I am working my way down the list of new restaurants. Ama was on the list, and so off we went. It was a Monday night and summer. I mention that because it is incredible how in the summer, you can pretty much walk into any restaurant with 2 people and get a table. Last night it was 4 of us. It gets emptier in August. It is a treat to be in NYC when it is empty. There is definitely a different vibe in the air.
Ama is located on Macdougal street between Prince and Houston. That area has always been a small restaurant row. Ama is the newest member.
The place is simple, clean and modern. The ceilings are low which create an intimate environment. The menu is good. 5-6 appetizers, 5-6 pastas and 5-6 main courses.
The food is Pugliese, very Southern Italian, almost Sardinian. Simple fare. I started with a frisee salad with mushrooms. It wasn’t that interesting or tasty. It needed more mushrooms, less frisee. Someone else had the beet salad, roasted yellow and red beets with goat cheese. I am not a big beet person but the presentation was really beautiful. Zucchini blossoms were also tried. 2 stuffed with cheese, sauteed, not fried. The cheese was delicious. The perfect amount of herbs but they were so stuffed with cheese that the blossoms looked faint from heat.
My main course was the whole grilled fish. They will serve it whole or filleted for you. I opted for the whole. It was really delicious, well cooked, lots of herbs, etc. I had sauteed escarole on the side which was the perfect accompaniment. 2 people had the assorted shellfish with a little red sauce. The sauce was light and spicy. Good for dipping bread in. The mix was shrimp, clams, scallops and lobster. A good peasant dish. The other entree at the table was the pasta with eggplant, ricotta salata and roasted tomatoes. That was excellent. All the pasta dishes sounded really good. Not surprising that they would do pasta well in a Pugliese restaurant which is farmhouse type food; pasta, beans etc.
For dessert we split a fried dough with strawberries and chocolate sauce. Ok, not great.
We did have a fantastic bottle of red wine. The place was good but not great. It is certainly convenient for me. Right in my hood. I might return with the kids for 2 of ours love pasta and that seemed to be the best thing on the menu.