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Falafel, couscous, hummus and more will soon be yours at Adea’s Mediterranean Kitchen, a 41-seat restaurant from 32-year-old chef David Winer.
It’s the area’s first vegetarian kosher restaurant, Winer estimates. The restaurant will be closed on Saturday and other holidays. Otherwise, it’s open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., serving a broad menu of Mediterranean food with African influences (Winer’s wife, Adena, is Ethiopian). North Shore rabbis Yossi Lipsker and Shmaya Friedman will provide kosher supervision.
For Winer, who used to run the popular Cafe Kaymak coffee shops in Tel Aviv, Israel, the restaurant fills a crucial niche in an area without many kosher options.
“I live in Salem with my wife and two daughters. We all eat kosher, and we have to go to Brookline or even further for food, and even then, options are limited,” he says. “People have been giving me great responses, and I’m happy that we’re filling a hole. This is really going to be like an Israeli place.”
Winer will serve hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, salads, soups, stews and his great-grandmother’s Jerusalem bean soup. This is his first local restaurant; he spent time working at New York City’s Fresco by Scotto and at the luxury Breakers resort in Palm Beach. He got his start as a bouncer and bartender at the Amherst Brewing Company while a UMass Amherst student, earning a degree in hospitality management with a restaurant focus.
Launching a restaurant while raising two daughters hasn’t been simple, though. Ariel is 3, and Eliyah is 1. They eat kosher, too.
“The JCC in Marblehead has a great preschool, and the girls go there every day. Family and friends have helped us. It’s been hard, I’m not going to lie, but the show must go on!”
Indeed: The restaurant plans a soft launch early next week, just in time for the High Holidays.
Adea’s Mediterranean Kitchen, 90 Lafayette St., Salem, adeasmk.com.