Jose Garces’ Whiskey Village – One BIG Disappointment

In An Itty-Bitty Space

I had promised Linda that I would take her to Village Whiskey to have a foie gras burger for her birthday, which was during Easter weekend. Unfortunately, Linda had her pseudo-heart attack which actually turned out to be a combo stress/panic attack coupled with extreme fibermyalgia pain. The hospital stay, however, lasted the whole weekend. This spoiled her plans of lunch with her children and me, dinner at Village Whiskey with me, and then a lobster Easter dinner down in Cape May with her son. So when we were in Philly last week for the Rittenhouse festival and we were only a couple of blocks from the Village Whiskey, I decided it was time for Linda’s birthday foie gras burger.

Before I go any further, I want you all to know that I’ve been to Garces’ other restaurants, Amada, Tinto, Chifa, Distrito, and Mercat a la Planxa (Chicago), and have had nothing but rave reviews. I also have never eaten foie gras nor had I ever planned to eat it. To me, foie gras falls into the mistreated animal category (like veal), so I just went without it. Plus, it’s really easy to go without something that is super expensive. Give up caviar? No problem. Stop eating American Cheese? I fall apart. Continue reading

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Spending Philadelphia Restaurant Week at Amada

You Can Never Go Wrong With Jose Garces

logo_amada

The one thing that would certainly get me blogging again was a good meal and a good meal, to say the least, is always waiting for you at any one of Jose Garces’ restaurants.  So when Linda and I planned to eat out during Philadelphia Restaurant Week, we decided to eat at Amada.  Now we’ve eaten at five of Jose’s 6 excellent restaurants and I’ve blogged about two:  Tinto and Chifa. Although I’ve eaten at Amada before, I’ve never blogged about it. Till now that is.

Linda and I arrived a few minutes before our reservation and were told that our table was not quite ready.  We were directed to the bar to wait.  This gave me a chance to survey the restaurant.  Simply put, the noise level is high.  If you are looking for a quiet dinner for two, I suggest you look elsewhere.  BUT if you are looking for an innovative dining experience with electricity in the air, you need look no further.  The restaurant brims over with smiling faces, laughter, and high octane conversations from casually attractive people who are there for the food and the fun and not because they want to be seen.  The servers frenetically glide through this mish-mash of organized chaos yet never seem to bump into anyone.  It was exhilarating… Continue reading

Chef Jose Garces Serves Up Hybrid Peruvian/Cantonese Cuisine at Chifa in Philadelphia

Chifa Logo

Yes, i know that I said that Collingswood is the new dining mecca in my area AND yes, I said that there was no need to go to Philly when Cork is so close in Westmont BUT my friend, Linda, wanted to take me out to dinner for my birthday and she chose Jose Garces’ newest Philadelphia restaurant, Chifa.

First, who am I to refuse a free meal? Second, just because I have great dining establishments close to home doesn’t mean I won’t venture out to eat in Phialdelphia. Third, this is Chef Jose Garces. This is the guy who brought tapas back to Philly with his first dining establishment, Amada. He then followed up with Tinto and Distrito. All three of these restaurants have been on the top of every “top Philadelphia restaurants” lists. Linda and I have eaten at all of them, including his Chicago restaurant, Mercat. As chef du jours go, Jose Garces is THE chef de la dècade… Continue reading

Tinto – Basque Tapas from Jose Garces

My friend, Linda, really wanted to partake in Restaurant Week where various restaurants throughout the Philadelphia area offer 3 or 4 course menus for $35 per person. She suggested that we go to Tinto, a Jose Garces restaurant. Now I have been a little low on funds but I did receive that Homestead Rebate check not too long ago and still had a little extra hanging around, so I opted to go.

Jose Garces is the king of tapas in Philadelphia with his restaurants Amada, Distrito, and Tinto. A co-worker of mine (Rafael) is friendly with the chef and while we were in Chicago for business, we ate at Garces’ tapas restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa. They gave us the royal treatment. If you want to know more about Distrito, you can check out Mac & Cheese’s post here. Continue reading