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prasad2

Amma

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I wasn't saying Suvir is an ass-kisser. Good heavens. But his language (and that of my own Indian friends) is elegant and formal, and it is my experience that the attentiveness paid when bestowing praise is one of the nicer aspects of an Indian upbringing.

Perhaps I am mistaken.

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I just booked a trip to NYC next week and will be bringing friends to Amma! I am so excited. Two are in the food industry themselves (I'm returning with my friend, Betsy, whose chef coat Hemant autographed.)

Suvir, I hope you are there so you can autograph the coat. I'll send you an e-mail with some details. And I'm ordering a little mini-tripod so no more out-of-focus shots.

I am thrilled to be returning to Amma and to NYC. :wub::wub::wub:

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I stopped in at Amma last night for dinner. Great, as usual. I sat very near a man working toward his PhD in Food Studies at NYU, or so I overheard. I wondered the whole night whether he knew about eGullet. Didn't want to interrupt his meal and ask.

Are you here?


JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Planning on going next week and was wondering what the reservation situation is like - is walking in and getting seated impossible? My plans are still up in the air. Also, any suggestions on the tasting menu vs. the regular menu are appreciated. Thanks

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I have to say that out of all the threads on eGullet, this one makes me the hungriest. And around here, that's high praise.

I really have to try Amma soon.

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Planning on going next week and was wondering what the reservation situation is like - is walking in and getting seated impossible?

Why don't you call them in advance of showing up, and see what they say? The place is small, though, FYI.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I stopped in at Amma last night for dinner. Great, as usual. I sat very near a man working toward his PhD in Food Studies at NYU, or so I overheard. I wondered the whole night whether he knew about eGullet. Didn't want to interrupt his meal and ask.

Are you here?

Hey, come on, JJ, be brave! If you find yourself in that situation again, just lean over and talk to him. :raz: He's just the kind of person we want here! (Well, one of the many kinds). :wink: I've had great conversations about the finer points of Detroit Coney Islands (hot dogs with "chili" and onions) just because I started talking to a neighboring table (this in NYC and DC).

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Also, any suggestions on the tasting menu vs. the regular menu are appreciated. Thanks

you're not going to go wrong either way, especially with suvir guiding you through. it comes down to: how much food do you want and how much do you want to spend.

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I say go for the tasting menu and enjoy. I agree with Tommy, let Suvir, Hemant and Bikky guide you.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I stopped in at Amma last night for dinner. Great, as usual. I sat very near a man working toward his PhD in Food Studies at NYU, or so I overheard. I wondered the whole night whether he knew about eGullet. Didn't want to interrupt his meal and ask.

Are you here?

Hey, come on, JJ, be brave! If you find yourself in that situation again, just lean over and talk to him. :raz: He's just the kind of person we want here! (Well, one of the many kinds). :wink: I've had great conversations about the finer points of Detroit Coney Islands (hot dogs with "chili" and onions) just because I started talking to a neighboring table (this in NYC and DC).

:smile: You're right. I missed out! I had decided that I would say something if an appropriate opportunity presented itself, like if both of his companions left the table at once, or if there was a break for both of us in the food service. Maybe I'll try to track him down...

BJL, you might get away without making a reservation very far in advance. I found out I was getting off early from work and called at 5pm to reserve for 7pm. But that was a Sunday.


JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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A favorite friend & dining companion has an even more direct strategy: she will literally lean in to the neighboring table, and scoop up a forkful of their dinner. (as she scoops, she coos, "that looks divine, do you mind if I try...?") But maybe you have to be a woman 'of a certain age' for that approach to work well.

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What outrageous behavior!


Michael aka "Pan

 

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A favorite friend & dining companion has an even more direct strategy: she will literally lean in to the neighboring table, and scoop up a forkful of their dinner. (as she scoops, she coos, "that looks divine, do you mind if I try...?") But maybe you have to be a woman 'of a certain age' for that approach to work well.

