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Feb 25, 2014 04:16 AM

AMA Sea Bright- Big Changes (and not good ones)

Went here the other night. Found out, the Chef Pat Trama and manager Laura are no longer there. This restaurant was the showcase for Chef Pat's incredible cuisine, so you know what's going to happen- without him in the kitchen, and Laura in the front of the room, this will just become another high priced, mediocre New Jersey restaurant. They'll try to duplicate the Chef's recipes I'm sure, but it's hard to be as creative as Pat was without him being there. Too I've said many times, this WAS one of the best Italian restaurants in our state.
One last note- Their brilliant bartender Chris is also leaving at the end of February, so a total changeover of their high end talent is under way.

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  1. Bad news indeed. Any idea where Pat & Laura will turn up next Sockster?

    1. I have never dined there but I was under the impression from when they were in the Atlantic Highlands, that the owner was the Chef?

      5 Replies
      1. re: jrvedivici

        They were originally in Atlantic Highlands, then moved to Sea Bright. Have no idea where they're going to be next.

        1. re: sockster

          Correct but when you say that Chef Pat has left wasn't he also the owner?

          1. re: jrvedivici

            I presumed he was partners with the Stavola's. But have no idea for sure.

            1. re: sockster

              Because Stavola' owns the beach club? That is a fairly safe assumption especially with regards to the liquor license.

              So my understanding is correct, the "owner" of Ama was the Chef and he left his restaurant? WOW!

              1. re: jrvedivici

                My understanding is the Stavolas purchased the name from Pat and Laura over 2 years ago and they had a partnership.

      2. Very sad indeed. Looking forward to Pat and Laura's next move. Fingers crossed they stay local to Monmouth County! #powercouple

        1. New Executive Chef just posted on their Facebook page:

          Chef Chuck Lesbirel To Direct Ama Kitchen! We are pleased to announce the appointment of Chuck Lesbirel to Executive Chef here at Ama Ristorante. Many of you already know Chuck, who has held a key position as Chef de Cuisine at Ama since our opening in the Fall of 2012. And you also may know Chuck owns an impressive resume that includes positions at fine restaurants both here at the Shore and in New York City. Before coming to Ama, Chuck was Executive Chef at Raven and the Peach in Fair Haven for two years. He also is a former Sous Chef at David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson and Chef Tournant at david burke & donatella
          in New York City. In addition, Chuck was Executive Chef at
          Reserve Sushi and Steakhouse, Lakewood, and served as Consulting Chef at Highpoint Bistro in New York City. We are truly grateful to have someone of Chuck's ability, passion and dedication overseeing the operations of our kitchen.
          Please join us in congratulating Chuck and make sure to wish him well on your next visit.
          The Stavola Family