The restaurant is modestly sized and tastefully done. Staff have strong backgrounds with previous experience at the likes of L'enclume and Midsummer House while Adam's wife Natasha overseas FOH operations as she did at Glenapp. The food is focused on contemporary fine dining and at lunch there is a choice between a set lunch menu (£25 for three courses), five courses tasting (£45) and a nine course tasting (£75). And Adam is definitely doing his own thing: on the five course tasting menu, the 'main' course is pheasant while on the nine course it's hare. On the day of our meal, other savoury courses on the 9 include mallard and venison meaning that pork, beef and lamb are all sidelined in the main menu in favour of game dishes, surely a brave move for a new restaurant to run with anywhere quite frankly. We say good for Adam.
Already then, there's a sense that Adam is doing his own thing and as the food starts to arrive, it's clear he's doing it well. Beef, off the main menu, has only a supporting role as a one bite canape tartare topped with mini egg yolks, it's lovely, while the chicken croquettes that preceded this are also well executed and undoubtedly good to eat. On the menu items however, the hard work and technical skill becomes apparent.
The menu running order of course is not what you expect, scallops are served after mallard and venison but the food here is less heavy than you'd imagine from the description and the order works well enough as it zigs and zags. Plates pop with colour such that charred sweetcorn and grapefruit bring vibrancy to pollock and artfully plated, every dish is instantly a treat to behold even before you reach for your cutlery. Combinations work well so that golden raisins team effectively with mallard and blackberries are perfect with a tartare of fallow venison, a combination that we cannot remember seeing before yet one that is so absolutely right. Smoked eel, definitely a chef's favourite this year provides depth to scallops that also benefits from baby leeks and sorrel.
At Glenapp, Adam earned 4 AA Rosettes and that technical competence is evident throughout, every piece of fish and meat, every sauce and garnish is spot on. In the theme of mixing things up, we were initially surprised to see foie gras on the menu after the main course but here it's put to work within the crossover dish bringing sweetness shaved over rhubarb that makes for another excellent creation. Apple, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla is smartly done and invokes winter apple pie but without the weight after a big meal, while pears, figs and pedro ximenez packages a fresh sorbet with the intense concentration from the pedro ximenez such that desserts show the same level of originality as the savouries.
Adam and Natasha are young, this is their first owned restaurant and just six months have passed since they opened the doors, yet there's no sense they need time to bed down, to find their feet, rather, they're already delivering at the highest level. The meal is elegant, inventive, sophisticated, superbly executed and enjoyable to eat. We'd be happy to put money on Adam getting a second star in the coming years. Adam's restaurant is good news for Birmingham, and good news for British food: another success story in the making.