Philadelphia: Amada

February 17th, 2007

Last night we had dinner at Amada in Old City. It was excellent. We had dinner there last year, so I made a reservation for our first night, when I knew we wouldn’t want to go looking for dinner.
We had 10:30 reservations, so when we walked in the place was already busy. In the middle of the front room a Flamenco performance was in progress. We headed to the bar and had a round of cava to ring in the long weekend.
Amada isn’t just a place that small plates that calls itself a tapas restaurant. It strives to be very Spanish, right down to the hams hanging from the ceiling over the bar. The menu can be a little overwhelming just because everything looks so good. We started off by promising ourselves that we’d make another visit there before we left, just so we would moderate what we ordered. It worked. We managed to eat everything we ordered without hurting ourselves.
The highlights of the meal after the jump…

Lomo Iberico was the charcuterie special . It’s the cured loin from Pata Negra, acorn fed pork. It came sliced paper thin and slick with its own juice (read: fat). The meat wasn’t excessively fatty or greasy, there was just enough to add texture and flavor to the meat. I’ve never heard of cured loin, I’ll have to look for it in the future. The lomo came with slices of bread. I don’t know why. It would have been an affront to that gloriously tasty, acorn-fed pig that gave its life that I might sup on its loin.
Clams and Chorizo served in an oniony, herby broth with a rich clam flavor. After I finished it, I soaked up the broth with the bread that came with the lomo.
Let it never be said that I don’t love children. Particularly the babies. They’re so small. And tasty. Next up was Grilled Baby Squid. If you’ve had it before, little needs to be said about it. It’s hard to mess up. It’s crispy, but with that chewy give that squid has. The tentacles have a beautiful char to them. On the side was a chimichurri which was entirely unnecessary given how flavorful the squid was on its own.
Tammi ordered the Pernil, which she shared with me. It was roast pork perfection. I can’t think of words adequate enough to capture it.
It was served in one chunk of roasted pork cut in slices and held together at the base. On one end the thin slices shredded under Tammi’s fork. On the other were thicker, meatier pieces.
The skin was perfectly crisp all around. The meat melted in my mouth. I might go back just for this.
Slightly anti-climactic after the Pernil was the Lamb Meatballs. Honestly I loved the sauce more than the meatballs, which were a little too salty and strongly flavored with mint. The sauce was creamy and thick. I tasted a hint of truffle, but not so much to overpower it. The sauce coated the meatballs and the green peas that were mixed in.
Near the end of our meal, we ended up talking to our neighbors Sarah and Tony. They had lived in Brooklyn for years and Tony works up there during the week. We talked food and work and relaxed until the lights started going out in the back room, where we were sitting.
Sarah offered some good suggestions for places we ought to check out before we leave. More on that later.
217-219 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA
[Technorati tags: Technology, Philadelphia, Food, Pork, tapas, chorizo, spanish, eatingout,restaurants.]

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