Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 907 : Lunch at Amali

The revamped Persephone, now known as Amali is located on 60th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, a busy thoroughfare of a street. Walking in, the classic white washed walls and rustic barnyardy feel of Persephone are gone as is the go-to menu composed of Greek standbys. In its place is a somewhat modern yet sleek farmhouse interior with the corrugated walls adorned with abstract photographs. The menu is Mediterranean farm to table driven, heavy on the appetizers and share-able plates at lunch. Unique and bold combinations of flavors like Eggplant with Calabrian Chili Honey Vinaigrette, Sesame, Cilantro and Yogurt along with Corn Fritters with Smoked Sheep's Milk Ricotta and Okra made up a large percentage of their small plates. Although we did not have the pleasure of trying any of these inventive flavor combinations, I would most certainly go back to explore them.

What we did have to start was their Cheese Plate composed of Fiore Sardo, Pecorino and Grana Padano accompanied by a plum quince jam and caramelized nut clusters. Don't get me wrong - I like all three of these cheeses but they are all firm and have somewhat of a similar consistency -- a unique choice for a cheese plate as traditionally you want to showcase a series of cheeses with different textures and flavor profiles. To their benefit - their cheese selection does change on a daily basis apparently.

Then I had their Octopus a la Plancha served with celery, oregano and a red wine vinaigrette which was simple, savory, sleek, and fabulously flavorful. This was all about the Octopus and allowing it to shine and shine it did! 

We also tried their Spiced Squash Panna Cotta topped with pistachios and served with Marcona Almonds and a Balsamic sorbet. A very unusual dessert that although it made your mind think of Thanksgiving was quite aromatically fabulous and a bold dessert menu decision. 

Overall a lovely meal in a convivial atmosphere -- the menu surely takes its risks in the same way that the design pushes itself with the corrugated walls. A nice modern update of a Greek classic.

115 East 60th Street

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