Restaurant Week – Amada

As some of you may know, this past Sunday marked the start of yet another Restaurant Week in Philadelphia. I planned ahead this time and made reservations at Amada. I’d been wanting to go there forever, so this just seemed like the opportune moment. The restaurant is fairly sizable. It’s shaped strangely, with a bar on the far left, a kitchen in the middle, and several dining areas. We ended up at the one in the back, the one you have to go around the kitchen to get to. It’s a beautiful place. Clean, tasteful, lots of wood. It was fancy but not schmancy. It was really nice, I felt like a big dork in there.

The names of all their special cocktails are of spanish movies. How cute is that? A restaurant after my own heart, I tell ya! I tried some of the “Tinto” sangria. It was pretty good. Strong too. Very cinnamony.

So the deal was that you picked 2 choices from the first course, 2 choices from the second, and a dessert. So starting with the first… We picked the white bean and ham stew, the spanish octopus, garlic shrimp, and serrano ham and winter melon. The stew was delicious. That white foamy stuff is some type of potato puree, possibly infused with air? The octopus was mild, had good texture, and came with tiny grilled onions (or maybe they were shallots)? The garlic shrimp were, y’know, garlicky and good. The ham with the melon? Omigosh. So good! The most ripe melons you can find, which they put some sugar on and bruleed, and then put ham over. I loved it!

Moving on to course two! Beef shortrib flatbread, grilled chorizo, grilled scallops, and chicken breast with truffles and fried egg. The flatbread, basically like a little pizza, was topped with shortrib meat and other stuff. This was delicious! There was a “weird” taste in it, and after some thought, I realized it was honey. A shortrib pizza with honey. Strange, but good. The chorizo I wasn’t crazy about. It had that funny chorizo aftertaste. Something with the paprika I think. The scallops were unbelievable. Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned. I have no idea what the green stuff that was drizzled on it was made with, but it was perfect and I would have put that green stuff on everything if I could. The chicken was also excellent. Juicy with a strong and pungent sauce. I really loved everything (even if the chorizo didn’t do it for me).

The dessert choices were a spanish rice pudding and some type of cream with berries thing. I wish they had more of a selection. I didn’t like the pudding much. It had raisins and I don’t like raisins in anything other than cookies. Sorry, I just don’t. The cream thing was good (sorry, the picture came out terrible so I left it out).

The service at Amada is excellent. The waiters are friendly, a different one brings out each dish. Frenetic, yet entertaining. I think they might play some music, but it’s just background so you can definitely have a conversation. The staff will totally help you to decide and give recommendations. I think it’s definitely worthy of some of the hype surrounding it. Now I want to try out his other place, Tinto! Perhaps at the next restaurant week.

Amada on Urbanspoon

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