A whole new thread can be started to discuss this behavior. At the very least I would hope she uses a clean fork.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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A favorite friend & dining companion has an even more direct strategy: she will literally lean in to the neighboring table, and scoop up a forkful of their dinner. (as she scoops, she coos, "that looks divine, do you mind if I try...?") But maybe you have to be a woman 'of a certain age' for that approach to work well.

Years ago, while walking in the concourse at Nassau Colleseum, a random stranger leaned in a helped himself to some of my popcorn while saying "don't mind if I do." I still haven't recovered from that one. As such, I think if a stranger helped themselves to something on my plate I'd have a coronary. Or I'd stab their hand with my fork.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Yeesh, these people are as bad as those double-dipping nitwits at my catering gigs. I was appalled when people would bite a samosa, then dip it back into the chutney. What ghastly behavior.

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I was there for Valentine's Day. The food was a great as everyone says.

I had to compare it to my eGullet dinner at Diwan. The portions were smaller.

One of the best surprises was the wines chosen by the sommelier. Excellent. Especially the whites. Great service all around.

Oh, and the chocolate flan dessert was exceptional. I usually don't like chocolate desserts after a large meal. I find them too heavy and rich. But this was exceptional. Terrific flavor, a little . . . granier than one would expect (and I assume that franco-philes would criticise this). It seemed to have a subtle cinnamony flavor. Perhaps a tad of chili.


Edited by Stone (log)

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Oh, and the chocolate flan dessert was exceptional. I usually don't like chocolate desserts after a large meal. I find them too heavy and rich. But this was exceptional. Terrific flavor, a little . . . granier than one would expect (and I assume that franco-philes would criticise this). It seemed to have a subtle cinnamony flavor. Perhaps a tad of chili.

Maybe it was cardamom or clove? That sounds like a proper Indian accent for a French-inspired dish.

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I've secured reservations at Amma for a few weeks hence. I can hardly wait. They were so nice on the telephone when I called to increase the number of people in our party, I can barely imagine the level of customer service on a more personal basis. I already feel like a long lost friend. :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie, you sort of are to Suvir, as is anyone he knows through eGullet.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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This past Saturday my wife and I were supposed to have dinner at Per Se and...well we all know what happened there.

We don't get into Manhattan that often (maybe 2-3 times a year), so after pouring over the e-gullet Manhattan threads and reading the New York Times review I decided to make reservations for Amma.

We had the vegetarian tasting menu with wine pairings and it was wonderful. The staff was warm. We truly felt welcomed. The Sommelier was particularly gracious and we had wines from Hungary, New Zealand and Australia.

It was a memorable meal and one of the nicest (and least pretentious) that we've had in Manhattan.

I hope Per Se can be just as good! :wink:

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Katie Loeb, SJEpicure, two of Katie's offline friends and I had an absolute orgy of food and drink at Amma tonight.

All five of us got tasting menus, with one graciously accomodated change: A subtraction of shrimp and addition of more chicken for one member of our party who does not eat shellfish. The women in our party also ordered the wine pairings, which Katie will no doubt elaborate on. I chose not to try the wines but stuck to the excellent salty lassi and had two of those with the meal.

We were first given an amuse bouche that seemed like a sort of potato (or otherwise starchy) finger (fried, with a crisp outside and tender middle) with various other things in it (I recall that cashews were mentioned).

