-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo by Eddy Marenco
James Beard Award Winning Iron Chef Jose Garces expands one of his most beloved restaurant concepts to the Philadelphia suburbs with the unveiling of Amada Radnor. Starting this Friday, March 17th, Amada will open a new outpost on the Main Line, at 555 E. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087. Chef’s modern take on Spanish tapas began in 2005 as one of Chef’s first restaurants when he went out on his own. Today, Amada operates two locations, in Old City and Historic Philadelphia at 217-219 Chestnut Street, and in Atlantic City at Ocean Casino Resort at 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401. The third outpost in Radnor debuting this week features 7,000 square feet of space for indoor and outdoor dining, with seating for an estimated 250 guests, two outdoor patios, a private dining room for 45 people and a newly renovated bar that will seat around 25.
Amada will feature an expanded selection of Amada’s signature Spanish tapas (Tortilla Española, Wagyu Brochettes, Amada’s Empanadas), Cochinillo Asado (a whole roasted suckling pig) and Paella Valenciana (rabbit and chorizo paella), plus new dishes exclusive to Radnor developed for the on-site wood fired ovens from MiBrasa.
From the bar, Amada’s wine program exclusively features wines from Spain with over 100 selections from both popular and emerging regions in the country, plus cocktails inspired by Spanish ingredients, and Red and White Sangria. Amada Radnor will also feature brand new Gin Tonic Experiences with a cart that arrives tableside inviting the guests to partake in creating the perfect Gin Tonic to pair with their meal. Amada Radnor will be open seven days a week, with starting services including happy hour and dinner, plus lunch and brunch to be added in coming weeks. Complimentary valet services are available starting Friday.
“Amada is near and dear to my heart,” said Garces. “It was the very first restaurant I opened when I went out on my own in 2005. It will be a great addition to the exciting and rapidly growing Main Line dining scene. We have so many Garces fans from over the years come join us in Old City, and now we are bringing the concept right to them in their own backyards.”
He added, “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with the Main Line. We started off last year with fast casual, with Buena Onda, and are now moving into something more elevated with the opening of the Radnor outpost of Amada, one of my flagship restaurants. The reception we have gotten has been amazing. We can’t wait to meet even more foodies and get even more involved in our new community as we open our doors this week. We’ve created a gorgeous space that carries the best of the Amada Philadelphia experience through to the Main Line; I’m particularly excited about our two patio spaces and our beautiful white marble bar top.”
He continued, “Our team has been working diligently to fine tune the menu offerings to best take advantage of our new Mibrasa ovens, which allows us to include exciting wood-fired fare in addition to our traditional Spanish tapas offerings. This is, what feels like, a natural evolution for Amada. We’ve worked really hard to capture the essence of what makes Amada Old City so special while also looking forward to the opportunity to present new and exciting offerings to our guests in the Philadelphia suburbs.”
Amada Radnor comes hot on the heels of a banner year for Garces, who has opened Amada Radnor, Garces Trading Company at Kimmel, Garces Trading Company at Cira Centre, Buena Onda Radnor, Buena Onda Rittenhouse, Buena Onda Wells Fargo Center, Buena Onda at the Concourse at Comcast Center and Garces Eats at Wells Fargo Center all within the last twelve months.
“Five years ago, we created this strategic partnership with Chef Jose Garces and couldn’t be more pleased by the ways our talents and resources have aligned,” said Ballard Brands & Ideation Hospitality Owner Steven Ballard. “Within the last year, Ballard Brands and Ideation Hospitality provided the launch pad for national franchise chain, Buena Onda in addition to opening four new locations. Together, we also brought back storied brand, Garces Trading Company and opened two new locations. Now, we are opening the third location of Chef Garces’ flagship brand, Amada, on the Main Line. We’re excited to watch this beloved fine dining concept continue to expand nationally.”
Ballard Brands & Ideation Hospitality Owner Scott Ballard said, “Through Amada, Chef blends rich traditions and recipes coupled with a chic rustic vibe to create a unique award-winning experience. Amada at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City was recently named, “25 Best Casino Restaurants Across the United States” by Tasting Table. The Amada brand has proven to be a solution for casinos and resorts looking for a creative and in-demand concept to offer on property.”
“The continued growth of Garces concepts with the support of Ideation Hospitality and Ballard Brands has been incredible,” said Ballard Brands & Ideation Hospitality Owner Paul Ballard. “Our business collaboration highlights each partners’ strengths, creating a best-in-class hospitality group that has national reach and awareness. From fine dining to fast casual and franchised concepts, we continue to innovate and expand upon our portfolio of brands. It’s a thrilling time for us.“
Amada is Chef Garces’ iconic first restaurant. Since opening in 2005, the gorgeous rustic-chic restaurant and bar has embraced the rich traditions of Spanish cuisine from the Andalusian region. For Radnor, Amada’s spacious dining room features an open kitchen, a private dining room for special events and corporate functions, a stunning bar area reminiscent of a typical Spanish bodega, two outdoor patios, as well as ample space for large group dining.
