Friday, September 17, 2010

Oooo, Rock Me Amadeus Jose Garces

Last Sunday, the newest Iron Chef threw it down and vanquished his challenger. (Eat it, sucka!) He is Jose Garces, a Philadelphia chef who has built himself a mini-empire. We met him a few years ago (pre-empire) when he was catering an event at our law firm.

My family was especially glued to Jose's debut, because his first restaurant, Amada is an absolute favorite of all of us. How rare is that? Dad, mom, and both daughters agree. But it is more than the cuisine. There is something in the air there. It's bustling, upscale, sophisticated, friendly, intimate, and just exotic enough. I always feel like it's a cool little refuge. A slice of an alternate universe just through the door on Chestnut Street.

The food, which might seem kind of simple at first, turns out to be surprisingly spectacular. It's a tapas restaurant, which recreates the Spanish style of dining on multiple, small portions. That's the other major draw. Tapas style is like the twelve days of Christmas! You don't have to put all your eggs in one basket by choosing a single entree. You can sample 12 different things and get peppered with them as the evening progresses. It keeps the energy and excitement of the experience pumping.

So, cheer for our Iron Chef! And if you happen to come by Philadelphia, we just might have to take you. You can see (and taste) the pixie dust for yourself.


Erratic Thoughts said...

Cheers to that!

Okay. Now I need to go and grab something to eat.This was a mouth-watering post.:):)

the walking man said...

Yay Jose! I assume then that what passes for fine dining here in Detroit you'd find a bit pedestrian. A Natural skin dog awash in some kind glop they call chilly topped with a load of finely chopped onion and mustard in a fresh bun called a coney dog?

Sarah Laurenson said...

I saw he was the defending chef and almost flipped to watch, but it was late in the show. Didn't know it was his first challenge. That's cool that you get to eat at his restaurant and like the food.

Seré Prince Halverson said...

YUM. Gotta tell all this to my husband, who is a total foodie/food network junkie. Congrats to the Chef!

Anonymous said...

Erratic Thoughts, I hope it was tasty!

Walking Man, I'm a big fan of Coney Dogs! I'd drive pretty far for a Coney Dog. I grew up in a steel town in western Pennsylvania. I'm still fond of the food there.

Sarah, that's cool that you saw part of it! I thought he showed a lot of artistry in his dishes.

Sere, he has done very well in Philadelphia. I've kind of lost count of the number of his restaurants. I think it's four or five.