Amali Restaurant: Greek, Italian, and Turkish Delights

A surprise visit from my cousin a few weeks back led to dinner at Amali to celebrate her birthday. It had been on my list of places to go, especially since I am a big fan of their sister restaurants, Il Cantinori and Bar Six. At Amali the delightful surprises continued, starting with a butternut squash salad which was served raw. Paper-thin slices of butternut squash sat amidst paper-thin slices of sweet apples, tossed with wild sea beans (which tastes like seaweed, but is not), and garnished with flash fried kale. Simple and refreshing, the apple cider vinaigrette played perfectly with the other flavors. (My cousins were so inspired, they made a version of this when I went to visit them upstate with fresh squash from their garden and apples picked right off their tree.) I loved discovering this quick way to serve squash, I had never thought to eat it raw. Our entrees continued the splendor: Whole Grilled Dorade with meyer lemon and fennel fronds (which they, thankfully, deboned for us), Fresh Spinach Pasta with Sweetbreads, and the most amazing dish of all: Goat. We weren’t sure what to expect, so when a  perfect square of meat was presented we were even more curious (photo above). One bite was all that was necessary to determine it’s succulent, flavorful, and tender deliciousness. I just had to know how they made it, and owner James Mallios was nice enough to provide the technique (see below) from Chef Nilton Borges, Jr. I am sure this could be accomplished with brisket, or other cuts of meat, and is well worth the time put into it.

BRAISED KID GOAT with Roasted Carrots, Buttermilk Gel, Carrot Jus, Rye Crumbs
• Braise the goat with red wine and aromatics for 6 hours. Pull apart the goat meat, season it and press it into a block.
• Roasted Carrots: Reduce the braising liquid/meat scraps. Slow poach carrots in olive oil, then pan roast with the braising liquid.
• Carrot Jus: To accentuate the sweetness of the carrots, reduce carrot juice and add thyme. 
• The Buttermilk Gel is made by combining a bit of molecular gastronomy and buttermilk from Battenkill Farms to add another level of flavor.
• Just before serving the goat, pan sear the square to get a crust on top/bottom.

 butternut squash and apple salad with sea beans and fried kale
 Whole Grilled Dorade with meyer lemon and fennel fronds
 broccoli and corn side dish
 pasta with sweetbreads
 a dolled up dessert for my cousin's birthday
pumpkin panna cotta with balsamic ice cream

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