We were lucky enough to be invited to dine at Michelin star ADEGA in San Jose as part of a Michelin All-Star Experience that featured a lineup of Michelin starred Portuguese chefs from four of the world’s Michelin starred Portuguese restaurants.
ADEGA brought together press, foodies, influencers and VIPs (San Jose’s mayor Sam Liccardo was in attendance), where they showcased a seven course dining experience in mid-September.
San Jose’s ADEGA Chefs, David Costa and Jessica Carreira curated the tasting menu, paired with select Portuguese wines, along with Chef George Mendes from Aldea in New York City, Chef Alexandre Silva from Lisbon’s Loco and Chef Pedro Lemos of Pedro Lemos in Porto Portugal.
All of the wines were from Portugal, starting with bubbly and ending with a Madeira Malvasia, which was absolutely perfect (not quite as sweet as port).
ADEGA recently earned the distinction as the first Michelin-starred restaurant to serve Portuguese cuisine on the West Coast as well as Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s prestigious America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2017. Bravo to them for being such a stand-out among San Jose restaurants.
Sweet breads, Chorizo bread, olives and hummus were on the table with whipped butter.
After a l’il Sangria Rose and a chilled cauliflower soup with toasted almonds, they served Albalone, Cavier and Pastel de Bacalhau, which is essentially, a fluffy codfish cake. They paired this beautiful looking dish with a 2013 Esporao Brut Sparkling wine.
From fish, we moved onto a Soft scrambled egg creation with black truffle, which they paired with a 1995 Caves de Sao Joao Poco do Lobo White.
From here, we moved onto a Yellowfin tuna served raw with its dashi and veggie juices. Oh my! The wine pairing was a 2014 Esporao Private Selection white.
Let’s move onto my favorite dish on the menu — it was so scrumptious that I’m still thinking about it on my palette a few days later. This Carabineiro Shrimp is prepared with frozen tangerine and seaweed. Sea grapes are also added, which simply “pop” in your mouth. A 2016 Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho was paired with this heavenly plate.
Next up was the Pig’s Ear Salad with garlic and cilantro, which they paired with a 2013 Prats & Symington Chryseia Red wine from Portugal.
This was followed by a Traditional Portuguese stew made with bivalve molluscs and paired with a 2014 Niepoort Charme Red. It was one of the top favorites at our table.
I’m a huge fan of lamb, so was thrilled to see the Lamb stewed with garbanzo beans and spices on the menu. What was so lovely about this dish made by Chef David Costa of Adega, is that it was both healthy and light for a lamb dish and it was also perfectly balanced. The spice combo was absolutely delish!
They opted to pair this delicious final savory dish with a 2009 Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda Red, which was the boldest of the reds they served all night.
An unusual blend came out next, thanks to the only woman chef in the kitchen that night, Jessica Carreira. This Matcha creme brullee came with a black sesame cake and was served with soy sauce ice cream. Notice the Asian influence here, which is more common than you think in Portuguese cuisine. They paired this divine creation with a 20 year old Graham’s Tawny Porto, which is a fortified sweet wine aged in oak barrels.
I was blown away by the diversity of this torte which wrapped up the evening. Imagine a Portuguese olive oil torte studded with candied olives, olive oil dust and olive oil ice cream?
There was a whole lotta “wow” in this unique dessert which they paired with my favorite of the evening, a 10 year old Madeira Malvasia. I’m not a big sweet wine or port fan quite frankly, yet this one was so delicious, I noticed several folks had seconds.
Behind the Scenes in the ADEGA Kitchen
Below, a look at some of some of the work behind the scenes in the ADEGA kitchen. It is where all the “magic” came together and was a fun place to poke my head in when the action was at its height. What I saw in addition to one fabulous plate of food after another, was a whole lotta passion and pride! Bravo to the team and visiting chefs.
The ADEGA Dining Room
Inside, notice the Portuguese influence on the tiles and decor. Charming, modern, elegant and inviting….
ADEGA is family-owned and operated by long time San Jose residents Carlos and Fernanda Carreira. ADEGA is only the second Portuguese restaurant in the country to be honored with a Michelin star and they have plans to expand within San Jose by opening a new establishment that will serve different styles of Portuguese food with their signature dining experience.
For this Michelin star event, a portion of the proceeds was donated to No Kid Hungry – California.
Below is a recipe that was included in a San Jose handout (YAY!!), so I thought I’d share it with y’all! In Portuguese, it’s called Caldo Verde, which is a Portuguese Potato Soup and this recipe serves four people.
Caldo Verde Recipe
- 1 pound of potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 pound of leeks
- 1 Chorizo link
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound of Collard Greens
- Place the onion, garlic and leeks in a pot with the extra virgin olive oil at medium heat until everything is golden brown.
- Add the choirzo and the potatoes (cut into one inch pieces), cover with water and let goil until the potatoes are cooked.
- Remove the chorizo link and blend everything into a creamy consistency.
- Put the collard greens in a chiffonade and cook in boiling water until tender.
- Cut the chorizo link into thin slices and add along with the cooked collard greens into a creamy soup.
- Toll House Hotel – we stayed here
- San Jose Tourism: #Hashtags: #IKnowtheWay #VisitSanJose #WeAreSanJose
- Winter Fancy Food Show
- San Jose Events: you can type in keywords (aka food or food festival) to find out food specific events and festivals for the remainder of the year or into 2018.
- Dio Deka Restaurant Review
- Cafe Rio Aptos Restaurant Review
- Hotel Los Gatos Hotel Review – we stayed here roughly a year ago
- Top Foodie Picks for the San Jose Area – see our guide of 15 winery and restaurant suggestions
- Restaurants in the area — there’s actually over 130 choices and it’s not an exhaustive list.
- Team San Jose Tourism on Twitter
Note: This dinner was in conjunction with support from and hosted by San Jose Tourism Board / Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. All opinions expressed however are my own.