Ever since I tasted his hybrid French-Israeli cooking at the restaurant Fulgurances some three years ago, I’ve been waiting for the young chef Tamir Nahmias to set up on his own. Fait accompli, but his new place, Adar, in the restaurant-lined Passage des Panoramas in the second arrondissement, is mostly a lunch spot open for tapas on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Like many of the restaurants and rare-stamp shops in the Passage des Panoramas, Adar has a fancy carved-wood facade. The interior of the small, narrow restaurant is simply decorated with dried chili peppers hanging from the ceiling, a banquette, small round marble tales with caned chairs, and shelves stocked with products from all over and the restaurant’s own preserves.
The fixed-price lunch menu, with two choices for each course, seemed a bit pricey at €22 for two courses and €26 for three, but compensation came in the form of two amuse-bouches: a tasty little spelt salad with raisins, red onion and herbs, and – even better – a wonderful dish of creamed beets that was like a solidified borscht.
My first course was a fine pair of lamb-stuffed red peppers with baharat, a Middle Eastern spice mix, and a chickpea-based sauce. Perfectly balanced, with a nice grilled flavor.
The cod confit with hazelnut butter, white beans, artichoke and confit lemon, which sounded wonderful, was unfortunately sold out by the time I got there, so I had the chorba, a sensual soup with a rich broth, bits of chicken, orzo, cherry tomatoes, red peppers and raz el hanout, another Middle Eastern spice mix. A small piece of confit lemon added just the right zing to this satisfying dish.
The dessert was a letdown: a babka (like a coffee cake) baked with halva inside. It was too heavy, and the halva made it far too rich. I would probably have been better off with the other choice, rice pudding with cinnamon, orange-blossom water and praliné hazelnuts.
Except for that, I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch and would go back often if the price was a bit lower. I might return one evening to try the tapas, but I haven’t given up hope that one day Nahmias will open a full-fledged restaurant and give free rein to his talents.