Named after his grandmother who ignited Garces’ love for the kitchen at a young age, Amada was Garces’ first solo venture, which won him the James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Now, 15 years later, Garces brings Amada to the Philadelphia suburbs.
Amada’s menu will include a variety of beloved dishes from the Philadelphia original such as the classic Amada’s Empanada with Spanish Manchego and artichoke escabeche, an homage to the meal he would prepare with his grandmother for family gatherings and Tortilla Española, Spanish tortilla served with a saffron aioli. For brunch, look for Amada’s weekend signature dishes that includes Sangria Pancakes, Crab Benedict, Duck Confit Rosti, Avocado Toast and Saffron Rice Bowl.
A selection of large-format Especialidades De La Casa including Paella Valenciana, a chicken and chorizo paella with cockles, shrimp, and saffron aioli, perfect for guests enjoying the restaurant’s various intimate private dining rooms.
Diners can also order in advance and feast on Cochinillo Asado, a whole roasted suckling pig, brined, confitted and slowly roasted for a day and a half, and accompanied by rosemary white beans, roasted fingerling potatoes, Calcots con salbitxada and garbanzos con espinacas. Served as a half or whole pig. Seventy-two hours notice required.
The menu will also feature brand new dishes exclusive to Radnor that incorporate the on-site wood fired oven. Garces said, “One of the most exciting aspects of this upcoming opening is that we’re outfitting the kitchen with a wood-fired oven from Mibrasa, charcoal ovens used by the top chefs in Spain for years, which allows for a whole new set of culinary possibilities within the space. I’m looking forward to developing some dishes that take advantage of the unique properties of the wood fired ovens.This is an expression of the evolution of the Amada concept. We will be keeping many classic Amada dishes, but also creating new experiences for our guests. We can’t wait to show you what we’re cooking up. “
New dishes will include:
Endibia “Endive Hearts, Serrano Ham, Blue Cheese Cream”
Pulpo “Galician Style Octopus, Potato Espuma, Gamtae, Smoked Paprika”
Croquetas de Trufa “Seared Scallops, Caviar, Crème Fraiche”
Zarzuela “Mussels, Calamari, Shrimp, Spiced Chicken Thigh, Stewed Tomato Broth, Toasted Baguette”
Atun “Herb Crusted Tuna, Boquerone Aioli”
Solomillo “Iberico Pork Tenderloin, Nora Chile Marinade”
Orata “Roasted Sea Bream, Golden Quinoa, Creamy Anchovy”
Libritos “Pan Fried Pork Chop, Mahon Cheese, Piquillo Pepper, Mojo Crema, Chimichurri”
Aleta “Wagyu Skirt Steak, Cabrales Jus, Potato Puree”
Potaje de Tomate “Sweet Tomato Stew, Jamon Iberico, Idiazabal”
Judias Verdes “Charred Green Beans, Fennel Confit, Almond Dukka”
Guisantes y Migas “Sweet Peas, Chorizo Bilbao, Crispy Fried Egg”
Lentejas y Calabacin “Delicata Squash, Stewed Lentils, Lamb Picadillo”
Additionally, Amada Radnor will offer a special children’s menu for those seeking to bring their entire family to enjoy the Garces experience.
From the bar, Amada’s wine program exclusively features wines from Spain and focuses on highlighting Spanish varietals and contemporary winemakers with over 100 selections from both popular and emerging regions in the country. The cocktail menu is inspired by Spanish ingredients and features new drink additions that are named after Spanish Director Pedro Almodóvar’s films like the Bad Education with apricot infused brandy, Orujo de Hierbas (Spanish grappa macerated with herbs and spices), pineapple, chamomile cordial, and nutmeg; and Kika with gin, Patxaran (sloe flavored liquor from Navarre, Spain), orange, fennel, and Vermouth from Barcelona. Amada also offers housemade Red and White Sangria, a rotating seasonal Sangria kicking off with thyme, Orujo de Hierbas, gin, ginger, topped with Cava and garnished with red grapes.
For Gin Tonic enthusiasts, Amada proudly debuts a Gin Tonic Tableside Experience. The Gin Tonic cart arrives tableside, and features four composed Gin Tonics on the menu, those would come from the bar proper. They are served with Fever Tree Tonic. The cart has all of the garnishes and infused gins available and there is a “show” that coincides with it. The guest is invited to pick their own gin and garnishes, as they like, with the server creating it for them tableside. The four offerings include:
* La Hermosa “Lemon Infused Gin, Fresh Strawberry & Mint”
* El Misterioso “Grapefruit Infused Gin, Basil & Smoked Cinnamon Bitters”
* La Picara “Lime Infused Gin, Cucumber & Rosemary”
* El Vagabundo “Orange Infused Gin, Blackberry & Aztec Chocolate Bitters, finished with Ginger Beer
DESIGN, VIBE AND LAYOUT
For Interior Design, Amada Radnor features the talents of Dash Design, who Garces has used many times over the years, including for Okatshe, Olon and Ortzi.
