My husband and I, along with two other couples, met at The Adriatic Grill in Tacoma on Sunday, July 17. None of us had ever been there before but had always heard great things. When my husband and I arrived to the restaurant, we noticed the giant banner outside of The Adriatic Grill congratulating Chef Bill on a recent award. Obviously this meant we were in for a real treat … and some amazing food!
With no reservation, we waited 25 minutes for a table for six. The restaurant was rather busy for 7 o’clock in the evening on a Sunday – or at least we thought so. Apparently many other Tacoma area residents know about the excellent cuisine found at The Adriatic Grill. The restaurant was clean, has an open layout (you can see right into the kitchen while the staff prepares the meals) and the one thing that stood out was how friendly the staff was. The hostess had a smile on her face as she greeted guests and always asked exiting guests how their meal was. The over sized, double copper doors and the white columns inside the restaurant definitely gave the place that Mediterranean feel to it.
We were soon seated at our table and our waitress promptly took our drink order of Italian Soda, iced tea, and regular soda. She then brought out this amazing bread that we dipped in olive oil sprinkled with sea salt: heavenly! My husband and I ate two plates of bread (about five slices) ourselves.
Our table ordered two appetizers: Mozzarella Marinara and Seared Ahi. My husband and I ate the Seared Ahi, which although it was smaller than you anticipate, we thought it was really the perfect size to share as an appetizer. The Ahi melted like butter when I chewed it. I have previously had a seared ahi appetizer elsewhere but the seared ahi at The Adriatic Grill definitely seemed fresh, well prepared, and seared to perfection.
For our main meal, my husband and I ordered the Salami and Kalamata pizza which features thinly sliced salami, fresh kalamata olives, roasted garlic, and a pomodoro sauce. We also ordered a side of Pesto Gnochi. Our friends ordered several different pastas. When our food arrived to our table and I took a first look at the pizza, I knew that it was going to be tasty. I could see the large portions of roasted garlic and the perfectly wood fired crust looked delectable. The “side” of Pesto Gnochi looked more like a regular portion size of pasta that I would expect from any other restaurant. It was more than enough for my husband and I to share. With my first bite of the pizza, I got a mouthful of cheese, salami, kalamata olives and garlic. Let me tell you, those flavors fired up together on that perfectly cooked crust was exactly was pizza should be. The pizza is not overrun with heavy doses of bland sauce, instead the tasty pomodora sauce is used lightly but perfectly. It allows the irresistible flavors of the toppings to compliment the sauce – not drown in it.
The Pesto Gnochi was equally as tasty. The gnocchi (a sort of small dumpling) was coated in a generous helping of pesto sauce and tossed with bits of tomato. We each had two pieces of pizza and each had half of the Pesto Gnochi and still had enough leftover to take home.
There is definitely something that I must draw everyone’s attention to: Obviously, my husband and I are a military family. The two other couples we were with that night are also associated with the military. We were absolutely blown away with The Adriatic Grill’s overly gracious military discount of 25% off. Yes, 25% off our entire meal. As an Army wife, living in a military area, I am always grateful for many different retailer’s offer of 10% as a military discount. To me, it shows appreciation and respect for our military and their families. I have never been to a place nor seen anyone else offer such a gracious and much appreciated discount than the 25% off found at The Adriatic Grill. Many kudos to The Adriatic Grill for their recognition of America’s military!
I feel almost embarrassed that after living in Washington for three years that it took me this long to discover The Adriatic Grill. We are so used to the same ol’ chain restaurants that everyone seems to be comfortable with that we rarely branch out to a place we’ve never been. I have been to locally owned restaurants on 6th Avenue in Tacoma in the past but that is because someone else we knew had been there and recommended it. With The Adriatic Grill, no one in our dinner party had been there before and we simply wanted to try it out. After conducting a bit of “research” online about the owners of The Adriatic Grill, I feel even more inclined to visit their restaurant again in the very near future. This is a place that has earned several awards for their cuisine, their amazing chef, and business leadership. I think that this is a place I need to visit often to become incredibly familiar with their menu by trying one dish – or two! – at a time.
I’ve never been to Italy but if this is what real, authentic Italian cuisine tastes like, I pack up, move to Italy, and eat my way through the country. The flavors of the food created at The Adriatic Grill were something to wake up your taste buds. It’s about time we got out of the “fast food rut” and realized that excellent, great tasting meals can still be found out there. The food will inspire you to talk about the incredible flavors of the food, the atmosphere, and casually eat your dinner while enjoying a conversation rather than scarfing down a fast food dinner on the go. Dinner should be about those you are sharing the meal with all while enjoying the incredibly food created with talent and passion. Treat yourself to a night out and make sure you visit The Adriatic Grill.
The Adriatic Grill
4201 South Steele St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(Side note: In The Adriatic Grill’s menu, the name of the dumpling dish we ordered is “Pesto Gnochi” although I do understand that it can be spelled “gnocchi”. I was following the spelling in the menu for accuracy.)