It comes a little too late for the Tribeca Film Festival, but if you’re planning to head down to Battery Park City to peep those giant bunny rabbits, you might want to know that, today, celeb chef Jose Garces opens an outpost of his popular Philadelphia tapas bar, Amada, at Brookfield Place.
You may remember Garces as the guy who beat out East Village chef Jehangir Mehta to win The Next Iron Chef and become that holy of holies, an Iron Chef. Amada, opened in Philly a decade ago, is where he made his name before he stormed the Food Network. This FiDi outpost comes complete with Amadita, a 20-seat café by day (serving Spanish coffee drinks, sandwiches, pastries) and “vinoteca” by night (wine, tapas, and meat and cheese plates). Because we are living in a golden age of churros (latest example: coffee ice cream in a churro bowl over at Juno in Bushwick), the fried dough sticks appear on the dessert menu along with the requisite chocolate.
Among the dishes that Garces has carried over from the original Amada are manchego empanadas, Spanish tortilla, and Wagyu beef skewers prepared on a plancha grill.
Dishes exclusive to New York include grilled squid and celery salad with morcilla and potato; white asparagus soup with mushroom, duck butifarra and pistachio; lamb tartare with romesco verde and Idiazábal; and Spanish flatbread with Catalan garlic sausage, piquillo pepper confit and spinach. As with Garces’s Chicago restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, you can pre-order a suckling pig, whether it’s a pasture-grazed piggie from the Berkshires or milk-fed Iberico piglets. There are also paellas to share– you can see the Valenciana, along with more food photos, over at Grub Street.
Needless to say, there are Spanish wines in abundance as well as cocktails named after Almodóvar’s films and a variety of those ever-so-trendy gin and tonics, complete with wacky garnish combos like kiwi, strawberry, and Thai basil.
The Andalusian-inspired dining room was designed by AvroKO (Genuine Superette, Saxon + Parole), who cite the region’s internal courtyards as well as abstract minimalists Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Martin as inspiration.