Friday, February 20, 2015
I'm a planner.

I also have an irrational (rational?) fear of talking to strangers on the phone. As you can imagine, my high levels of telephone (Does anyone even say "telephone" anymore? Do "telephones" even exist anymore? What century are we in again?) anxiety are not always conducive to making major plans, like booking trips, making restaurant reservations, or discussing my dogs' bad habits with a potential trainer.

The trainer thing happened this week. It was stressful. Let's not talk about it.

My point. The online restaurant reservation website OpenTable* has been a huge anxiety-saver for me on multiple occasions. I've actually foregone going to certain restaurants that weren't on OpenTable for other ones that are, just to save myself the hassle.

I swear I don't need medical attention.
I swear I actually love people on a very basic and fundamental level.
And I swear my dog is well-behaved
(only one of those statements is not true).

So when my boyfriend Jon and I decided to have dinner at Ambrosia on Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend, using OpenTable seemed like a no-brainer! Things came up, and we ended up having to bump our reservations to a none-busy, rainy Monday night, but our server told us the weekends have been getting busier and busier as of late. Noted!

My friend Megan swears by Ambrosia, so Jon and I were eager to check it out. The interior is dramatic, Renaissance-esque, dimly lit, romantic, lounge-y, and cozy. While certain features were a little tired-looking (the red carpet, the stark black bar), the elegant accents of mirrors and eye-catching paintings made up for it. We also fell in love with the enchanting front patio, which we fully intend to utilize when it gets warmer out.

In terms of their food offerings, Ambrosia offers up tapas-style Asian fusion dishes, so we were game to sample a number of them.

We started off with the curry wedges - potatoes smothered with spicy yellow curry, made vegetarian by swapping out chicken for tofu.

At first I was a little put off because the dish was topped with a white grated cheese (my guess is mozzarella) that was not melted. However, served in a little iron skillet, the cheese quickly melted and joined the oozy gooey ranks of the spicy, zippy yellow curry. The wedges did not get soggy at all, and the tofu added a different level of texture to the dish. I definitely enjoyed this app, though I did feel it could use some additional flavoring. While the curry packed a punch, the wedges were quite thick and could have used a little extra seasoning, perhaps something as basic as salt. All in all though, it was a unique and satisfying dish.

Next up we split the brussels sprouts, which are stir-fried and tossed in ponzu, and topped with parmesan cheese.

These sprouts didn't even stand a chance with the likes of us.

Good grief, they were amazing! The sweet, caramel-y ponzu melted into the perfectly cooked sprouts, and the generous topping of shaved parmesan wove everything together beautifully. If you're a brussels sprouts fan, you've got to try these. Hell, even if you're not a brussels sprouts fan (no judgments here, I'm afraid of telephones if that's even what they're called), you should give these a whirl! They're a total game-changer.

In a strange twist of fate, I'm dating someone who doesn't like mushrooms (again. this is a safe space. fear of a telecommunications device.), so I ordered the mushroom flatbread for myself, while he had the steak kabob.

WO/MAN, was this good. The not soggy, yet not too crispy fresh naan is topped with masala mushrooms, onions, basil pesto, and mozzarella. The pronounced basil was the perfect accent to the silky sauteed mushrooms and onions. I had a plethora of cheese to drown myself in, though I didn't feel it was at all overpowering. Stringy, yes. Gooey, yes. But overpowering? Hardly. This wonderful flatbread was sinful and intoxicating.

At the recommendation of Megan and of our server, we ordered the Kahlua Kulfi for dessert. The homemade Indian ice cream is made with Kahlua, saffron, nuts, chocolate, and raspberry sake. What a unique dessert! Jon tasted the chocolate more than anything, but I thought the kahlua and nuts were more present. It was light and decadent and incredibly interesting. If you're looking for a standard chocolate cake, this is not it. If you're looking to try something different, yet delicious, you've found your winner.

Our entire experience at Ambrosia from start to finish was wonderful. Our beyond friendly and accommodating server Anna was incredibly helpful and attentive throughout the evening, the environment was romantic and welcoming, and the food was unique and thoroughly enjoyable. We will definitely be returning!

Sans "telephone."

*This blog post was done in collaboration with OpenTable, but all opinions are completely 100% my own!

Ambrosia on Urbanspoon


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