Tuesday, August 21, 2012


"We support sustainability - from the food we buy, the wine we serve to the finishes and furniture in the restaurant".  That's what you'll see at the bottom of Amaili's menu, just a glimpse into their Mediterranean fare, that combines a sort of Greek and Italian style cuisine.

In the Mediterranean area it is much known that people will shop locally just for their day meals.  Markets are set up with produce of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as cheese and meats.  At Amali (www., chef Borges, Jr. makes his purchases at the farmer's market in Manhattan's Union Square, the market in the Bronx, and partner with local fisherman from Long Island.  They will even get cuts of meat from locally raised animals and do the butchering at the restaurant.  You can find the summer months roasting while animals and large cuts of meat outdoors on Fridays and Saturdays.

Amali's is all about using the fresh products with a twist on tastes so that the exact cuisine is not recognizable.  I would be best to talk about the tasting, so let's get into the appetizers.  Heirloom Tomatoes with basil, basil seeds, sea salt and olive oil (imported).  Heirloom tomatoes are meant for a salad as they are a combination of both size and color that vary in taste.

Bake eggplant, roll the slices and add Calabrian chili, honey vinaigrette, a bit a sesame, cilantro and place atop yogurt.  The yogurt cools down kick of the chili, even though I didn't find it to be that spicy.  Good call on  something different!

Burrata di Campagna is imported.  The harden part of this really flavorful mozzarella lends way to the whey in the middle. Sprinkle on some Greek olive oil and maldon sea salt, a special kind of sea salt that flakes but doesn't exactly melt if you use it in cooking.

Pastas are made in-house such as the Cappelletti.  Char some figs, make a pear puree and fold it in the pasta with mascarpone.  Top it with a bit chili, butter and dandelion greens for a unique savory flavor.

You can expect to find lamb on the menu ( the entree choices, not the animal itself).  We had slices of lamb from the leg. I don't even remember what it was cooked in or topped with...it was just mouth watering.

Then there was the Seared Scallops with a pistachio puree and crumble, roasted beets, pickled blueberries and greens.  I need to crumble up some pistachios and make a few things.  This entree was certainly a great combination of flavors.

We're on to dessert.  Most interesting was the Katafi Cannoli that certainly combines both the Italian and Greek cuisine.  The cannoli shells are made from a cut up filo dough that makes it look at if the filling is in a nest.  The stuffing is a sheep's milk ricotta, honey comb and fennel pollen.

Various flavored gelatos are also offered as well as one panna cotta dessert called "Mavrotragano Vin Cotto".  The glass of a wonderfully delicious panna cotta (cooked cream with gelatin) is topped with cooked Mavrotragano grapes.

Did I forget to tell you about their making syrups for their own sodas?  It is a combo of a fruit and an herb.  

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