But here’s what will make your jaw drop: see that tony wine cellar flanking the dining area? Yeah, that’s a mini state-run liquor store, so you can buy a bottle for your table or brown-bag it for home. Shocking. Bah-bah-bahrilliant! There’s so much wine, you almost wonder if the Trading Co. is really a market or if, secretly, it’s a wine bar for people who like sitting in luxe grocery stores – nothing wrong with that. Yes, there is something a little Aveda meets Dean & Deluca about the whole affair – it’s a cheese market spa.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Fans of the cheese boards at Amada in Philadelphia are in for a post-Valentine’s cheese-gasm. Amada’s chef, the much-acclaimed restaurateur Jose Garces, has just stocked your pantry with many of the breads, spreads, and charcuterie he serves on his tapas menu. Yes, you can find roasted garlic dulce de leche here, by the jar, along with Spanish cheeses and sausages robust enough to stand up to a good slather.
The space is stunning, thanks to white subway tile and harem lamps. It’s nice to enter a market that doesn’t overwhelm with overhead fluorescents. You might not like the heavy branding on all the bottles near the door (hopefully, Jose will not morph into a spice-aisle magnate à la Emeril), but you will like the lighting. You will want to bask there in the afternoons, drinking coffee and eating pink grapefruit macaroons. You will be rubbing olive oil – available in bulk from gorgeous samovar-like dispensers – into your skin when no one is looking.
So, uhm, you know where to find me on gloomy Sundays…or Mondays…or, well, any day really. Goat cheese face mask, anyone?
Garces Trading Co., 1111 Locust Street, is open seven days a week: Mon-Fri (7 a.m.-10 p.m) and Sat/Sun. (8 a.m.-10 p.m.).