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Amada - Recent Visit

I hadn't been to Amada in almost a year, so last Friday we headed there with a party of six. After that meal, I have no excuse for waiting so long between visits. The waitstaff was extremely friendly and helpful in tailoring most of the dishes we ordered to a party of six. Sometimes that meant getting two orders of the same dish, sometimes they just put six of each item on a plate. Some highlights were the shortrib flatbread, the lambchops (we ordered a second round for dessert), the garlic shrimp, and a green salad (forget the name) with arugula, asparagus, etc. I can't quite remember every dish we had since there were so many and we were drinking quite a bit as well. Some additonal notes: Our reservation was for 8pm, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, our entire party did not arrive until 8:30pm. We warned the hostess ahead of time and they were extremely accomodating when the entire party did arrive. We only had to wait at the bar for about 10 minutes. Also, at no time did we feel rushed and we ended up staying for over three hours. Price per person after tip was just shy of $100, but please understand, that included more than a few drinks and glasses of wine.

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  1. Glad you enjoyed it! We ate there recently. 2 of us had the tasting menu, and while everything was tasty, we left very hungry. Went for a slice of pizza before going home. Am I the only one who's over the whole Tapas trend? I guess I prefer selecting 1 or 2 items on a menu and eating solid portions of those items.

    That's my complaint about Zahav, too. Yummy food, but so expensive and I still leave hungry!

    1 Reply
    1. re: spuyten

      eek! well, i love the idea of tasting many many things, but i happen to often be a solo diner. i would say, if anything, i'm over tapas prices. i never get out of one of jose garces' restaurants for less than $75. this past week, i spent somewhere in the $75-$100 range (can't recall exactly) on light dinners + drinks at both distrito and amada. while the food is excellent, ouch, i can't justify another dinner like that to my bank account for some time to come.

      anyway i'd just eaten at distrito last monday, and had been to tinto recently enough but like the OP hadn't been in over a year so i thought it was high time for a revisit, especially when i showed up to old city 90 mins early for my weds night film club! :) anyway, sat at the chef's table (great place to eat alone) and had several things - watermelon gazpacho with ?goat cheese? ice cream, grilled lobster, patatas bravas, and a stinky, creamy cheese. loved the cheese when paired with the apples, and the watermelon gazpacho was just perfect. sat next to a friendly chef visiting from another city, and we shared food to get to try more stuff. so i also had a taste of the octopus salad (i'm almost shocked to report i favored neighbor phila fish & co's rendition) and a manchego mousse cake that was AMAzing. i could have used my drinks a tad stronger. all in all tinto is my favorite of the three, distrito second (though i would like to revisit for other dishes i hear good things about) and amada third. i guess i'm so not over tapas just yet. :)

    2. Their shortrib flatbread my be the greatest thing ever

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gorp512

        What is this short rib flatbread of which you speak?

        Where would common man such as myself find a recipe for this a mythical sounding nibble?

        1. re: george2

          From Amada's menu...

          COSTILLAS DE TERNERA / Beef Shortribs, Horseradish, Parmesan & Bacon

          1. re: george2

            Not sure if it's in there, but Chef Garces has a cookbook coming out in Sept/Oct. He is also doing a cooking demonstration at Fosters (www.shopfosters.com) on October 11th and will sign books (They are selling it)

        2. I had my first visit to Amada approx. 3 months ago, and I was similarly wowed. I had misgivings about it beforehand, because I knew I would be the only vegetarian in our party of 4, but it all worked out better than I could have imagined. Only one of our party of four had ever done tapas before so we were not a decisive crew. But our server was patient and helpful, explaining, advising and allowing us all the time we needed to make a decision. She even warned me off ordering the Ensalada Verde, because another member of our party had ordered it and she insisted that two orders of it would be too much for the table (she was right). The Ensalada Verde was excellent, as was the fava/lima bean salad (Habas a la Catalana), and a chickpea dish (Garbanzos con Espinacas). There was a baked goat cheese with a tomato-based sauce that we all agreed was too reminiscent of pizza, but it looks like it has since been replaced by another variety of baked goat cheese, and I'm sure it's excellent. My favorite plate, hands down, was the Tortilla EspaƱola -- so incredibly simple and yet so savory -- a complete delight. I will probably spent the next year trying to duplicate that little masterpiece at home. I can't vouch for the meat dishes, of course, but my three fellow diners raved about everything they tried. The prices were somewhat higher than I would have liked, but probably not unreasonable. We each ordered three plates, plus the Mixto (a three cheese sampler) and had one round of sangria plus at least one bottle of wine (maybe two, my memory's hazy on that.) I don't remember the total of the bill but I know that after tip and all, it was well above $75 per head, probably edging up toward the $100 mark -- significantly higher than we usually pay at our quarterly girls-night-out gatherings. But I won't complain, but it wasn't just food, it was fun. And that's what we were there for.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mckerr

