San Jose's only Michelin starred restaurant to close its doors

San Jose’s first and only Michelin starred restaurant has announced it’s closing at the end of the year. 

Adega, which boasts as also the only Portuguese restaurant in the country to be recognized with a Michelin star, said its last day will be Dec. 16, after eight years of running a successful eatery at its location on Alum Rock Avenue in the Little Portugal neighborhood of San Jose.

"It's a bitter-sweet moment," co-owner Carlos Carreira told KTVU on Tuesday. 

San Jose’s only Michelin starred restaurant has announced it’s closing on Dec. 16, 2023. (ADEGA Restaurant)

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He and his wife, Fernanda Carreira, delivered the news of the restaurant's planned closure in a video on Instagram on Sunday, saying, the couple first opened Adega with a goal to "showcase authentic Portuguese cuisine and share a little bit of our culture."

Adega restaurant in San Jose promises authentic, Portuguese dishes. The fine dining restaurant, the only one to receive a Michelin star, has announced it will close on Dec. 16, 2023.  (ADEGA Restaurant)

The Carreiras also said that the family-run restaurant has been able to accomplish that goal, bringing a piece of Portugal to San Jose, backed by a great staff, as they've met wonderful people along the way.

But the couple said, it was now time to start a new chapter, with a focus in reaching more people with their cuisine. 

The success achieved through Adega, has allowed the owners to open other eateries, including a more casual dining experience through Petiscos. That restaurant opened during the pandemic in 2020, in downtown San Jose, and features small shared plates of traditional Portuguese dishes.

A dish from Petiscos in San Jose. The restaurant run by the same owners of Michelin starred restaurant Adega in San Jose, said it will expand.  (Petiscos)

So when Adega's doors close, another will open, at that the same location, in fact.  

"We’re excited to announce that in January 2024, we will be opening this location as our second Petiscos," Fernanda Carreira said in the video, noting that it's part of an expansion plan, with many more Petiscos to come.  

Carlos Carreira said through this plan, "We're able to expose Portuguese food to a lot more people." On a good night, Adega will serve about 35 people, he said. On the other hand, at Petiscos, they served about 250 diners a day.  

He also noted, the menu was more accessible and affordable to the masses, noting a meal at Adega could cost more than $300 per person.

The owner said that the decision, while as difficult as it was, made business sense. And he was quick to point out, it was a deliberate choice to close so they keep to the promise they made when they opened Adega.

"The reason we're doing this not because fine dining or Adega is unsuccessful. We're doing very well," the owner said. In fact, conceivably they could remain open and remain successful at least for a few more years, as they rolled out their expansion plan, Carlos Carreira explained. 

Staff at Adega restaurant in San Jose, celebrating its Michelin destinction. (ADEGA Restaurant)

But since the Michelin-starred restaurant team that's responsible for coming up with new menus and dishes at Adega would also be behind Petiscos' expanded food operations, he said it was important that they remained committed to their goal of offering the best and most authentic Portuguese dining experience they could at Adega, and they didn't want to depart from that commitment. 

Adega restaurant in San Jose promises authentic, Portuguese dishes. The fine dining restaurant, the only one to receive a Michelin star, has announced it will close on Dec. 16, 2023.  (ADEGA Restaurant)

"Adega would end up suffering and end up being something we would not be proud of. We want to end on our terms and go out on top," the owner said. "We want to write the narrative. We wanted to do it our way."

After the Carreiras open their second Petiscos location, the owners said their team would evaluate as it considered opening in other markets, possibly San Francisco and/or Los Angeles.

Adega's Dec. 16th closing date was selected carefully, as it also marked exactly eight years since the Carreiras opened Adega's doors with a dream that they believe they have fulfilled. 

Those who want to take advantage of experiencing authentic Portuguese fine dining from a Michelin starred restaurant, the Carreiras invited the public to make reservations, which were open through its closure. 

It should be noted, openings were going fast, as reservations for Adega's final day were already fully booked.