Amarelle, Main St. Wading River NY
Tucked a short, safe distance away from suburban Long Island strip mall traffic, overlooking a serene duck pond in sleepy “downtown” Wading River lies one of the North Fork’s hidden culinary gems. Its location will not attract drive-by clientele, but Amarelle is well worth seeking out. With a large stone fireplace at the center of its cozy dining room, tall ceilings and spacious windows, the setting evokes the feeling of a European country villa.
The service is attentive and courteous – you get the feeling they really do want to know if you are enjoying your meal. And of course there’s the food…The complimentary amuse bouche was a salmon pate with fresh dill served on sliced cucumber that melted in your mouth and along with the fresh-baked whole grain bread, the stage was set for what was to come.
A broad range of appealing and inventive choices on the menu plus several specials made it tough to choose… Owner-Chef Lia Fallon features both creative recipes and subtle variations on old favorites. For example, the house salad is mixed greens including frisse and arugula with sun-dried cherries, cocoa dusted goat cheese and toasted almonds dressed with white balsamic vinegar and vanilla bean essence.
Like its location, this combination of ingredients is just a bit off the beaten path…
In today’s world of upscale dining much attention is given to appealing and unusual descriptions of the dish on the menu and artistic presentation on the plate, but here the attention to detail is also focused on how diverse flavors can be combined to create a new taste, greater than the sum of its parts.
The soup de’jour was a lobster bisque with a genuine and distinctive lobster taste (not the typical bland cream based soup with a lobster waved over the pot for a hint of flavor) plus lots of fresh lobster meat. For entrees we continued the variations on a theme and selected Lobster Pappardelle. Once again, a very generous portion of freshly cooked lobster meat served over the broad pappardelle noodles cooked al dente, deliciously combined with a light cream sauce.
We also had our favorite – rack of lamb, perfectly cooked medium rare to bring out all of its flavor and practically melt in your mouth. Tonight it was served with served with basmati rice, toasted pepita seeds, golden raisins and rosemary sauce.
We finished with a slice of flourless chocolate cake served with peanut glass (not a typo – peanuts embedded in a clear, glass- like candy) The only down side is that Amarelle is a little pricey…our meal with a couple of glasses of wine but no coffee came to $115. Not our everyday kind of place but the excellent quality, good value, outstanding food and service ensures that we will continue to return for a special treat.