Sunday, November 23, 2008

Philly's AMADA is amazing

You may recall that a month ago I wrote about TINTO in downtown Philly. Last night after the opera, I took a number of clients to it's sister restaurant in town (located on the east side near the river), AMADA ( and it was just as impressive. We were six people and what a treat to be escorted to the rear private room which was oh so quiet (very good for singers) and held two large marble slab tables that could easily fit 8 or more. Another small group sat at the next table later and we even serenaded the twins with an operatic "Happy Birthday."

We all marveled and the menu while we sipped the tasty WHITE SANGRIA that was so refreshing and finally decided on a number of items which we all gladly shared and tasted. Not a single one was less than amazing. A bottle of TINTO TORO "Temple" 2004 from Bodega Rejadorada was a smooth wonderful warm tasty red that two of us polished off with glee.

If I must complain about anything it would be the extremely small print of the wine list and the lack of spoons to serve and share items with. AS before, we did have to ask for bread to mop up the superb sauces, but it dome come.

As we waited for the tapas to arrive a creamy rich TUNA CAPER Spread came with FLATBREAD. The many tapas were actually served at perfect intervals so that we were never overwhelmed with too many dishes on the table:
ARAGONES-a light cheese served with White Sangria Honey & Golden Raisins
QUESO de CABRA-a rich creamy yet not intense goat cheese served with a sauce of Balsamic & Strawberries
The requisite SPANISH OLIVES which were tiny and tasty, like olives, not salty at all
GARBANZOS con ESPINACAS was a light tomato based sauce with chick peas and sauteed spinach (I find the veggie options to be superb)
SETAS SALTEADAS-Hen of the Woods Mushrooms sauteed with Thyme and White wine
COCAS: PATO con DATILES- We had to try one of the Cocas or flatbreads which really were small pizzas. The combination of DUCK CONFIT, JAMON
SERRANO, CABRALES Blue Cheese and Date Glaze was spectacular

Some of the more traditional items were:
GAMBAS al AJILLO (shrimp in garlic) were sizzling hot and tasty SCALLOPS a la PLANCHA were huge slices grilled to perfection CHICKEN SKEWERS a la PLANCHA were moist and seasoned beautifully CROQUETAS de JAMON were filled with rich cheese and ham and fried but not greasy PIQUILLOS RELLENOS were small mild red peppers stuffed with creamy CRABMEAT

the ALBONDIGAS here were LAMB MEATBALLS in thick sauce with Peas and Shaved Manchego making them truly the best I have ever had

Two novel and modern tapas that were the highlight of the meal were: MADRE e MIJO (literally "mother and son") and consisted of a chicken breast over fingerling potatoes with a Fried Egg on top with Mojama or Dried tuna loin and Truffles for added flavor. It is called mother and son since the chicken represents the mother, the egg is the son. OOPS!

MOLLEJAS con GUISANTES were CRISPY SWEETBREADS served in a light sauce with FAVA BEANS, ENGLISH PEAS and JAMON IBERICO, a small pile of CHESTNUT PAPARDELLE at the center.

Grilled Asparagus and Grilled Mushrooms filled out the dishes and the six of us managed to down everything save for some olives! But no room for dessert!