Iron Chef Jose Garces’ first Philadelphia restaurant
When you walk into Amada, there’s generally an aura of energy and excitement. The popular restaurant’s design invokes the essence of a traditional Spanish tapas bar while simultaneously exuding a hip and stylish European meets Bohemian vibe.
The space is divided into two main areas: the bar area and the dining room. At the bar, you can choose from a selection of extensive wine offerings, all of which are available by the glass. Amada is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner for 2015 and 2016. The full menu is available at the bar and happy hour is available Monday through Fridays.
If you choose to dine in the dining room, enjoy a flamenco-influenced electronic soundtrack and meals atop lantern-lit tables.
The menu matches that of an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, consisting primarily of small dishes. You’re encouraged to order a selection and share with those in your group.
Making Your Way Through the Menu
There is lots to choose from on Amada’s large menu. More than 60 tapas line its pages, varying from the traditional dishes like tortilla española, Spanish olives and warm fava bean sala, to more modern choices, like foie gras flatbreads and artichoke and spinach empanadas.
Charcuterie is also a highlight, thinly sliced from a European hand-slicer located behind the bar, creating plates of Pamplona-style chorizo, salchichons (pepper-cured sausage), lomo embuchado (dry-cured pork loin) and Serrano ham.
After moving beyond the meats and cheeses, you’ll encounter even more succulent options, including paprika- and garlic-dusted Spanish octopus, grilled and skewered diver scallops, crab-stuffed piquillo peppers, a signature green plantain empanada (mentioned above) and roasted pork with white beans.
Several tapas come in two sizes to accommodate sharing and there are also a few larger dishes, such as paellas and a whole roasted suckling pig designed for parties of four or more.
Tapas For Lunch
The Catalan Express, offered for lunch Monday through Friday, includes a bowl of soup, a non-alcoholic beverage and a salad or sandwich. At just $15.50, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to sample Chef Garces’ culinary creations. Amada also serves brunch on Saturday and Sundays.
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