Amali Restaurant brings Farm-to-Table Mediterranean Cuisine to the Upper East Side
New York, N.Y (November 16th 2011)
Former General Manager of Resto, James Mallios partners with New York restaurant pioneers Steve Tzolis and Nicola Kotsoni to open Amali, a farm-to-table Mediterranean restaurant located at 115 East 60th Street between Park and Lexington. Mallios hired former Eastside Social Club Chef, Devon Gilroy to head up the kitchen.
The name Amali is inspired by a historical region that encompassed much of the modern day Mediterranean. The term signifies the cultural commonality shared by many Mediterranean countries, including Greece, Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Spain. Amali’s cuisine draws its inspiration from the region’s classic ingredients such as seasonal vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, cheese, meat and fish—distinctive flavors and traditional dishes that form the Mediterranean dining tradition — from the Bosporus through Italy and along the Mediterranean coast to Spain.
Steve and Nicola helped kick start New Yorkers’ love affair with Tuscan food with the opening of Il Cantinori, one of city’s first true Tuscan trattorias in 1983. Steve and Nicola’s following act was Periyali (1987)—the first Greek restaurant to receive three stars in The New York Times— proving that not all Greek food is found turning vertically on a spit. The duo, partners in business and in life, have gone on to successfully open Bar Six, Aureole and Chez Esada, among others.
Budding restaurateur and former GM at Resto and Tribeca Grill James Mallios, a native New Yorker and Greek-American was inspired to partner with Steve and Nicola because of their ability to legitimize Greek food, a previously marginalized cuisine on the New York food scene.
Amali’s menu follows the dining experience common to Mediterranean cultures but rarely seen in American Mediterranean restaurants. It highlights ingredients vital, almost all sourced locally, to the way many Mediterranean people eat on an everyday basis. While flavor combinations vary from region to region, the aesthetic of fresh, humble ingredients prepared in a simple manner is a hallmark of the Mediterranean and the guiding principle behind Amali’s ambiance and cuisine.
The menu, which was created by Mallios and Executive Chef Devon Gilroy, formerly of Eastside Social Club and A Voce, combines seasonal, local, farm-to-table ingredients with Mediterranean flavors.
Seasonal vegetable and pasta dishes include:
• Heirloom carrots with pumpernickel, spiced yogurt and assorted lettuces
• Fall squash with brown butter, sheep’s milk ricotta, sage and aged balsamic vinaigrette
• Wild mushrooms, tome ballad cheese and slow poached Meadow Creek egg
• Raviolo stuffed with prosciutto, soft egg yolk, white wine and swiss chard
Amali has made lamb, a staple of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, a particular focus. Gilroy sources whole lambs from the famed Elysian Fields Farm in Pennsylvania, breaking them down in-house for dishes such as:
• Lamb sweetbreads and cheeks with lemon puree and olive crumble,
• Rigatoni with braised lamb shoulder ragu with heirloom peppers and sheep’s milk yogurt;
• Braised lamb chop with pumpkin and puffed faro.
“We expect that when diners come into Amali, they will find a contemporary yet simultaneously familiar experience inspired by the food, atmosphere and of course, famed hospitality of a traditional Mediterranean home,” said Mallios.
The décor of Amali incorporates archetypal elements of classic Mediterranean household design – marble, plaster, wood, shutters and the concept of chiaroscuro. Amali contracted Mapos llc, a design firm led by Caleb Mulvena, who was the lead designer at Peter Marino on the Louis Vuitton flagship stores in Manhattan and Paris, to create the interior. All of the wood inside Amali is repurposed from New York City buildings. Photos of the interior and menu items are available upon request.
Amali is located at 115 East 60th Street between Park and Lexington.