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Amada

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Amada Review

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.

    Restaurant Details

  • Reservations essential.
  • Credit cards accepted.
  • No lunch weekends.
Updated: 05-19-2011

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Food  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Had better tapas in tourist-trap diner in Spain

    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?

    by downer, 1/2/14
  • Food  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Enjoyed the Tapas Format

    My spouse and I dined at Amada for lunch in late December 2012. We arrived at the restaurant at 2:00 pm, and we were (not nicely) informed that there was no space available for us, despite the restaurant being rather empty (it was New Year’s Eve day). We asked if we could sit in the bar area (again, we were told there was no space, and that at least was true; all the tiny tables were occupied). Our last request was to sit at the bar (the bar-bar, not the food-preparation bar) and were told that it was acceptable. As it turns out, we think lunch service ends at 2:00 pm; we wish the hostess would have just mentioned that, instead of giving us the cold shoulder. Amada serves lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner daily. You can reserve a table using the Open Table reservation system. (We tried to use Open Table to book on NY’s Eve day, but the system was set for the evening meal which was a set menu for about $75. When we emailed the restaurant to find out whether their regular menu would be served for lunch, we were told that it would be, and that they would make the necessary changes on Open Table to reflect that at lunchtime; however, they never did. So we arrived without a reservation.)

    We ordered the La Mesa de Jose, the chef’s-choice tasting menu ($35 per person), which was not as easy to eat at the bar as if we had been seated at a table, but we wanted to eat at another Jose Garces restaurant after dining at Chifa a few years ago, so we made do with the bar seating. The bartender provided good service, and our tapas dishes were delivered one-by-one as soon as they were prepared. It was a good opportunity to try several different dishes; however, none of the menu items that we truly wanted were presented (such as the shirred eggs and the fava/lima bean salad). Some of the menu items that we did get, we would not have chosen for ourselves (like the crab-stuffed peppers, mushrooms, chicken brochettes), and yet they were delicious. We also had one meat, one cheese (with lavender honey), hanger steak, the fig salad, and the Spanish tortilla - so we probably tried at least 8+ dishes. Some of the hand-crafted cocktail combinations sounded interesting, although we opted for beer instead.

    We appreciate all the various Garces restaurant options in Philadelphia, and plan to try another restaurant the next time we are in town.

    by fluffnfold, 3/15/13

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