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).