Monday, September 20, 2010

Amada - Our 2nd Iron Chef Birthday Dinner

Costillas de Ternera - Beef Shortribs, Horseradish, Parmesan & Bacon
TWSF went to Philadephia this weekend to celebrate Chuck's 26th birthday. After much research, I made dinner reservations to celebrate at Amada, currently ranked #8 in the Philly Mag 50. We continued to read about our various restaurant options even after making reservations, but were confident in our choice upon reading an article about the owner's Iron Chef status (read: TWSF Realizes They Are Food Snobs). Considering our amazing experience at Iron Chef Mormimoto's restaurant for Chuck's last birthday (right down the street from Amada), we figured it was best to continue the tradition.

Tinto Sangria - spiced red wine with orange, apple, and cinnamon
Amada is an Andalusian tapas bar located in Old City, Philly's bustling restaurant and bar district. After it's wildly successful opening in 2005, owner Jose Garces continued to add to the Garces Restaurant Group, opening Tinti, Distrito, Chifa, Village Whiskey, and Mercat a la Planxa (in collaboration with Sage Restaurant Group). Garces reputation as a promising young chef grew exponentially after his most recent achievement, the title of Iron Chef America (congrats!).

Aged Manchego with Truffled Lavender Honey
As for our dinner, it proved to be one of the better tapas dining experiences TWSF has had. I reserved seats at the chef's table, the bar overlooking the kitchen. I know it might not seem like an intimate spot to most of you, but to TWSF, this is the best seat in the house. We love watching the chef's cook and expedite while we gossip about the ingredients and techniques they are using. That's what we call FUN.

Serrano Ham
We started with a pitcher of the Tinto sangria (pictured above), spiced red wine with orange, apple, and cinnamon (note to the person that requested a sangria recipe in an old post: we are going to try to recreate this recipe this weekend!). It tasted just like the sangria I've had in Spain, and we both loved the added touch of a cinnamon stick infusing our drinks. One pitcher was $29 and served us 6 FULL glasses. If you plan on having at least a couple glasses per person (which we strongly recommend), you might as well get the pitcher, saving you $2 per glass. Go big or go home.

Gambas al ajillo - Garlic Shrimp
Our food started coming out at a pretty rapid pace, but not so quickly that it was unenjoyable. Our server was polite and a team of bus people were swapping our plates for clean ones as needed. We purposely ordered different things so that we could share, and surprisingly, there was more than enough of each dish to do so (TWSF is always concerned about what they will eat for a second dinner after dining on tapas). Each dish was unique in it's flavor and kept us on our seats for our next course. I won't go into detail about each tapas (see pictures above and below), but I would happily order it all again. TWSF left the restaurant full, happy, and a little tipsy.

Jose Garces, you are a wonderful. We will be back.

Tortilla Espanola - Spanish Tortilla and Saffron Aioli

Scallops a la plancha

Madre e Hijo - Chicken Breast with Fried Egg, Mojama and Truffles

Gambas con Garbanzos - Shrimp, Chorizo and Garbanzo Bean Purée

La senorita que hace Arroz con Leche

Arroz con Leche - Saffron Rice Pudding, Blackberry Compote, Lemon Jam, Cinnamon Bric, Fromage Blanc
Side note: I'm always curious to compare what we would have spent vs. what we did spend had it not been Restaurant Week. The Restaurant Week (RW) dinner menu at Amada offers each guest 4 tapas dishes, plus 1 dessert (each dish was shareable, TWSF got to try 10 different dishes), all for just $35 each. Amada offered only the RW menu, but I was still curious what we could have been paying. Turns out that after adding up the normal prices for all the dishes we consumed, I saved myself $22 by dining during RW. Not bad!

217 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Happy birthday Chuck!

Amada on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. That's my favorite restaurant TWSF! Loves it!!!!