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Nov 11, 2009 06:12 AM

Ama Restaurant - Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Has anyone dined at this fairly new restaurant in Atlantic Highlands? Ive heard pretty good things, but wanted to see if anyone else has been.


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  1. Very disappointing. Food too salty. Owner rude. Don't waste your money!

    9 Replies
    1. re: residentreview

      Yes, she is very rude. I think some of the items on the menu are delicious and others are so-so. But, that's not the problem. The owner is down right rude and I will not return because of that. I tried it again after my last review to see if perhaps I was imagining it. Nope. She seems to forget that if people don't come to your restaurant, you go out of business. Eating out should be a pleasurable experience, not one where the owner slaps credit cards down on your table and refuses to serve you dessert because they have another reservation coming in in ten minutes. There wasn't even any alcohol involved! So, I predict this one will not last. She's had a pretty good crowd this summer, but when word gets around about her rudeness, people will stop coming. I know my friends and I will not go there anymore. Too bad, because it could be a nice place.

      1. re: Luclyd

        AMA does not accept credit cards, so therefore why would they ever have to 'slap a credit card down on your table'? I enjoyed the food at AMA this past summer, and the only rudeness by the owner I've ever heard about was here on Chowhound. Fact is if people enjoyed the restaurant this summer, they will return. So here's a suggestion, why don't we all just use Chowhound to write about the food. I mean let's face it, there are two sides to every story, and the owners of AMA are not allowed to post on Chowhound to defend themselves.

        1. re: Herm

          Herm, Luclyd has written a few positive reviews about other places, so it's not a disgruntled one-timer. This poster is obviously sensitive about service, praising it when good, complaining when it is rude. The similar complaint made about another restaurant echoed other people's reactions. Note, Luclyd is not the only one to complain about the service at Ama.

          Perhaps the slapped credit card was because it was put in the folder for the waitress, and returned by the manager.

          As for your suggestion, that is ridiculous. The service is part of the entire dining experience, and as such is a key part of any review.

          Finally, why are the owners barred? Other owners post on CH. Did one of them "defend" themselves in a highly inappropriate manor? That would tend to support the rudeness complaint.

          1. re: cantkick

            All good points cantkick. You're right, Chowhound is a restaurant board, not a food board. I just want to read about the food. I'm also assuming that by now people who read this board, and have been to Ama, know that it is cash only - especially a person who had been there before.

            1. re: Herm

              I agree that the service is part of the entire dining experience. Many restaurants have food as good, or better, than Ama but have much better service. I have gone there several times and have had terrible service from waiters with attitude and very good service from different waiters. Sometimes the food is amazing, other times not so much. In fact, the first time my husband and I went there my scallops were raw inside and he claimed his food was just so-so and won't go back. The one constant has been the surliness of the owner and I have no explanation for this. Never have I, or the people I have been dining with, been rude or behaved poorly. I have said hello to her and been completely ignored. She has never once said thank you for coming, please come again. She slapped the credit card down and said, "I don't take credit cards" , not "I'm sorry we don't accept credit cards but we do have a cash machine in the corner." The gentleman who was paying hadn't been to Ama before and had slipped his credit card to the waitress without consulting us prior to doing so. And, yes, she slapped it down. Personally, I find this behavior rude and have chosen not to return there. If it doesn't bother you, or if perhaps you are one of the people she isn't rude to, then by all means return. I will not and will counsel others to go somewhere where they are treated with respect. There are many, many restaurants in this area with equally good food but much better attitude.

              1. re: Luclyd

                Thank you Luclyd, I appreciate the details. Now I see your point more clearly. A very fair assessment.

                1. re: Herm

                  Also, they used to take credit cards. Even if we had been there before, this was an honest mistake and there was no need for rudeness. Every time we walk by this restaurant, my husband says "Never again!"

            2. re: cantkick

              We've moved a digression on the ability of owners to respond to reviews to the Site Talk board, at

              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                I too had a horrible experience with the "hostess/owner", burnt bread, stale breadsticks and lousy service. When I posted my review on Yelp (which permits other users to respond directly to you via e-mail) I was confronted by a user who appeared to be the lovely "hostess". I quickly blocked her.

                Frankly, if you're in the restaurant biz, or any biz for that matter, you really need to remember one thing...."the customer is always right". Which in todays world means....the customer spends money and may return to buy more. Apparently this establishment still doesn't get it after a couple years. And after no longer taking credit cards I just don't see how they manage to keep the lights on. Not only do they pocket the money they used to give to the credit card companies, but they put in one of those awful ATMs, which I'm sure they're making money off of as well.

                Just pass on this place...there's plenty of great places to eat in Atl Highlands, Highlands, Rumson.

      2. Have to somewhat disagree. Having only tried the restaurant once (and this being a couple months back), I had a short rib dish dressed with homemade minestrone and thoroughly enjoyed it.

        That being said, the service was awful. And the stale breadsticks on the table didn't help any.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gwh912

          We dined at Ama last night for maybe our third time. The food has been consistantly excellent and I have never had a problem with the service. I love that the chef always has some specials that feature season fare. Last night I had a salad with figs. I tend to go with my favorite pasta dish, but two at our table had the swordfish and reported four thumbs up. As for the stale breadsticks (I notice the post is almost a year old) I can report that Ama now has the best bread in ALL of northern Monmouth County. We were informed that it comes in daily from the Brooklyn Bread Company and if you want a loaf or two, just call the day before and they will add it to their order. I will say that as good as the food is it is expensive.