This is the dinner tasting menu, courtesy of www.menupages.com:

Bombay Bhel Puri rice puffs, cilantro, red onions, mint and tamarind chutneys, potatoes

Crispy Fried Spinach mung beans, potatoes, onions, tamarind and mint chutneys

Pea Stuffed Samosa & Stuffed Mushroom Ginger-cilantro peas in pastry, cheese-chile stuffed mushrooms

Tandoori Shrimp Sri Lankan jumbo shrimp, hung yogurt marinade, crispy okra

Tandoori Stuffed Chicken chicken breasts, spicy chicken stuffing

Manchurian Cauliflower garlic marinated cauliflower, Indo-Chinese style

Choice Of: Malabar Salmon (spicy tomato chutney, Southern Indian potatoes) OR Parsi Halibut "Paatra Ni Machi" (mint coconut chutney, lemon rice)

Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops sweet & sour pear chutney, curry leaf potatoes [those were not included and are probably not on this tasting menu anymore], jackfruit biryaani

Mango Cheesecake OR Kulfi (Indian ice cream) with Citrus Soup

I've had the Bhel Puri before and raved about it before. Suffice it to say that it was as before, and met with a chorus of amazed oohs and aahs from across the table.

Ditto for the tempura-like fried spinach with the wonderfully earthy mung bean sprouts.

The Mushroom Samosa was a standout, since the quality of the mushrooms was so high and they were moist - somewhat reminiscent of some excellent tortellini I've had, but different in texture.

From the plate of Tandoori Shrimp, Tandoori Stuffed Chicken Breasts, and Crispy Okra, it's tough to pick the winner; all three dishes are great. But I think I may have been most impressed by the chicken breasts this time. They have excellent but still somewhat subtle smoky taste from the tandoor and the spicy chicken stuffing is tender and delicious.

Following that, we were all given both the halibut and salmon, and the Manchurian Cauliflower, along with some lemon rice. Again, all the dishes were outstanding. The salmon tasted perfectly fresh and came with a somewhat caramelized tomato and onion sauce, delicately spiced. The mint coconut chutney atop the halibut was fantastic! The lemon rice had a cayenne kick and plenty of black mustard seeds.

It was almost unbelievable that more food remained. Not only had we eaten all that I mentioned above, but we had also had pieces of tandoori-baked naan with extra helpings of sambhars in between courses! However, we all made room for the fabulous lamb chops, which came with a biriyani which, if anything, is perhaps just a tad superior to the lemon rice, and a delicious little helping of pear/fennel seed chutney. The biriyani deserves special mention because it struck me this time that my piece of jackfruit tasted pickled. In any event, it was great stuff!

Following that course, the staff brought out, seemingly, every dessert the restaurant makes!!! We had the fantastic mango cheesecake; the kulfi with citrus soup, a combination which shows great subtlety and imagination (this is no ordinary citrus soup but one infused with interesting spices); some very good rasmalai; rice pudding that really amounted to some grains of rice in a sauce strongly tasting of saffron; and a plate that contained a fabulous combination of little desserts: chai pot de creme, banana custard [edit: No, not custard, but what word am I looking for? a sort of dense little cake], and rosewater panna cotta.

All of the staff were kind, very friendly, and professional. Hemant Mathur came out of the kitchen to speak with us during the meal and received our thanks. Suvir was out today, but of course the food was at the same level as it was the last time I went, when he was at the restaurant. See you next time, Suvir!


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

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Pan, many thanks from Anju Sharma, Hemant, Dev Sharma, Bikky and our staff and certainly myself. Your words are so very kind and generous. It makes working seem worthwhile and poetic.

I am glad your meal this time was at par with your last visit. Even more wonderful is the fact you came again. If I lived downtown, I would not often make a trek to the UES for a meal. You really do encourage us to keep up our work. And I wanted you to know customers such as yourself, make our day seem easy and wonderful.

I was sad to have missed the chance to meet Katie. I had my father, who is finally getting a little better, visiting me from India, and his presence had me distracted and away from the restaurant.

Looking forward to another chance to meet with you again Pan. Hope your parents are well. It was a pleasure to have met them, and through them found an understanding of India and its culture in a non-Indian that is most fascinating. Please give them my best. :smile:

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Yeh how could i not try this restaurant with all the praises it has received. I will be there on tuesday. Is a reservation necessary?

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You'll probably want to reserve.

That's not usually been a problem in my experience but I can see how it could be, given their rating from the Times.

Soba

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