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Amarin Cafe--Williamsburg

  • d
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Can anyone give me a report on the Amarin Cafe?
According to Stephen Shaw's web page this place is
actually better than Plan Eat Thailand, and cheaper,
and less crowded. I am very skeptical that anything is
better and cheaper, although less crowded is easy to
imagine. Any feedback on this Thai restaurant would be
appreciated.

-dan s.

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  1. d
    Dan Sonenberg

    Well, I can answer my own question. I was there last
    night. The food really is quite excellent, and I dare
    say it's in the same league as Plan Eat Thailand (which
    is saying plenty). I was sorry to see that they don't
    serve Spicy Thai Squid Salad, which at $2.95 at PET is
    probably one of the best gourmet buys in the city. The
    eating experience overall is totally different. Far
    from the long lines at PET, Amarin was half full, and
    there is a relaxed, out of the way, unhip, ultra casual
    feel to the place. It feels, in fact, slightly more
    like a takeout joint than a restaurant. They serve no
    alcohol, so one can bring his own beer, and service is
    far less harried and chaotic than PET. But I have to
    admit I missed some of the frenetic, festive atmosphere
    of the Beford Ave. orignal. Even missed what graffiti
    in the PET men's room describes as "Bogey Bohemian
    Trash." But Amarin gets thumbs up from me--I had Basil
    Squid and Shrimp Pad Thai. The Pad Thai, in
    particular, ranks with PET's as far and away the best
    I've had in the city, and the squid was ultra fresh. A
    fresh spring roll came with a too-sweet dipping sauce,
    but otherwise I've no complaints.

    -dan s.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dan Sonenberg

      Dan, Amarin sounds really good. Where in WB is it
      located, and do you have a phone #? Steve

      1. re: Steve
        d
        Dan Sonenberg

        Sure, the phone number is 718-349-2788, and truth be
        told it's actually not quite in Williamsburg but in
        Green Point. It's at 617 Manhattan Ave., right near
        the intersection of Manhattan and Bedford. I'd love to
        hear what you think.

        -dan

        1. re: Dan Sonenberg

          I agree with Dan. I love Amarin -- in general, the
          spices are clean and sharp (warning: ordering something
          even just 'medium' spicy can clear the most congested
          of heads.) A plus in my book is the plenty of very
          fresh shrimp in the pad Thai. If you frequent
          Williamsburg/Greenpoint area, you should also try Thai
          Cafe, which is farther down on Manhattan Ave., just
          past Greenpoint Ave. I think that it is owned by same
          people who run PET, although that may be a rumor.

          1. re: Sasha

            Oooh...Thai Cafe...:-) I was there on Sunday night. My dinner companion and I shared the green papaya salad and fried tofu appetizers. The salad was very sharp and cleansing, a great complement to the mellow, silky tofu. The tofu came with a peanut sauce that I thought was too bright, but my partner enjoyed it. The squid pad thai he ordered was delicious! I got the shrimp glass noodle salad. Plenty of fresh shrimps, but oh G-D! was it fiery! I also mistakenly thought the glass (bean) noodles would be thicker rather than the vermicelli they served. Oh well. They had a quail on the specials menu that I hope will be there when I return. Hmmm...quail... Oh, and dessert was the best part of that dinner. We had bananas wrapped in thin wonton papers then deep fried and finally lightly drizzled in (i think) a corn syrup. Heaven! If we weren't so full we would have ordered another.

            1. re: Maria

              That quail is indeed worth a try - sweet, ever so
              gamey and set off atop a pile of tartly dressed greens.

              Take my recommendation though and split it as an
              appetizer between two people - you'll be happier.

              Speaking of appetizers at Thai Cafe - avoid the nasty
              crab rolls - ugh.

      2. re: Dan Sonenberg

        "The Pad Thai, in particular, ranks with PET's as far and away the best I've had in the city"

        yeah, that and their fried rice are the two best things (I mean at PET, not Amarin)

        "and the squid was ultra fresh"

        ....which you can't always count on at PET or Thai Cafe...

        thanks for the great report. sometimes you've just got to do it yourself. Hopefully your posting will inspire others to post meal reports, especially of new places or of known places when experience contradicts conventional wisdom.