gripe would be too many of the sweet golden raisons. And the grilled lamb chops were very good cooked medium (without request on temp.) with an excellent green dipping sauce which paired well. All in all, I was very impressed by the restaurant. Service was slow at times but from the manager/hostess down to the busser they seemed like they were happy to have you there and my stomach and taste buds were in agreement that night.

Just curious is anybody else has been to Tapas Adela. I have always felt that Baltimore was lacking a true Spanish tapas restaurant, and I'm hopeful that Tapas Adela will fill that spot. I'm seriously craving some patatas alioli!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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