Simply walking into Amalia Restaurant in New York City is an experience in itself. It’s a bit like walking into your college art history books. The restaurant-lounge is categorized into eight different rooms but the theme of opulent colors, rich textures, and Baroque influence runs throughout. Owner Greg Brier named this restaurant after Sigmund Freud’s mother, Amalia, and thus brought to life his interpretation of her world.
Last month I had the opportunity to stop by the restaurant again because they had a massive menu overhaul and I had to go experience their new offerings. Amalia describes their cuisine as American Nouveau with Mediterranean flair and certainly menu options range for “Angus short ribs” to “Mediterranean sea bass” and “olive spreads.” The menu is fundametally American but influenced by a variety of flavors ranging from Moroccan to Italian. I participated in a tasting menu so I was lucky enough to sample a variety of their new dishes. And they were delicious! My favorites among the appetizers were the lamb meatballs, made unique by a touch of mint, and the diver scallops in black truffle vinaigrette. I can’t ever say no to truffles!
For the main course, my friend and i picked off of each other’s plate because we both wanted to try everything. I got the organic salmon (with cucumber-lime yogurt, egg and chard in brik) and he got the Angus short ribs (garlic potato puree, baby vegetables, balsamic glaze). We then got another order of the short ribs because they were so delicious. My date, the gentleman he is, let me polish off that second order and I certainly did! As Amalia is a fine dining institution, the presentation was sophisticated and the service incredibly attentive.
For dessert I chose the Almond Rosemary Pannacotta and my date chose the Chocolate Fondant Cake. The cake was absolutely decadant. I could not stop stealing bites from his plate. The mixture of chocolate and fruit was perfect. Of course, I was eating off my own plate as well. I love a pannacotta and Amalia’s was particularly divine with a range of flavers from almond to coconut to mango. Yum.
If you are to dine at Amalia, I do offer one piece of advice. Don’t eat the way I did! The plates, while delicious, are incredibly heavy and if you were to eat about 8 different dishes, you might feel a little queasy after dinner. That is still a lesson I have to learn- to eat good food in moderation. The food here is delicious but remember to be realistic about your portion size (unlike me) and you’ll love the experience.
Amalia is located adjacent to the Dream Hotel on 55th between 7th and 8th Ave.