Sarasota Foodies Celebrates Amore By Andrea
This article originally appear in Sarasota Foodies “Hot Spot” section (click here)
Every few weeks Sarasota shows up at the top of another “Best Places” to live, retire, invest, visit, vacation, “fill-in-the-blank” list of what makes our area so special. So it’s no surprise that so many people looking to re-locate, or retire, or simply vacation, start their property search around Sarasota. Many zero in on the amenities, location, and civility of Longboat Key. And once here, you can bet they discover Longboat’s “culinary bulls-eye,” the wonderful Amore by Andrea, smack dab in the middle of Longboat Key.
At the helm is Chef Andrea Bozzolo, an Italian-born chef we’ve been fans of for many years. We’ve frequented his original location on Siesta Drive quite often, and celebrated our engagement dinner there!
So it was at the invitation of friends at Amore by Andrea, that we visited on acclaimed restaurant’s first anniversary. We were excited to savor the new flavors of Andrea’s fall menu, knowing we’d enjoy a world class culinary adventure that Chef Andrea is well known for.
Amore by Andrea’s dining room is probably the largest intimate dining space you can imagine. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Well, it’s not. With plenty of intimate booths, side dining rooms and semi-private spaces, as well as a beautiful outdoor patio, it’s easy to find a space to call your own. And you simplymust ask to see the private wine room in the basement – it definitely gets my vote for the coolest private dining space around!
Having said all that, it has always been about Andrea’s food. Like all great chefs, Andrea has a passion for his craft, with techniques learned over a great many years of travelling and working around the world, along with the freshest ingredients come together with brilliant flavors, textures, and colors.
On this evening, we decided to simply enjoy Chef Andrea’s suggestions, being omnivores of the highest order, we are always ready to follow his lead.
We were left to choose cocktails, (like that’s a toughie) with Jill choosing the fizzy, slightly tart Pomegranate Prosecco Martini, while I opted for a Classic Cucumber Martini, with vodka and fresh cucumber juice – kind of like an adult liquid crudité. It was fresh, cold, and delicious, so we happily sipped in anticipation of the evening’s soup offering to arrive.
And what a soup it was! This was a dreamy seafood soup with pureed snapper, scallops, crab, peas, and carrot in a creamy saffron broth. With its richness and depth of flavor, one could literally break out a loaf of crusty bread, add a glass of wine, and have a magnificent repast all on its own that way! Seriously!
I’m nevertheless happy to report that the gustatory adventure was only beginning…
Our next course was a sublime Octopus Salad, consisting of perfectly tender chunks of octopus with heirloom tomatoes, beautiful briny olives, and purple potatoes, which added a terrific starchy richness, all served atop a pureed chickpea base formed in a timbale mold. Over the years I’ve found myself drawn to octopus dishes whenever I spy them on menus, and if anyone is a fan, take our word on it, this is “must-do” dish.
Soon after that we were treated to another gorgeous seafood app, the Tuna Carpaccio. This was an elegantly plated, perfectly seared Yellowfin Tuna, accompanied with an avocado mousse, some yucca root, and a classic southern Italian Salmoriglio sauce. Andrea’s proclivity for serving food with a clarity of purpose to showcase his Italian roots was clearly center stage in this dish!