Update March 19, 2018– The Philly Inquirer reports that Owner-Chef Jose Garces is failing miserably at all of his restaurants. He is stiffing vendors and co-investors and getting sued by many parties. With Amada, he is most egregious. He seems to have stolen millions from a couple who invested with him.
As a rule of thumb, all restaurants run by celebrity chefs will fail within two-years.
Update March 15, 2018– Amada will be closing, as BPTV saw coming. Taking its place will be a seafood shop called Seamore’s.
The problem with Amada was that it was not true “tapas” at all. It was serving small dishes at full-entree prices. The bar was also too small and poorly staffed.
Jose Garces never showed up to Amada during the opening, when BPTV was there. This was yet another fake-chef joint with a guy trying to leverage his name.
July 12, 2017- Amada managers are being fired left and right, and the dining room is not full. Restaurant managers in the area tell us that it is struggling.
April 27, 2016- by Steven E. Greer, MD
I dined today at the newly opened tapas restaurant in Brookfield Place, Amada. The restaurateur is Jose Garces. The executive chef is Justin Bogle, who achieved two-Michelin-star ratings at New York’s Gilt.
I recently listed off some “culinary cons” that I have noticed in New York, and called “American tapas” an oxymoron. Cynical Gringo me expected to be disappointed with overpriced tiny plates that were mostly raw octopus or pork sausages. Boy, was I wrong.
Amada fires on all cylinders. The interior design is very well done. It is quite a cool establishment. Most importantly, it has an open kitchen, which is a must for me. I was served directly by Chef Bogle.
(Pardon the crappy photos. I did not have my good Sony camera with me)
The first of the nine portions was an excellent cheese board with apple slices and three dipping sauces. The soft and hard cheeses were delicious. Be sure to dip the apples in the honey and chocolate sauces, and ask for extra apples.
The ham-wrapped fig salad (Ensalada de Jamon Serrano Ham & Fig Salad, Cabrales, Spiced Almonds) was full of flavor and texture. I have never eaten anything like it (I was in Barcelona once but did not get out to any good tapas bars).
Amada is a great addition to Downtown and will make Vesey Street a dining destination. It is what North End Grill could never quite achieve.
The early happy hour crowds will be huge as well (I could not find a seat at the bar after I ate).