We were out with friends. We had tickets for the Tacoma Little Theatre at 7:30. Our dinner reservations at The Adriatic Grill were for 5:30. With Christmas shopping traffic we were about ten minutes late. No problem. We were sitting moments after we all came in.
Our friends (two couples) had not dined at the Adriatic Grill before, while we've eaten there numerous times. We received nodding welcomes from most of the waiters. The six of us shared a bottle of Malbec. Peg and I ordered our favorite salad to share, the grilled romaine with filberts, cherry tomato halves, and sliced pear. Grilled romaine bites were shared as well.
There's an old joke, "My wife is such a bad cook, she ever burns the lettuce." No so anymore . . . never with Peg, however.
Grilled romaine is served slightly warm with grill marks. The grilling just adds another complexity to the taste. The rest of the salad is crisp with a mixture of sweet and sour flavors.
The Adriatic Grill is one of our favorite places to eat in Tacoma, and their grilled romaine is our favorite salad . . . there. At our top three favorite restaurants, each offers a signature salad that we love.
Polenta takes time and care while cooking, which means I don't cook it at home. I'm happy with instant grits, but don't tell anyone. Any restaurant that serves polenta will have a fan in me. Frequently, I'll order it and not even take a bite, but it comes home with us.
Sometimes at the Adriatic I'll order Meatballs and Spaghetti . . . with a side of polenta, or perhaps just the meatballs and polenta. They just cry out for each other.
There are two choices of polenta. One is crispy and one is soft. The crispy reminds me of cornmeal mush from when I was a child. When I tried it at the Adriatic I had an overwhelming desire to order more butter and maple syrup. With the soft polenta I'll generally order butter and Parmesan cheese to mix in. I am never disappointed. I shared bites around the table.
I rarely have my heart broken at the Adriatic Grill, but twice we've been unable to order our favorite dish - Steelhead with Pesto. It's available for lunch and dinner. So am I.
The steelhead is accompanied with linguine, zucchini, and lemon wedge (from a huge lemon) in addition to a little helping of pesto (which is excellent). I get the pasta while Peg orders her's with spaghetti squash (which I also love).
One of our friends ordered Chicken Parmesan with pappardelle (extra wide pasta), which sounded really good. Normally, I order the pappardelle with seafood and sausage. I think next time I order the steelhead, I'll ask for a substitution of the pappardelle. The Adriatic Grill is always good with substitutions.
While we dined, my friend Donn remarked about the open oven in the kitchen and the possibility of pizza. Their oven-fired pizza is wonderful and is baked quickly. We were running short of time, but I thought I would mention the availability of Olympic Mountain Ice Cream at the Adriatic. Donn's favorite. I love the three flavors of Olympic in the banana split. I think if I had mentioned this earlier, we would have all been encouraged to eat faster. As it was we left with no dessert and got to the theater with just ten minutes to spare before curtain time.