Friday, December 07, 2007

Great Tapas at Amada, Philadelphia, PA

Giao's sister suggested this great tapas place in Philly and we went with Giao's parents. We were getting a reservation on short notice, but they could accommodate at the bar. We were seated at a sort of strange table that was very high off the ground, on very high, backless stools. We had very good posture over dinner. There were so many options that we decided to go with what was effectively a communal tasting menu of tapas, all chosen by the chef. The cost was $45 per person, with $20 per person for the wine pairing. Overall, it was a great meal for a good price. We were stuffed at the end of the meal and had to take some of it home. The decor was clean, yet warm, with a couple of missteps. They had a display of things for sale at the front, but had decided to paint the prices in white on the fixture, which was distracting, and for some reason they decided to hang the prosciutto from the ceiling still in its plastic wrapping. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Also, the plating was beautiful.

Warm Flatbread with Tuna
This was a tasty little bread course that we thought was a tapas, but was actually just the bread, that would be replenished throughout the night.

Thinly Sliced Ham with Caper Berries, Cornichons and Mustard
Salty and sweet in that meaty sort of way. Yum. Sorry for the terrible picture.

Blue Cheese with Apples and Figs
A very tasty cheese which was nice with the apple.

Bread with Tomato
This was the only dish we weren't so hot on, but not because it was not good, just because it was not particularly interesting.

Goat Cheese Toasts with Roasted Veggies
The eggplant, peppers, onions and tomatoes were sweet and were a nice contrast to the tart creaminess of the goat cheese.

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas with Plaintain Crust
The crust added an element of nutty sweetness to the dish that was unexpected and delicious.

Grilled Flatbread with Shrimp and Chickpea Puree
This was sort of like a pizza and was quite good. Giao's mom loved it. We didn't really taste the chickpea thogh.

Crab Stuffed Roasted Peppers with Almonds
The almonds were a little overkill, but this hot dish was satisfying in a way that only crab can be.

Lamb Meatballs in a Truffle Cream Sauce
So good. The sauce was full of truffle flavor and the meatballs were so tender, I don't know how they stayed together.

These were one of the highlights of the night. They were perfectly seasoned and so simple.

Bean Salad
This was the only true stinker of the night. No one really liked this and we didn't finish it. It was just sort of blah and beany.

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
This simple dish was also quite good. The spritz of lemon cut through the earthiness of the mushrooms quite well.

Chicken with Egg and Potatoes
This was the most tender chicken we have ever had. It must have been cooked sous-vide. And not only was it tender, it was flavorful.

Goat-Cheese Stuffed, Crusted Lamb Chops with Romesco Sauce
The lamb chops were tender and the goat cheese was good, but the crust was unnecessary. These would have been much better with a nice sear instead of the crust.

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 1

217 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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