Thursday, August 12, 2010
COCHINILLO ASADO at Amada
Back at the time of the Lil Lady's 30th b'day we imagined celebrating at Amada with scores of friends and a litter of COCHINILLO ASADO. The dream never died. We did make it to Amada on Monday for the lil pig. We brought along 2 friends and pre-ordered the conchinillo asado.
Before Jeff (scissorhands) rolled his pig laden cart from the kitchen to our table we primed out appetites with a selection of tapas.
We had the PIQUILLOS RELLENOS Crab-Stuffed Peppers - REVUELTO Shrimp & Wild Mushroom Shirred Eggs -MELÓN CON JAMÓN Melon, Serrano Ham, Yogurt & Sherry Reduction - ALCACHOFAS Y SETAS Artichoke & Wild Mushrooms, Black Truffles & Manchego - CHANQUETES FRITAS Fried Baby Anchovies, Fried Egg & Salbitxada Sauce - OYSTERS Strawberry Escabeche & Cava Granita
Both the hospitality and cuisine could not be faulted. Each dish seemed executed as if it had been presented a thousand times. The server was accommodating and friendly (we were super late) . The tapas compositions were nicely balanced classics with tame spices and easily accessible flavors. The strawberry/oyster combo was a genuine delight.
COCHINILLO ASADO FOR 4 OR MORE
Whole Roasted Suckling Pig, Grilled
Green Onions, Herb-Roasted Fingerlings,
Garbanzos con Espinacas &
Rosemary White Beans
The lil pig was carved expertly, and it was mucho tasty, though not as dramatic and satisfying in flavor and texture as I expected from so small a critter. The sides were tasty too. Three carbohydrate sides seemed heavy handed to me. However, each one was distinctive.
Dining here was completely enjoyable. There was not a glitch with any dish or point of service. I was a little bit underwhelmed by the rote feeling that pervaded the place. The cooking wasn't exactly churning with summer exuberance, more surfing on the wave of the tried and expected. Clearly the Iron Chef has better things to do than challenge the expectations of his patrons. Garces' tapas formula still fills the dining room but I found it's not as spirited here as it once was.
The complimentary sherry at the meals end was a gracious and delicious touch.