Thursday, September 04, 2008

Adobo Grill Downtown: First Look

It's been a busy day, and after the immense Start with Art luncheon, I stopped in to downtown's new Adobo Grill this afternoon to take a quick look and catch up with Chef Javier Fuentes, his partner and general manager, George Munoz, and consultant Chef Karl Benko.

Sounds like things are on track for an evening event tonight -- and their VIP cocktail opening tomorrow night. More on food (and the upcoming Pikk's Tavern) next week, but in the meantime, here are a few pics of the renovated interior to hold you over. (As a reminder, here's what it looked like just a few weeks ago.)

Warm woods, copper, orange and blue glass, mix with the darker tones of the bar and metal work. They've managed to make it feel upscale and urban -- very different from their northside location, much more like their original Chicago location from what we've heard.

Adobo Grill (110 E. Washington) opens to the public on Weds, Sept 10 for dinner. Lunches shortly there after, and look for upcoming brunch service. Call 842-9990 for reservations. More pictures at Flickr.


CorrND said...

WOW, that looks really impressive. I can't wait for next week to try it out!

Phil Lavoie said...

Are there any outdoor eating areas?

braingirl said...

Not yet -- not sure what's planned.

Jennifer said...

Yay! I love this interior SO much ... all brilliant but earthy colors, and the loteria-inspired table upstairs ("el corazon") ... reminds me of San Antonio!

CorrND said...

Looks like they've got a shotgun style space with little street frontage so I'm not sure they could have too many outdoor seats. Not they shouldn't....they're just not going to be another Rock Bottom or anything.

I know most people will be more interested in the mixed drinks there, but I talked to Hans last weekend and it sounds like his position at Pikk's gave him a little pull at Adobo and they're going to have Bell's Two Hearted Ale on tap all the time. Sweet -- my favorite.

Phil Lavoie said...

I'm looking forward to trying it.

John said...

We too were looking forward to trying Adobo Grill, as we once did as many times as we could afford the gas to go from downtown to Castleton.

But unfortunately we were stopped at the door because we had our two year old and 3 month old with us.

I have to say it came as quite a shock. That happened once at Old Point, and well...we shrugged and went somewhere else. But that makes sense anyway. Old Point is a bar/tavern.

Is Adobo Grill a bar, or is it a restaurant?

Unless they've drastically upscaled the food (and word is they haven't that much) I can't say that it's a place that has the foodie capital to exclude a growing (literally!) segment of the population.

And, I should say, that some of the best gourmet dining spaces in the city have seated us as a family and been just fine and friendly. Why Adobo suddenly thinks they're above families is a bit infuriating.

It was a family that introduced us to Adobo a year ago. We sat around a huge table, laughing, buying and eating lots of food, and having a great time. We left a large tip a clean table (and floor).

I have no real problem with a smoking establishment like, say, Nicky Blaines. It's a shame Adobo has opted instead for smokers instead of families.

Carrying my two-year old daughter in my arms (she was, yes, crying! she loves their guacamole!), we went down the street to Zing, where they have smoking upstairs, and family seating downstairs. Brilliant. I guess we'll be going there every week.

braingirl said...

As you probably know, it's not whether or not it's a bar or restaurant but whether or not the restaurant wants to allow smoking. Restaurants that allow smoking can't admit people under 18.

I hadn't particularly noticed when I'd been in, but I believe the idea is that they're hoping to attract more late night partiers downtown and think smoking will play into that market.

I don't necessarily agree -- I choose late night party places with great food and no smoking, but the ordinance basically says "if you allow smoking in your restaurant, you can't allow people under 18."

John said...

Yep, I was aware of that BG. We emailed Indianapolis Downtown to express our disappointment.

My wife is a social smoker, so we definitely understand the allure of smoking venues.

Still, we knew Adobo for their food - not their bar. Why allow smoking in a restaurant? If you have good cuisine, you're letting a foreign element modify the taste, regardless of how many vents you manage to install.

So it seems to me that allowing smoking does boil down to identity as a bar or restaurant.

And if places like Zing and SI (do they allow smoking?) can pull off both, why couldn't Adobo?

Greg said...

I didn't realize it was a smoking establishment when I was there on friday.

I was too busy smelling delicious mushroom stuffed chicken.

As a single 20 something, I can say that I appreciated not having to hear kids cry.

Cali said...

Zing's is breaking the law if they're allowing minors and smoking in the same establishment. Unless the upstairs and downstairs have 2 separate licenses and operate as 2 different businesses, which I doubt, they're breaking the law. If the don't want to be fined and want to keep their liquor license someone should tell them to stop because the health department will find this out and fine them.

braingirl said...

Update, looks like as of today, Adobo has gone non-smoking. Good for them!