            amada is slammin, amazing every time ive been there, worth the $$

          2. I loved everything I ate at Amada with the exception of the octopus. Eh.

            But holy crap, their sangria is stellar. And the oysters were fantastic.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Nicole214

              I agree with that actually--I enjoyed most of the dishes but one dish I didn't enjoy that much was the octopus. the octopus wasn't nearly as good as the octopus salad at Radicchio.

              1. re: Nicole214

                My wife and I (San Francisco 'hounds) visited Amada two weeks ago based on reports on Chowhound. I really loved the food--on that I agree with everyone-but the octopus was the best I have ever had. I would almost fly to Philly to order it again.

                1. re: John Lowrey

                  I agree. We are fortunate in Philly to have a number of good octopus dishes (Osteria, Estia, Kanella among others), but Amada's tops my list.

                  1. re: John Lowrey

                    I agree. My only complaint about the octopus was that there wasn't enough of it!!

                    But my favorite dish at Amada is the pernil asado. Could that pork be any more flavorful? And the perfect blend of crispy skin with a buttery ribbon of fat just beneath it. I'm drooling just thinking about it!

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      Add me to the list of Amada's octupus lovin'. It's at or near the top of my list since Dmitri's grilled octupus has been "less than" the last couple of times I've had it. Have to say that Osteria's octupus app is mighty tasty, though.

                2. Does anyone have a photo of their "cochinillo"? We are eating at Amada mid-September and we'd like to try this dish if it's just like in Madrid. How big is it?

                  1. I visited Amada for the first time during the last restaurant week and I too was impressed by the service and the food. I have reservations for Sunday and I am really looking forward to their grilled scallops and the shortrib flatbread. They were two of my favorite dishes last time. OH and that salad is amazing.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: burgerbaroness

                      Can you take a photo of their signature "roast suckling pig"..just in case they have it? We will be there this Thursday and want to order the pig. If it's close enough to the Madrid/Segovia version, then it's a shoe in.

                      1. re: trvlcrzy

                        The pig has to be ordered in advance for a minimum of 4 people.

                        There are pictures of it at this link...


                        1. re: Philly Ray

                          Pig's been pre-ordered. Thanks for the link! Will try to take more photos.

                          1. re: trvlcrzy

                            Great! What time should I be there?

                            I'm jealous. If that pig is anything like the pernil asado I can only imagine how good it is.

                            1. re: Philly Ray

                              I'm hoping it'll be close to the cochinillos of Madrid/Segovia..the one that can be cut with a plate (but I doubt the butchers will sell suckling pigs here in US).

                    2. We went last night for RW and had a great time. I'm pretty much over the appeal of RW in general, but I still think Amada is a great selection if you can get the reservation. You actually choose two options for course 1 and 2. For course 1 we went with the Manchego Cheese served with lavender honey, the Cana de Cabra cheese with a fig and cherry spread (so delicious), the Spanish octopus and the Croquetas de jamon. We also decided to order the plate of Serrano Jamon a la carte because I just had to have some! All of it was a big hit, especially the octopus, it was cooked and flavored just right. I wasn't a huge fan of the croquetas which is sad because this always makes my order list in any Madrid tapas bar but oh well.

                      For course 2 we went with the shortrib flatbread (always fantastic), the chorizo skewers (yummy, and a good portion size), the madre e hijo (fingerling potatoes, with chicken and truffles and a fried egg on top) - this was maybe my favorite dish of the night. Our fourth selection was the Scallops a la plancha and they were cooked perfectly and of good size.

                      We got one of each of the desserts - a rice pudding and a creme brulee of sorts outside the ramakan. I'm not a huge rice pudding fan but my BF enjoyed it. I couldn't stop eating the large almond cookie that was also served.

                      And all enjoyed with a big pitcher of Tinto sangria. With the sangria and a la cart jamon the bill came to just around $100 and it was so worth it!!!