- brynn Nov 13, 2005 09:59 PM
hi all - some questions about amada, if you can stand a few more!
i'm fairly new here, from DC, and we miss our local tapas restaurant, jaleo ( www.jaleo.com - if you are ever in DC or bethesda, GO!). we've noticed the absence of a spanish tapas place here in phila, so we're pretty excited to try amada. we've got some DC friends coming up next weekend and i've made reservations at amada.
i don't want to say i'm looking for another jaleo, because that would be unoriginal... right? (oh, who am i kidding, i'll admit i wouldn't mind an absolutely identical menu!) but i guess amada restaurant is so new the menus aren't up on the webpage yet (no pictures, even!), which has got me a little worried. i always like to do my research. i'm strictly vegetarian, and while i'm usually able to find something or have the kitchen create/modify something if they're up for the challenge, i'm a little worried when it comes to blindly hoping this place has about four little vegetarian plates that appeal to me. i'm almost hoping to indulge locally in my old favorites; patatas bravas (yea i'm sure they have at least that one), mushroom and goat cheese stuffed peppers, green apples and manchego cheese, a fat portobello mushroom with garlic, small mushrooms in olive oil, tomato bread, cherry tomatoes, watermelon and mint in balsamic vinegar, spinach and pine nuts.... (great, now i've practically made myself drool
anyway, i'm just hoping to get a sneak peek at the menu - specifically, vegetarian items. any input?
and has anyone tried both jaleo in DC and amada here? how do they compare?
and is the $28 sangria i keep hearing about worth it? that's a bit expensive, no?
anyway, after all the tempting reviews i've read, i can't wait to try it on saturday! i'll get back with a full report, i promise!
You should have no problem at all. I was at Amada for dinner on Friday and am also vegetarian, and I thought it was great. Tortilla was tasty, tons of different cheese pairings, veggie tapas, etc. You'll be fine.
Also, I would go for the red sangria over the white - and it's not too pricey.
Having been to Jaleo twice, I can tell you that Amada is way more upscale, and the prices are a bit higher. Otherwise, the food is delicate and exquisite and there are things on the menu you won't find anywhere else. When we went there, four of us spent $375. We could have ordered a third less food and been happy. So my advice is decide what you want, then order half, and then decide if you want to order anything else.
great advice, with the ordering half and then seeing what else you need. i had no idea amada was more upscale than jaleo; thanks. yeah, at about $95 a head that's a quite a bit more; jaleo routinely cost us about $50 each with a healthy helping of red sangria.
reservations are for tonight; i'll be sure to post my thoughts later. i feel like a little kid about to go on a really scary roller coaster; you know, the anticipation? :)
thanks for your insight, all!
Interestingly, Amada is that rare opportunity in the Philadelphia where a new restaurant opens and there actually isnt anything to compare it to in town. The restaurant is excellent and well done, they obviously did some solid research. While you willl be completely satisfied, it has this slight Stephen Starr-ish attempt to pander to local tastes instead of just sticking to classic tapas, the more rustic the better.
Case and point, the beef filet and chilean sea bass (regardless of preparation) should be removed from the menu. The basic rustic stuff could also be a tad more "authentic" ......Bacalao croquettes are good but the restaurant is being quite timid because it is more potato than salt cod. The soup is excellent as are the fried anchovies and sardines but then again you are vegetarian.......
To answer your question, Jose andres's food is much more spanish and jaleo is better as is Tia Pol and even Casa Mono.
A welcome addition to the philly food scene.
I said it before, but since you specifically mention Patatas Bravas, be warned that they tasted good, but the preparation was the most inauthentic of the things I tried. It was a very nouvelle cuisine arty presentation (six potato shells encasing a dollop of the mayo sauce...and it really did resemble pigs in a blanket).
The red sangria would have been better had they not put cinammon in it. I don't know if that bothers you, but I could have lived without it. Somebody recommended the white.
I did not try Amada's sangria - I believe sherry is much better match for many of the dishes, and Amada has a good selection of sherries (including a flight of 3 for $21).
I'd been to Jaleo a couple of times (used to live in DC). I liked it a lot, but I think Amada is better. More expensive, though.
Some meatless (I believe, I would ask to make sure) items I can recall that I've had and enjoyed at Amada are: Spanish tortilla, spicy potatoes, artichoke and manchego flatbread, white asparagus, and spanish olives of course.
I was not a fan of Jaleo's sangria (too vinegary), and I am not a fan of Amada's, either (too sweet).