Don't let the simplistic entrance fool you! Ada Street is the perfect example of a hidden treasure. I will admit I missed it at first, but just look for a large, dark oak door with the restaurant name. This Bucktown gem was originally a welding shop and it stays true to that history with its industrial feel. After walking down a dark hallway, you'll find yourself in a dark, retro bar opening up to a large outdoor dining area. The great wait staff and manager told me the patio was originally intended for picnic-style dining. While there are tables and chairs now, it still has a summer picnic vibe, complete with red and white checkered tablecloths.
We started out with the soup of the day, a Tomato Gazpacho, which was fantastic! It's creatively served in a shot glass which was the perfect start to an amazing meal. Every bite was bursting with flavor. Next we had the Polenta Fries, which were nice and spicy. They were served with a chipotle sauce if you were feeling even more adventurous, but I loved them with or without. Our fabulous waitress recommended the Octopus, which I must say I was wary of, but I'm so glad I gave it a shot. It was nice and tender with a tabasco mash giving it a nice barbeque taste.
My favorites of our shared plates were the Green Beans and the Flatbread. The beans are completely perfect in all their simplicity. The light dijon dressing and breadcrumbs make a standard, but very fresh vegetable feel like a main course. I was about to order another helping when we got our flatbread. This treat is ever evolving, just like the menu, and today it was plum tomatoes and corn on an avocado puree. It was like a sweet corn salsa on a crispy cracker. Definitely don't skip this when you check out Ada Street.
Another thing not to pass up? Their fresh and fruity desserts! We were torn between the Donuts with blueberries and the Buttermilk Panna Cotta with blackberries and they were both incredibly delicious. The donuts were so soft and warm accompanied by such sweet blueberries. While I'm a huge fan of panna cotta, this version was spectacular and I finished it in minutes. It was so light and creamy and both the blackberries on the panna cotta and the blueberries with the donuts were so fresh and unbelievably sweet. Everything at Ada Street is a must-try and I suggest heading over there ASAP!