Can anyone give me their latest feedback on Ame? I was thinking about the tasting menu but wondering if that is the way to go. I get about one high end meal a year and so I want to make the right choice. Any info would help, thank you.
I was there a month or so ago for the first time and enjoyed a very fine dinner. We didn't do the tasting menu because we had a theater engagement, but it's always a good way to taste more things. I don't recall everything that we had, but if the grilled lamb tongue is still on the menu I highly recommend it. Also, the cuttlefish noodles sashimi had a fascinating texture. Freshly deep fried huckleberry mini pies for dessert.
We went about a week ago with a group of 8 people, so we tried lots of dishes.
We did not get the tasting menu, but since we had the luxury of a large table, we tasted a lot of the specialties.
One of the most favorite dishes was the Hamachi Carpaccio which was served with beets, some sort of citrus vinaigrette, and was completely covered in truffles. It was decadent, rich, and light at the same time. Our host actually ordered a second round, it was so well-received. The burrata on bruschetta salad was an exceptionally well-crafted dish, but it seemed a bit out-of-place with the seafood-heavy, Asian-influenced menu.
For entrees, I had the black cod, which is one of their specialties, and it was cooked to perfection with s slightly caramelized exterior, and a moist and flaky interior. It had a brothy, teriyaki-like essence and was accompanied by delicate and exquisite shrimp dumplings. My only complaint was the whole Shiso leaves were a bit overpowering - but that's because shiso to me tastes like a cross between root beer and dirt. It infused the broth nicely, but I pushed it aside otherwise. DH had the double cut Kurobuta porkchop, which was well-preapred, but not so unique or interesting. I also sampled the crab linguine, which was rich and buttery, but a bit flat in flavor profile, IMHO. The lobster was delicious and the scallops that accompanied it were prepared to perfection. The Japanese "risotto" was an unusual but very nice side dish.
Desserts were incredible, too. The "hand pies" were these gorgeous little turnovers stuffed with huckleberries and were served hot out of the deep-fryer - very fun!
The warm apple tart with soy caramel had a great savory kick that I love.
Service was impeccable but not too stuffy, and the room was so serene and beautiful. If it wasn't so expensive, I would come in every week.
For you and for that one-in-a-year dining experience, I would definitely do the tasting menu. Their service seemed so nice an accomodating, if there was something on there that didn't look appealing, I'm sure they'd be happy to arrange an alternative.
I haven't been as recently as the other posters, just wanted to comment on foodiegirl's suggestion that you may be able to make a switch to the tasting menu. We ended up doing just that and they were perfectly fine with it! I am a big fan of Ame!!
DeeGlaze and I went to Ame last weekend and enjoyed a wonderfully prepared and tasty meal but left scratching our heads. We ordered a la carte and began with the cuttlefish with uni, ikura - wonderful - and the hamachi carpaccio - also wonderful. The beautiful, soft Japanese flavors lingered on our palates. Yum. But then came the more French-style preparations like foie gras with a duck-confit filled crepe and octopus slices in a parsley, garlic and butter sauce. Both very yummy but way out of context with our first course. Then more French stuff, like beef cheeks with crispy sweetbreads. Again, well-prepared (except I tasted the batter more than the sweetbreads) but more contextual weirdness. DeeGlaze stayed with the Japanese theme and did better with their signature black cod. I'm all for ying/yang but my experience was muddled, as if my taste buds weren't sure where I was. Of course Ame is not to blame here - I made my choices - but I'd recommend sticking with one theme, probably the Japanese.
Don't miss the pistachio/green tea affogato for dessert. Two scoops of dense pistachio ice cream with plently of candied nuts bathed in warm, dark, deep green tea. Like having a forest in your mouth. Absolutely great.