Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amada - Philadelphia

A few weeks ago we got the chance to try another Philly Top 50 restaurant, one we've been wanting to try for a while. Amada comes in at number 21 on the list, according to Philly Mag, and it did not disappoint. Our reservations were for 5pm (because we're actually 80 years old), but we decided to go early to take advantage of the lovely weather, and explore the streets of Old City.

After playing tourist we took a seat at the bar and ordered their highly recommended white sangria. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was by far the best sangria I've ever had; just sweet enough with a bit of tartness form the apples, it was absolutely perfect*.

The menu was big (and a bit overwhelming), but every single thing looked delicious, and our awesome server was happy to navigate us through the items.

In the end we decided on splitting a bunch of different items and ordered Piquillos Rellenos (crab-stuffed peppers), Pulpo a la Gallega (Spanish octopus), Chorizo, Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes), and Calamari. Everything was brought out separately, so as to avoid crowding the table. I loved that, we didn't know what was coming next, it was like a delicious surprise.

Now let me talk about the food, oh my goodness the food! We started with a tuna tartar that was brought out on the house. It was a yummy and light start to the meal, not too fishy or oily. I don't know if I would've ordered it otherwise, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth! On to the main event. The surprising favorite for me was the Spanish octopus. I had expected it to be chewy and fishy, happily I was wrong! It was succulent, spicy, a little smoky and seriously delicious! The expected (but no less welcome) favorite was the chorizo. I am a huge fan of Mexican food, and have had my share of chorizo, but nothing I've ever had could compare to this. I have no words, just go, eat, and thank me later.

The spicy potatoes were also delicious, and a great way to break up all the meat we seemed to be eating, though in retrospect we probably should have chosen a fresher vegetable considering all the spicy dishes we ordered. The crab-stuffed peppers were also a hit, I just wish there were more! The only disappointment of the meal was the calamari. Normally I'm a huge fan of calamari, but this one just didn't click with us. I think it might have been the sauce (it kinda tasted like grass), so we politely shoved that plate to the side. Our server noted this and, being the wonderful person she is, actually took it off the bill for us! We protested, but she insisted; great example of the service is here.

The small portions of dinner meant that we had left plenty of room for dessert, and I highly recommend for anyone going to do the same. We couldn't agree on who won the dessert round; I think Chrissy did with the Tarta de Manzana (apple tart, sheep's cheese, and roasted apple sherbert) and she thinks I did with the Pastel de Chocolate (Pedro Ximenez caramel, and chocolate sorbet). What we did agree on was they were both AMAZING and the perfect end to a delicious meal.

I think what I most like about Amada is how everything is done as small plates, it makes it incredibly easy to get a tasting for everything and really customize your meal. Plus, it's a great way to do a fancy dinner without breaking the bank (and they participate in restaurant week!). I highly recommend Amada and will definitely be going again!

*I did a Google search to try and find a copy-cat recipe for the sangria and was shocked to find that the owner actually shares their exact recipe here. Score!!

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  1. Wow, that looks divine!
    xoxo, Bethann

  2. Love!!! Thanks so much for sharing!
    personal style and fashion musings of a LA fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane!

  3. I can only hope that you make that Sangria recipe this weekend!