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Jul 20, 2006 04:30 PM

Bar Ferdinand

Went to new tapas place in Northern Liberties on Tuesday, and all I can say is WOW!!! Bar ferdinand is located in Liberties Walk (2nd & George?). It's owned by the fella who designed lots of Steven Starr places and it is beautiful!!! But more importantly, the food was great. I think they will give Amada a run for their money. The octopus and the steak with fried egg and truffles were our two favs, but everything was outstanding. Pitchers of yummy sangria for $12.00. Has anyone else been?

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  1. Thanks for the review. I've been wanting to try it. What are the prices like? Do you think it would get crowded on weekends?

    1. I read about Bar Ferdinand in the Inquirer, and it sounded like it might actually be more the kind of vibe and prices that I was hoping for in a Tapas restaurant. I loved Amada, but it is far too expensive and a little too fussy in its presentation. I can't wait to try it. And a Sangria without Cinammon is a good thing.

      1. I very much enjoyed my meal there earlier this week. I tried both the white and red sangria by the glass ($3 each) and preferred the white. They have an impressive spanish wine list that I plan on exploring when I return.

        Everyting we ordered was good, moderately priced, but not obsession worthy.

        The service was excellent. Our server really helped us with our choices and gave us plenty of time.

        1. i finally made it over to bar ferdinand on friday... sorry to say i can't give such a stellar review.

          the layout is weird, the enterance is not well-marked and there is no host stand. it's awkward, but fixable. the noise inside was absolutely deafening - in part to a quite pretty tile mosaic on the wall, and blaring top-40-type music. with the music, the dark lighting and a massive bar, it seems like more of a drinking destination than an actual restaurant. i suppose it is called BAR ferdinand. maybe i should take it for what it is; but i'd heard soooooo many people raving about the food i guess i got my hopes up too high.

          we requested a table outside because we couldn't stand the loud music. we were seated rather quickly, only a 45-min wait for a party of 3 on a friday at 7pm with no reservations. the outside area is pleasant, though we were seated next to a table where a lady just couldn't be bothered to leash her dog (which was no small dog, it was a boxer). not a bother to me; i like dogs, but the table across from me was visibly disturbed - the dog apparently liked what they had to eat. the poor dog also kept walking in the way of the servers and busboys, and still the owner paid it no mind. i had half a mind to take the dog from her and give it a more deserving home! tough situation for the staff; do they say something to the owner and possibly forfeit their tip, or do they do nothing and let some patrons suffer? they chose to do nothing.

          i was seriously in the mood for some gazpacho, but was surprised not to find it on the menu! i was also sad to see no mushrooms on the menu. all spanish tapas restaurants i have visited in the past have had at least two or three mushroom tapas! no big worries, though; i try to take each menu for what it is rather than what it lacks... and there were other tasty things to choose from, though not too many filling vegetarian options. i did try some garlic shrimp (shh!), which was fabulous - standout dish of the night. the tomato salad was quite good, as was the cheese plate (though not big enough!). though each plate was priced below $8, the portions were tiny and i didn't leave full.

          my company and i had to compare it all, of course, to amada. unfortunately, nothing really even starts to come close - with the exception of the sangrias. i would rate both the red and white better than amada's (amada's sangria tasted a bit too much like alcoholic hawaiian punch to me). and at $12 a pitcher, we could afford quite a bit of both!

          the service i found more than just a bit ridiculous. took 15 mins to get water and another 15 to get our sangrias in front of us. ordering & starting to receive the food took upwards of an hour. the food came too slowly, with the three of us devouring each tiny plate in minutes and waiting quite a long time for the next plate. coffees came out and were finished well before dessert ever arrived, and getting the check and paying for our meal took another hour. i placed our names on the waiting list at 7pm, and though we were seated before 8pm we didn't end up leaving until nearly midnight. this is way too long, considering we never quite filled up!

          if this place can stay in business another six months, i'll pay it a second visit to see if they've worked out their numerous kinks. until then i will stick to amada!

          1. I figure if they do a few things right it might be worth still trying. (Like you said the Garlic shrimp was good). I wonder if they have Patatas Bravas, Tortilla, Chorizo, cod cakes etc. My theory is that if they do these even halfway decent I would try it more than once.

            Unfortunately they have no menu online althought they have a website ( which may have a menu in the future.

            The big sticking point for me at Amada is the pricing ($35 for a pitcher of Sangria that tastes like Big Red chewing gum is too much).