Since his debut with Amada in 2005, chef-restaurateur Jose Garces has opened three more restaurants in the city, all of them instant and enduring hits. The young Ecuadorian-American chef has taken Philadelphia by storm, and it was at Amada where he set the stage for his modus operandi of elevating authentic regional cuisine with choice ingredients and a modern touch. On offer are more than 60 tapas, each one worth trying, especially the white-bean stew with escarole and
chorizo, and the flatbread topped with fig jam, Spanish blue cheese, and shredded duck. Ingredients—including glorious cheeses—are sourced from northern Spain. The large, festive front room can skew loud; for a quieter meal, ask for a table in the second dining room, beyond the open kitchen.
Jan 2, 2014
James Beard, Iron Chef - what am I missing? We chose a variety of dishes from several sections of the menu. All of them edible (but one - the octopus I wish I'd sent back), a couple of them decent (i.e. good if homemade), none of them great (never mind "special"). When one ends one's dinner finding one's server more memorable than food, ambience...that's just kind of wrong... It ended up being more affordable than I thought, considering Fodor's
"$$$$" and the accolades, but I would've happily spent more. Not even asking for the dishes to hit it out of the park, though that's kinda what you think when you hear "James Beard", no?