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“Exciting and delicious”
Review of Amada

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Ranked #20 of 4,484 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $100
Cuisines: Spanish, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: Between 2nd & 3rd
Transit: Septa 21, 42
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We tried the chef's tapas and it didn't disappoint. Between the wine and endless array of food, I was in heaven.

The interior lighting was very low, with candles lining pathways to the restrooms. It was quite a romantic restaurant even though I was here for business.

Thank missinmyjeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 19, 2013

Some background: I live in NYC and am lucky enough to have access to good restaurants when I can afford it. Was in Philly (which I love) for biz and wasn't expecting food to be a focus. A friend took my to Amada and it was an incredibly wonderful meal and experience. Opposed to Spain where tapas is, in many cases, basically great bar food that helps soak up your tempranillo, I find that most American versions of tapas places are schemes to make more money for less food. Amada isn't necessarily different in that way but at least the food is terrifically good. The flatbreads were intensely delicious (especially the pork) and the boquerones, paired with some pine nuts, were bright and fresh. Lamb meatballs were delicate and flavorful and the mixed cheese and meat plates were a great way to start off the meal. The only thing we didn't like was the chickpea/spinach plate which was like a salt lick (and not in a good way). We had a delicious Rioja as well and that was a perfect pairing. The room is lovely--spacious and warmly lit-- and you don't feel that you're sitting on top of your neighbor. Service was great. A really surprising and lovely experience! But you MUST have a reservation.

Thank Scott H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner here, early on a Friday evening. We were seated at a table in the front by the window and it was perfect. We could hear each other talking, but also enjoy the happy noises coming from the rest of the restaurant. I typically shy away from tapas restaurants because I either end up ordering too much or too little - and then feel sick or disappointed. At Amada, our service did a terrific job of sizing us up (a group of five women) and telling us how many plates to order and then guiding us through the selection process without making us feel like idiots. The result? One of the best meals we have ever had, and at least two of us would consider ourselves serious foodies. Even better - our bill came to about $31 per person (including wine/beer for three of the five) - this is a steal for a big city restaurant of this caliber. Another plus, if you are visiting the historic center part of Philly, this restaurant is very close, so it would be a great place to end your day of touring.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank peonyinlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The tapas experience can be lots of fun. We had the chef's special tapas menu with matching wines. Really unique and delicious. It surpassed my expectations in every category. Delicious and lots of fun!

Thank Christopher S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

My spouse and I dined at Amada for lunch in late December 2012. We arrived at the restaurant at 2:00 pm, and we were (not nicely) informed that there was no space available for us, despite the restaurant being rather empty (it was New Year’s Eve day). We asked if we could sit in the bar area (again, we were told there was no space, and that at least was true; all the tiny tables were occupied). Our last request was to sit at the bar (the bar-bar, not the food-preparation bar) and were told that it was acceptable. As it turns out, we think lunch service ends at 2:00 pm; we wish the hostess would have just mentioned that, instead of giving us the cold shoulder. Amada serves lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner daily. You can reserve a table using the Open Table reservation system. (We tried to use Open Table to book on NY’s Eve day, but the system was set for the evening meal which was a set menu for about $75. When we emailed the restaurant to find out whether their regular menu would be served for lunch, we were told that it would be, and that they would make the necessary changes on Open Table to reflect that at lunchtime; however, they never did. So we arrived without a reservation.)

We ordered the La Mesa de Jose, the chef’s-choice tasting menu ($35 per person), which was not as easy to eat at the bar as if we had been seated at a table, but we wanted to eat at another Jose Garces restaurant after dining at Chifa a few years ago, so we made do with the bar seating. The bartender provided good service, and our tapas dishes were delivered one-by-one as soon as they were prepared. It was a good opportunity to try several different dishes; however, none of the menu items that we truly wanted were presented (such as the shirred eggs and the fava/lima bean salad). Some of the menu items that we did get, we would not have chosen for ourselves (like the crab-stuffed peppers, mushrooms, chicken brochettes), and yet they were delicious. We also had one meat, one cheese (with lavender honey), hanger steak, the fig salad, and the Spanish tortilla - so we probably tried at least 8+ dishes. Some of the hand-crafted cocktail combinations sounded interesting, although we opted for beer instead.

We appreciate all the various Garces restaurant options in Philadelphia, and plan to try another restaurant the next time we are in town.

Thank fluffnfold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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