10-year dinner deals at Estia and Amada; plus a $10 paella party Sunday

 Black squid ink and seafood paella prepared by Chef Jose Garces (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Black squid ink and seafood paella prepared by Chef Jose Garces (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

In restaurant years, a decade is an eternity. Turnover is high and even reliable neighborhood favorites eventually end their runs. Which is why a 10-year anniversary is something worth celebrating.

This week two stalwarts of Philly dining turn 10 and are offering tasting menus and a paella throw down to celebrate what’s made them great.

EstiaIf you’re like me, you’ve passed Estia  many times on your way somewhere else. Which makes an affordable, celebratory tasting menu the perfect way to try it out. The restaurant offers solid Mediterranean cuisine with an upscale vibe to the Center City theater crowd. But don’t let that deter you. Their recipes are delicious and their presentation is classic.

Make a reservation, tuck in to a tiled, European out cove and go with the $39 flow, this Friday – Sunday, Oct. 16-18. It’s classy, it’s tasty… It’s truly dinner made easy. Just don’t stress when you check your phone. It’s a cell service black hole. I think it’s all the ceramic tile.  

AmadaChef Jose Garces has made a mark on Latin-American cuisine, and it all started with Amada. In celebration of its 10th anniversary all of the Garces Group restaurants — Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Garces Trading and The Olde Bar — will all offer a $39 Amada-style tasting menu, including a complementary glass of wine or sangria, now through Friday, October 16.

But the big bash is happening this Sunday, Oct. 18, from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., when Garces chefs bring their best for a paella throw-down during the ‘Amadaversary Paella Festival’, outdoors, Sunday, on 2nd Street between Market and Chestnut Street.

Chefs from within the Garces fold will bring their best renditions of this classic Latin dish. Keep a lookout for the Lamb paella, the coq au vin paella, and a local vegetable paella. Tickets are $10 and include food from each of the eight entries and two drink tickets. There will be music, prizes, and even face painting for the kids (free under 12).

The piece de resistance of the weekend’s celebrations is a VIP party with an exclusive reception featuring 11 Garces’ alumni chefs and a heafty price tag at $125 per person.  But with the lineup scheduled, including Tim Spinner and Kevin Spraga, it’s unlikely to disappoint. 

Me? I’ll be out with the masses, judging paella!

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