Go behind the scenes of opening day at Jose Garces' Amada - Metro US

Go behind the scenes of opening day at Jose Garces’ Amada

Daniel Krieger

When did NYC become a net importer of chefs from Philadelphia? First Eli Kulp arrives with new bakery darling High Street on Hudson, and Michael Solomonov is opening an outpost of his hummusiya Dizengoff at Chelsea Market any minute now.

This week, the spotlight is on Jose Garces, “The Next Iron Chef” winner and successful restaurateur who just opened a branch of his Andalusian tapas restaurant Amada in Brookfield Place.

That first day can be a hectic affair, and Garces partnered with Twitter to tell the inside story of everything that happened:

Garces started his day with a bike ride up the West Side Highway, then stopped off in Central Park to take in springtime in Central Park.

After arriving at Brookfield Place at 12:47 p.m. in time for service at 5 p.m., Garces gave an art-focused tour of the restaurant.

Chef de cuisine Justin Bogle is already tending fires before 2 p.m.

There’s plenty to do:

Gotta make sure the staff aren’t running on empty, too.

It’s just before 3 p.m., and some of the first dishes are coming together.The menu brings over favorites like Amada’s Empanada, with manchego cheese and artichoke escabeche, and the tortilla Española with saffron aioli, alongside exclusive new dishes like a grilled squid salad, piquillo pepper confit and trout with harissa and a tamarind glaze. A few large-format dishes like lobster paella and suckling pig (order ahead) can also be had.

Two minutes before service begins, and the staff aren’t even breaking a sweat.

With that, Amada is open!The main restaurant serves lunch and dinner; for breakfast, pop into its sister cafe next door, Amadita, for café con leche brewed with Costa Rican beans, sandwiches and pastries. After lunch, Amadita becomes a vinoteca, serving the restaurant’s full wine list and bar snacks.

Garces nicked Nacho Monclus from Lupulo to curate his exclusively Spanish wine list of over 150 varieties. In the main restaurant, cocktails (all named for director Pedro Almodovar’s films) will also feature uncommon ingredients like Patxaran, a liquor from the Navarre region flavored with blackthorn berries.

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