In the middle of her meal at Miss Ada, my wife Jun couldn’t stop raving about the baba ganoush spread with ginger aioli, eggplant chips and za’atar. “This is so good!” she exclaimed, while enthusiastically dipping the pita bread on the seemingly ordinary traditional dish of mashed eggplant. A restaurant in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene area that opened last year, however, Miss Ada is not just another one of those safe Mediterranean neighborhood places. Helmed by Israeli-born chef/owner Tomer Blechman, I realized after a couple of dips on the baba ganoush and the lamb shawarma hummus that the kitchen is really on to something. While “modern” Mediterranean cuisine that the restaurant says it is seeking to do in its website description sounds like another cliché, Miss Ada did deliver a ton of pleasant surprises on a recent Saturday when Jun and I visited after finally watching the insanely popular David Bowie exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (we came to the museum once a couple of weeks ago, only to realize that the tickets for the day were sold out way in advance).
I already talked about the baba ganoush above, so I will take about the hummus a little bit. This crowd-pleasing item got a turbo booster with lamb shawarma mixed in, and the result is a spectacular appetizer to get your palate ready for a full meal. The combination of the soft texture of hummus and the juicy lamb is something that you don’t want to miss! Jun and I ordered a single skewer of sirloin steak to share, and it turned out to be a wise decision, as the steak was more or less perfectly cooked medium rare, with minimum seasoning to ensure the meat’s texture becomes the center of our experience. Miss Ada delivers falafel wrapped in lettuce along with feta, olives, radishes and green tahini, and the textural effect of soft falafel and the crunchy radishes was quite memorable too.
For the main dish, we ordered half brick chicken with olives, preserved lemon and harissa. As a spice aficionado, Jun wished the broth underneath the chicken could’ve been a little bit closer to the spicier side of harissa, but otherwise we had no complaints about the succulent chicken and would’ve finished the entire thing if we weren’t already full half way into digging the bird. For dessert, kanafeh (a traditional Middle Eastern dessert with kadaif (shredded dough), goat cheese and honey lavender syrup ice cream) ended our meal in a delightful fashion; I was particularly a fan of the appealingly but not overpoweringly sweet combination of ingredients.
I didn’t have much trouble getting reservations about a week or two in advance, but the restaurant got absolutely packed during our meal, so I highly recommend booking a table on Resy before showing up. I really liked the inviting, neighborhood vibe of the dining space; I surmised that most of the diners during our dinner were Brooklyn locals who were looking to share a good meal with friends and family. There is full bar with standard cocktail and wine menus. Miss Ada is the type of place where you walk in not expecting to be wowed but come away very impressed with the right balance of creativity and execution. I highly recommend checking out the restaurant.
KenScale: 8.5/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.5/10)
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 9.0/10
- Value: 8.5/10
Address: 184 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Telephone: (917) 909-1023