Adom has been a popular restaurant in Jerusalem for the past 12 years, but the new incarnation in the First Station complex has brought about a change in both the menu and ambience.
What was once an intimate Jerusalem venue is now a much larger cosmopolitan restaurant and bar.
We were fortunate to meet Michael Katz, the executive chef of the Adom group, which also includes Lavan, Colony, Hanel’e and Little Italy. He said they have made Adom’s menu more upscale to distinguish it from the other places in the complex and to avoid competing with Colony.
The large restaurant holds 170 diners, including outside seating. The décor combines the rustic authenticity of the old train station building with the appropriate glamor of a restaurant of this caliber. Despite the size and high ceilings, my companion and I noted that the acoustics were very good. As the evening progressed, the lights dimmed and the crowd got younger and trendier, but you can still have an intimate conversation with your dining companions.
The entire staff has moved over from the previous location, and our waitress was particularly attentive and knowledgeable. The creative cocktail menu features photos of the staff, and each cocktail is named after one of them. I enjoyed Tamara’s Ginger (NIS 45), while my companion savored Rotem’s Sangria (NIS 45). There is also an extensive wine list that includes many European and New World options. We sampled a bottle of Flam Classico 2011 (NIS 160), which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, from a boutique Israeli winery in the Judean Hills.
Of the starters, my favorites were the drum fish sashimi (NIS 56) with marinated artichoke hearts, pears and pickled beet root, and the beet carpaccio (NIS 48) with cheddar cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. The beets were sliced paper thin, and the vinaigrette lent the perfect amount of acidity, complemented by the creamy cheddar. My companion favored the crab ravioli (NIS 56) with vongoli clams in a sage and Roquefort cheese sauce. She found it very fresh and light with a rich flavor.
The endive and rocket leaves salad with seasonal fruit and blue cheese (NIS 48) was a surprising delight, as I do not normally like those ingredients, but they worked really well. The cherry tomato salad (NIS 46), however, was a disappointment. It was beautifully presented and the colors were sensational, but the dressing lacked any punch.
Sometimes you try a dish that has you thinking about it for days afterwards, and judging by the popularity of the dish in question on surrounding tables, I don’t think I was alone in this feeling. Gnocchi with chestnuts and porcini mushrooms (NIS 68): the name does not do it justice. I could have been sitting in a villa in Tuscany as the perfectly made and cooked gnocchi melted in my mouth. I love the two main ingredients in any dish, but together and with a creamy sauce that was not too heavy, it was the perfect combination. Meanwhile, my companion enjoyed the beef fillet medallions (NIS 118) with bone marrow, pears and ginger in a red wine sauce. The beef was cooked as requested, and the sauce was a good complement, but it still did not beat the gnocchi. She also tried the seafood platter (NIS 118) with black risotto and curry sauce, which was very filling but slightly too heavy.
Again, the fish was very fresh, but she found the rich Cajun flavors quite overpowering.
Lastly, we tried the pasta with zucchini (NIS 62), served with sun- dried tomatoes, pine nuts and olive oil. The tagliatelle pasta is black (from zinc, not squid) and with the colors of the vegetables, it makes an interesting presentation. I loved the zesty flavor of this dish and it was a very generous portion, but my only critique is that I would have preferred more zucchini to make it a lighter dish.
For dessert, we found it so hard to choose among them that the waitress insisted on bringing most of them to try. My favorite was the seasonal fruit tart (NIS 42), which that night was pear tart made with crisp, buttery pastry and a rich almond crème, served with vanilla ice cream, strawberry coulis and white chocolate truffle – heaven! Luckily, my companion did not fight me for it, as she preferred the chocolate and peanut butter mousse (NIS 42). We both thoroughly enjoyed the other selection of Pavlova (NIS 42), tahini ice cream (NIS 38) and the crème brulee trio (NIS 36).
Whether you plan to enjoy a cocktail at the bar, an intimate meal for two or a night out with friends, the new Adom is a great addition to the Jerusalem restaurant scene and the perfect flagship restaurant for the new First Station complex.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
The First Station, 4 David Remez St., Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 624-6242
Sun – Fri 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat – 1 p.m.-2 a.m.