Monday, March 24, 2008

Tapas in Philadelphia, a great experience!

Our night at the rather new Spanish restaurant AMADA was a great experience. It is located in the Old City of Philadelphia, close to many cobblestone streets that Washington, Jefferson and the others walked on among horse dung, sewer water, and merchants only a little over 220 years ago. This is the neighborhood that housed the people that wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for many months while they were weighing all the words very carefully. Of course they didn't have AMADA, just the local inns and taverns. I bet they would have liked AMADA's tapas-filled menu.

This was the view from our seats. We had special seats along the counter towards the kitchen where most of the tapas were assembled. See those wineglasses? The waiters didn't drink a bit from them, but when they came to pick up orders from the chefs they often took a sniff - sniffing alcohol up the nose. Or more properly, wine aroma, I guess.
We ordered about 8 tapas I think, and this probably was PP's favorite, at least from what I could judge from his facial expressions. This is 5 different kinds of coldcuts, cured meats such as salami-like sausages, serrano ham, and cured porkloin. (from the menu: CHORIZO-CANTIMPALO/ SERRANO HAM / LOMO EMBUCHADO / CHORIZO-BLANCO / SALCHICHÓN / JAMON DE CAMPO /)
They weren't as red as the photo suggest, something must have gone wrong in the low light. All photos were taken without flash, mostly with an exposure of 1/4 second or so, so they quality is not the best. I tried to be discreet.
This was a strange but interesting dish. Raw oysters, out of their shells and each placed on a ceramic spoon, topped with " green apple effervescent" (=looks like foamy toothpaste, tastes like apple), and a little fennel leaf. Chrunchy, applyish and oysterish at the same time. Interesting and good, but I like regular raw oysters with Tabasco or lemon better. This was more for people that can't handle the real thing.
This was my favorite, a mound of fried baby anchovy with a fried egg on top. Ah, they were so good. Crunchy here too, looked like french fries, but these whole baby fish was delicious.
More seafood - to the left is grilled octopus tentacles (PULPO A LA GALLEGA), sliced into small rounds, and to the right is squid with basil oil (CHIPIRÓNES). Very, very good!
All gone!
Not on the photos but also delicious was TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA
And cheese, espresso and cappuccino afterwards. We drank a really good Spanish wine from a nearly extinct grape variety that is only grown in Spain with our meal. PP can probably remember the name, since I can't. Conclusion - go to Amada, bring a large packet of bills, and eat in delight!
Oh, one more thing - we probably had one of the best waiters I have ever met, and I can't remember his name. But he was from Trenton and had worked at Harvest Moon in New Brunswick. He told me to not trust the quality of the food there, but at Amada everything was perfect. And no, Dad, I didn't practice my non-existing Spanish. Muy bien cucina, gracias!
Now I want to travel to Spain to try the real thing.
(another review here)


AREA said...

Looks YUMMY!

PP said...

I love these "noisy" pictures...and I can't remember the wine name I'll have to research it...

LS said...

I think the grape was called Monastrell.