Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 31, 2008 08:04 AM


Has anyone done Amalia recently? Headed there tonight and curious as to what to expect and what to wear, lol :) Hows the food, wine list, cocktails? Is it more trendy ( appears so on the website) or more classic?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Its definitely more trendy than classic. Went for lunch yesterday, was fairly empty. Food was decent, service was very weak (e.g. the waiter disappeared after our entree and we never saw her again, another waiter got out check, etc) Prices for lunch were fair, however, the dinner prices looked much higher.

    If you are already going, I wouldn't cancel, however, if you had the choice there are much better options.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jeffaggy


      Did you have the RW menu? Could you give us some details about what you ate?

      We went there for dinner last January, not long after they first opened, and not only was the meal excellent. However, the original chef, Ivy Stark, left during the year, as did the original pastry chef. So, these changes could very well have affected the quality of the food. As for service, your experience was quite the opposite of ours since we felt it couldn't have been better.

      The space is beautiful, management seemed very eager to please, and I thought the restaurant had great promise. But it would appear that promise is not being fulfilled since there isn't much buzz about the place.

      1. re: RGR


        None of us had the RW Menu, as the choices weren't great as most lunch entrees there were in the mid teens anyway, so there wasn't much value from the RW Menu, especially since we didn't want dessert.

        I agree the space is very nice and the service was good at the beginning and I as mentioned was non exisent towards the end. They seemed to not want to rush us, however, given most people were there for business lunches (as were we), we didn't want a 2 hour+ lunch either.

        The food wasn't terrible, not noteworthy though. I had a Middle Eastern Chicken Skewer dish which was fine. Others had the Lamb Meatballs and Spicy Lamb Sandwich, no one was overwhelmed. I agree the place could have potential, however, they need much better execution.

        1. re: jeffaggy

          Thanks for the reply, jeffaggy. Sounds as though the change in chefs has made a difference and, it seems, not for the better.


          Presuming you follow through on your plans to go to Amalia, I hope you will report back on your experience. And, btw, as far as dress is concerned, I would say casual but stylish.

          1. re: RGR

            I will still be going- hopefully theyll be a bit more on their game during dinner service. I think the menu looks inventive and the space looks beautiful so Im hoping for the best. I will absolutely report back, thanks for the advice!

            1. re: bastet212


              One thing I did notice about the dinner menu. The wild king salmon charmoula my husband and I both had is still on it. Perhaps they're considering it a signature dish? In any event, we both thought it was delicious.


              1. re: RGR

                Ok, heres the report :)

                When we arrived we were seated at a table right in the front, overlooking the stairs. It was noisy and not very appealing- just a bad table. I asked to be moved and they easily accomodated us.... we decided to do the restaurant week menu... for starters i had the pomegranate glazed pork belly and my bf had the caldo verde. My pork belly was delicious- i often have trouble with the fat texture ( i know, i know, its all fat) , but this was very soft and tender- not at all gelatinous and had a nice crispy crust. The pomegranate glaze was intense, but i enjoyed it. The caldo verde was smoky and flavorful- also a hit.

                FOr our mains we had the pan roasted skate with walnut pomegranate tabbouleh and the balsamic glazed short ribs. Both were excellent. he skate was ender and flavorful- not overly fried and the tabbouleh was a great accompaniment. The shortribs were falling off the bone and tasted just like my moms ( thats a compliment!). Overall, delicious.

                The desserts were a custard/dried fruit tart and rice pudding. Te rice pudding was great- heavily spiced with an appealing creamy texture. The tart was AWFUL. It tasted old and dry.... by FAR the worst dessert ive had in a while.

                With the exception of the fruit tart, I really enjoyed the meal and would return. I also enjoyed the setting ( once our table was moved) - the restaurant is visually striking. Service was fantastic.

                1. re: bastet212


                  Thanks so much for reporting back. You experience makes it sound as though the food continues to be as good as what we had -- with the exception, of course, of that tart. Presuming there were only two choices for dessert on the RW menu, you probably should have sent the tart back and gotten another pudding. I recall our dessert as being stellar, so the departure of the original pastry chef may be more of a loss than losing the original chef. In any event, I think I'll put Amalia back on my "go to" list.

    2. We love it. We there on MLK Day and had a great lunch.

      Here's our report:

      "Visit after visit one of our favorite dining places in midtown is Amalia, located adjacent to the Dream Hotel.

      The overall decor is hip but at the same time emphasizing natural materials of brick and barn siding aged wood, combined with glass, a touch of Chinois wall paper and a pseudo-classic art gallery located on a ceiling.

      The entrance bar area is large and inviting. Seating in the front of the house has a casual and contemporary feel. The first room in the back is small and slightly Oriental. Further back is the raised gallery that has views of the overall restaurant. A final room that is the least interesting is used for private parties and overflow diners.

      The menu is primarily Mediterranean, with focus on foods of Spain and Middle Eastern cuisines. This combination is rare in Manhattan, actually in the United States, but common in Spain and parts of Mediterranean France. The menu while small has fantastic gems waiting to provide excellent savory and spicy flavors to the fortunate dinners. The lunch menu is short; however it provides a wonderful sampling of the cuisine.

      The wine list is an excellent compilation of moderately priced wines reflecting both the region and the cuisine. A moderately price Chardonnay from Spain is a knockout value displaying abundant fruit and finish.

      Service is both casual and professional at both lunch and dinner. Wine service is above average."

      2 Replies
      1. re: Martin_Chamois


        Can you provide some specifics about what you ate during that MLK Day lunch? And if you've had dinner there recently, details about the food would also be appreciated.

        1. re: RGR

          We went with the prix fixed menu; wonderful savory Spanish "soup" with complex spicy flavors, chicken kabob with excellent couscous, matched with wonderful Spanish Chardonnay.