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Culinary Hotspot: Ada’s

Culinary Hotspot: Ada’s

Ada’s is Acclaimed Chef James Trees’ Next Delicious Win

By Stacey Gualandi

I have a new BFF, and her name is Ada.

After dining with her earlier this summer, I haven’t stopped thinking about her, and the reason is very simple: She’s charming; casual (yet elegant) and she serves the “best” ice cream.  More on that in a moment…but first, if I’m going to talk honestly about her with you, I have to come clean:

My new BFF? She isn’t Ada but Ada’s, a restaurant neatly tucked in the heart of Summerlin’s Tivoli Village on the west side of Las Vegas, and the third brainchild of Chef James Trees, a Vegas native with deep roots in town (he trained under Bradley Ogden, Michael Mina and Gordon Ramsay, to name but a few).

In just 18 months, Trees has branched out across the Valley, adding Ada’s to his Esther’s Kitchen—Trees’ acclaimed soul food spot in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District—and his counter-in-the-sky 108 Eats located inside The Strat on the Strip.

“We really wanted to bring Summerlin the restaurant we think it deserves,” says Trees of Ada’s, which offers an all-day menu of seasonal Italian favorites. “We’ve had such great support from our Summerlin neighbors at Esther’s that we decided very quickly our follow-up project would be there.”

Inspired by the spirit(s) of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of London’s Savoy Hotel, Ada’s is driven by the idea that “hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible.”  Its motto: “You deserve the best!”

Well, I’m here to say, I got served. Here’s how you can, too:

It should begin with liquid courage, thanks to General Manager Sonia Stelea’s distinctive cocktail program. One can choose among three separate wine lists: snack, pizza or dinner (or if you’re feeling frisky, you can indulge in a well-crafted cocktail from a roaming bar cart). I tried the “Pretty in Pink,” my first gin experience. (Pro tip:  If you look closely at the drink names, you’ll notice Trees is a bonafide John Hughes film fan.)

For the main course, go crazy. I did. Start with Trees’ signature house-made bread.  Then, savor the mussels, market salad, beets with ricotta gnudi, pistachio pesto gemelli, and the mushroom polenta—all my personal favorites. (And note: I was sharing with two other eager eaters. Don’t judge.) 

No matter what, save room for Ada’s pizza de résistance: Trees painstakingly offers over a dozen pies on the menu —each outstanding in its own right—but the chicken pesto was our top pick.   

The creatively complex menu tastes and feels just like fine dining, yet the modern Danish space—and knowledgeable staff—are casual and approachable. That juxtaposition has quickly made Ada’s a local favorite, and is helping Tivoli Village rebrand as an emerging lifestyle center with a cutting-edge lineup of culinary hot spots…but it also might have something to do with the ice cream counter right at the entrance. Keeping in line with its motto, Ada’s serves “Best Creamery,” a satisfying Philadelphia-style ice cream with ultra-premium rotating ingredients under Chef de Cuisine Dylan Jobsz’ keen taste buds.  (Due to its proximity to the front door, don’t be surprised if your dining experience begins with a decadent dessert.)

I’ll go out on a limb and bet that with Ada’s, Chef Trees has hit the restaurant trifecta. And with his current and future success, there’s no stopping him from spreading his culinary seed across Las Vegas and (if we’re lucky), beyond.   

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