2864 Adams Avenue, University Heights
As if Adams Avenue didn’t already have enough good dinner spots.
Now Hanna’s Gourmet, long a popular weekend brunch spot, is serving dinner — and it's good.
Hanna’s has been expanded from its original use as a catering kitchen and then a pastry spot. Now it is a fine, but not fancy, restaurant with a cute, casual patio on the side.
Located smack dab between Utah and Kansas (streets, not the states), Hanna’s specializes in bistro-style vittles with an international focus. Andy, my friend and a Hanna’s regular, joined me for the meal.
The coconut shrimp with ginger pineapple sauce was also spectacular. The shrimp were perfectly fried; crisp, not oily. The sauce added a sweet, but not cloying, fruit component.
We loved the crostini appetizers: tomato and basil on one and artichoke, goat cheese, and lemon on the other.
Bursting with flavor, they definitely set up the meal nicely.
The pear salad with mixed greens, hazelnuts, cranberries and gorgonzola cheese was also a delicious meal starter. The greens seemed to pop with life.
I’ve learned that in good restaurants, it’s best to go with unusual sounding items because the chef has it on the menu for a good reason. And Hanna’s is a very good restaurant.
Take the South African curried meatloaf. You better, because I’m not sharing mine.
The loaf is a loosely packed ground beef flavored with curry spices and served in a square ramekin with a yogurt egg sauce on top.
The beef is slightly tangy and there is spice, but not heat. The yogurt egg sauce adds creaminess. The result is the type of dish that is hearty without being heavy. The arugula salad on the side helps in that regard.
The Moroccan chicken tajine is another winner. A tajine is a Moroccan dish named for the clay pot that is used for cooking. It’s sort of a stew but flavored with apricots, dates, preserved lemons and green olives.
It is savory comfort food at its best.
Hanna’s Gourmet started out with desserts, so they come highly recommended. I was full, so I took home some chocolate fudge cookies with powdered sugar on top.
My son wrestled me for them when I got home.
I asked him what he thought.
“They’re good. They’re like liquid chocolate flowing down my throat.”
My family and I traditionally go to the Trolley Barn Park Concerts held each July, a few blocks away from Hanna's. I can see us getting dinner there beforehand.