For design and vibe, Amada continues and evolves its rustic chic tradition with elements using stacked wood, leather, linen accents, with a palette of browns, gray and dull blues. Look for heavy use of candlelight and lanterns for romantic soft lighting. Keeping in the long-running tradition, Amada Radnor will feature a bronze pig in the design, which follows suit with Philadelphia and Atlantic City locations.
The new Radnor location borrows the key architectural details shared at the Atlantic City and Olde City locations. It is distinctly Spanish Colonial Revival (Arquitectura neocolonial española) design, but with a relaxed residential fit and finishes. Designers have colored the space with soft gray tones along with the cool blues and splashes of Sienna and Ochre found in the Spanish color palette. A guest would be greeted by hand hewn doors and encaustic tiles framing the entrance. Wrought iron accents and lamps guide the visitor to the open format restaurant with marble topped bars and kitchen line. Stucco and exposed reclaimed wood, mixes with the clean lines of modern Spanish inspired walnut and wool furniture. The large bar delivers the classic Amada energy while the dining area looks out over the classic Spanish interior courtyard. The Radnor location has a larger private dining area, with a less swarthy and more feminine vibe, with a walkout to its own garden.
Nods to the original location in Philadelphia include the pig statue – a signature decor piece in Old City and Philadelphia, a sultry lantern wall dividing the main dining room from the bar area feature over 80 individually lit lanterns, and a sleek marble top bar for a lively after work scene.
New features include a collection of Spanish hats, unique umbrella stand, addition of mirrors to play on the windows/daylight, and softer seating options like a moroccan daybed, fabric covered ‘puffs” (ottomans) and lush banquets in the main dining room that feature the best views in the house.
In the main dining room, the design features a use of rich to create the chic vibe in soft grays, blues and browns. The open kitchen allows guests to get a glimpse of the artistry in the kitchen by Chef and his team. The seating combinations allow for a private and perfect date night for two, a family gathering, large group dining, semi-private team dinners – and of course, fully private events in the private event space.
The private event space is now available for bookings for corporate meetings, showers, rehearsal dinners, intimate wedding receptions, family gatherings and more. Adjacent through a private entrance, renters of the space can also utilize the private outdoor courtyard – offering a highly unique option on the main line for micro weddings and outdoor ceremonies, with a connected completely private room for cocktails and dinner. The private dining room is flanked by glass walls showcasing Amada’s extensive collection of wine. Features in the private dining room include a 85” screen with A/V options that are hidden with sliding walls/cabinets, as well as lighting fixtures, mirrors and molding that combine to create a elegantly upscale experience for guests.
Outside, before guests enter the restaurant, they will find a new outdoor area featuring large, reclaim farm doors (13’x 4’) sourced from Montgomery County. They feature Amada’s signature lanterns hanging to create an inviting outdoor waiting area. Seating includes a daybed and small ottoman/poufs.
When spring arrives in several weeks, Amada’s second outdoor space will be the place to be on the Main LIne to dine under the stars with a patio featuring plants and trees to soften the space and create a garden style vibe – with seating for 24 that includes larger tables for parties for up to 8, 10 and 12.
For layout, Amada Radnor features 7,000 square feet of space, with seating for an estimated 250 guests, two outdoor patios, a private dining room for 45 people and a newly renovated bar that will seat 25. Amada Radnor will be the perfect location for a fun group dining experience or an intimate, romantic date night. Amada will also be the perfect spot for corporate functions, luncheons, showers, rehearsal dinners, wedding brunches and more.
Within the restaurant, guests will find the bar, lounge and a dining room upon entering, with the main dining room to the left on the lower level. Beyond the main dining room are the private dining room and two outdoor spaces. Total seat counts include 100 in the main dining room, 36 in the upper second dining room and bar lounge, 25 seats at the bar, 16 seats in bar booths, 24 in the outside patio and 45+ in the private dining room and second outdoor event space.
For construction, Amada Radnor utilized the services of Lott Builds. For the property, the space was leased to Garces by Brandywine Realty Trust.
HOURS AND LOCATIONS
Amada Radnor will start with dinner service and happy hour – and expand to lunch and brunch later this spring. Happy hour is Sunday to Thursday 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Dinner is Sunday to Thursday, 5:00pm to 9:00pm and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm to 10:00pm.
Amada is currently open in Philadelphia at 217-219 Chestnut Street, in Old City and Historic Philadelphia. Hours are Monday to Friday, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Saturday and Sunday Brunch 11:30am to 3:00pm and Saturday and Sunday Dinner 4:00pm to 10:00pm. Happy Hour runs Monday to Friday, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.
Amada is also currently open at Ocean Casino Resort Wednesday and Thursday, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday, from 5:00pm to 11:00pm, and Sunday, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm.
For more about Amada, visit http://philadelphia.amadarestaurant.com/ and follow @amadaradnor @amadaphl on social media. For more about Chef Jose Garces, follow @chefjosegarces on social media.