Every month MsMembership subscribers take part in a supper club dinner where we explore some of the best restaurants and unique dinning experiences in Houston. Last month's supper club dinner was at Amalfi Ristorante Italiano and Bar.
As soon as you walk through the doors it's like your walking into a secret club that you never knew you were apart of. The manager and waitstaff felt more more like relatives welcoming you home after a long time away. A montage of culture, food, and the celebration of it, play on the flat screen TV above the bar. No sports games on the boobtube here. I'm liking it already.
Of course the big question is how is the food? The food is exactly what food should be. Fresh ingredients, bold and subtle flavors, an attention to details, and a respect for presentation. This body of work that is truly art is all the masterpiece of Chef/Owner Giancarlo Ferrara. He calls Salerno, Italy home, where he got his first cooking lessons from who else but momma, the best teacher on how to cook with love. After formal training, chef Ferrara took his love for quality, local ingredients, and seasonal food, and built his menu around these core principles.
The decor definitely reminds you of the sea. I was also a big fan on the bar stools that looked like wine corks. I need about 4 of those in my kitchen.
I ordered a totally different entree, but after seeing and smelling this gentleman work the oven, I absolutely had to order a pizza...before dessert. Don't judge.
With all of our Supper Club dinners I order the table a round of appetizers or small plates. We ordered the OSTRICHE GRATINATE AL PICCANTE: East coast Oyster gratin with lemon infuse olive oil, herbed bread crumb and spicy N’duja Calabrese sausage ( we got ours without the sausage). BRANZINO ALLO ZAFFERANO: Pan roasted filet of Branzino with olive oil and rosemary, served with organic black rice, grilled asparagus saffron sauce.
For my main entree I tried the BRANZINO ALLO ZAFFERANO: Pan roasted filet of Branzino with olive oil and rosemary, served with organic black rice, grilled asparagus saffron sauce. The whole thing was stellar but I was most impressed by the black rice. It was citrusy and soft, reminding me of the texture of risotto.
I am a creator of habit when it comes to dessert at Italian restaurants. I always get the tiramisu. This dessert comes with delicate mascarpone cheese cream and ladyfinger-layered cake, topped with toasted almonds and amaretti cookies.
All in all we enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, and even having the chef come out and say hi to our table. We were offered complimentary small bites when we came in and a shot of Limoncello. Often times what will put a restaurant over the top for me isn't just the food but the service. I don't care how good the food is, if I have a bad experience, I won't be back. Sometimes if the food is just OK but the experience is stellar I'll be back. When I can get both, you have my business for life. Definitely give this restaurant a try and experience authentic Italian and a warm environment. If you go for dinner I would highly suggest making reservations. Buon Appetito!.