Bistro Amerigo- Matawan
Had dinner at Bistro Amerigo in Matawan last night with another couple. Very, very nice indeed! They have a bar, so I started out with a just right Expresso Martini (my favorite). The menu is extremely interesting. It is a strange combination of Italian/Asian, but not your typical Italian and it works. They have a full Sushi menu (which I don't care for in general, so I cant comment on the quality of the Sushi). We all shared the fried calamari which was very tender and cooked perfectly. Then we all added salads to our main dishes which was only $2 per person extra and it was a plentiful plate of greens with cucumbers, grape tomatoes and dried cranberries- pleasant dressing. Nothing super special, but I would order it again just the same for the $2 extra. I had the Thai Basil Lemon Grass Shrimp which was delicious and again a plentiful portion. It came with "done just right" steamed brocolli. My husband had a dish that is not on the website (there are several other dishes on the actual menu that are not on the website menu). He had shrimp and scallops over Udon noodles. The noodles do their job in absorbing a fantastic sauce and the dish was very flavorful. Our friends had the Veal Amy, which is veal coated in parmesan cheese and once again an amazing sauce on top. I believe it came over some thin pasta. She loved it and the portion was too big for her to finish. Her husband had the Grand Marnier Shrimp which we all sampled and adored. Just the right sweetness with the candied nut and I would definitely order that next time. We did not have a complaint about any of our food and really enjoyed the whole meal. Dessert was nothing for me to really critique since we shared a bowl of pistachio ice cream and a Tartufo. What can you say about ice cream? We love it and it topped off a great dinner. I had tried Bistro Amerigo awhile back (probably nine months or so) and also enjoyed the food, but my complaint back then was that the food did not come out hot. Everything was lukewarm at best. Well, the kinks are certainly ironed out because all of our dishes were piping hot. We used our $10 coupon (off a bill of over $60) and with the tip the whole meal came to $70 per couple. I would definitely recommend it. Would be ineterested to hear some other impressions from all of you.
I was pretty dissatisfied with this place. It has the potential to be a nice neighborhood restaurant but unfortunately fails. I went with my wife for dinner this past weekend and the place had only 2 tables filled other than ours (the bar was decently packed).
We ordered oysters on the half shell (initially served without horseradish) and crab stuffed mushrooms. The oysters were good (hard to mess that up!) but the stuffed mushrooms were average. They used canned crab meat which is a big no no.
For our main course we ordered the grouper special and snapper. The snapper was done decently if a bit overcooked. Taste was good. The grouper special on the other hand was horribly executed. It was again stuffed with CANNED CRABMEAT! Who ruins a perfectly good grouper fillet with that? What a waste! I had to scrape out that horrendous pile of fishfood to make the dish somewhat palatable. It's a shame really, the grouper was cooked well, the crabmeat just wrecked it. If they took the time and pride in their dish, it would have been served with fresh lump crabmeat. Either jack up the price for the dish and serve with fresh ingredients or get rid of the stuffing.
Finally we got the chocolate cake desert which was good. Service was good as well, the staff being very friendly and prompt.
We tried Bistro Amerigo a few weeks ago. He started with the stuffed mushrooms, and I had the Bistro Maki roll. Nothing spectacular, but certainly good enough. For my main course, I opted for the calamari salad and I have to say it was probably one of the best calamari salads I've ever had. I will go as far to say the calamari was nearly perfect. The portion was generous too, so I was satisfied with my selection. He had some sashimi for main course and said it was okay.
We both had a glass of Riesling which was nice.
The service needs work, though. It was a Tuesday night, not really busy at all, but there just weren't enough servers so it was painfully slow and disjointed at some points. We had to ask for things a couple of times. Slow and forgetful service always turns us off. So even though our food selections were fine, service-wise we had a complete opposite experience than kadeshpa.