The much-anticipated celebrity chef restaurant has arrived! Amalfi by Bobby Flay is an ode to the Amalfi Coast, and the flavors and ambiance transport you to an Italian coastal getaway. I was recently invited in for a hosted preview to taste the food and see what Amalfi brings to Las Vegas. Come with me on a tour of everything Amalfi has to offer.
Sadly, I had never had a chance to visit the restaurant’s predecessor, Mesa Grill. That said, I walked into Amalfi utterly unfamiliar with the layout. With nothing to compare it to, I could further appreciate the setting and vibe that Amalfi provides. The cavernous space may be significant, but seated at a table in the main dining room never felt like I was in a vast area. Instead, the charming coastal vibes of the striped chairs and the beautifully decorated space felt more intimate and cozy than one would expect from a large restaurant.
The Fish Market
Our server went over the menu with us in detail. I immediately noticed a wide variety of flavors present in the different appetizers and pasta, and of course, I was eager to try them all. A separate menu is presented for the daily fish offerings since they vary from day to day. Our server brought me over to the fish market, where I observed all of the offerings and picked out which fish I wanted to try. The fish can then be grilled whole for a genuinely stunning table presentation or filleted in the kitchen and served ready to eat immediately. I opted to have my turbot grilled whole (for the gram, of course) and chose the Meyer lemon and caper accompaniment (there are several to choose from).
In addition to the turbot, our server brought out three fantastic appetizers (I had asked her to pick some of her favorites from the menu). We were treated to the Bufala Mozzarella that consisted of a summery Caprese relish, the charred octopus that was tender and flavorful, and the mussels that came with bread to soak up the delicious broth. Our pasta selections were a squid ink fettuccine with various quality seafood and one of the restaurant’s signature pieces, the Spaghetti Zucchine. Both were beautifully cooked and presented. We topped off our meal with the summery lemon cake appropriately named Lemon, Lemon, Lemon and Bobby’s Pistachio Sundae.
In the Kitchen
At the end of my meal, I had the opportunity to visit Chef Bobby Flay in the kitchen, where I asked Chef what his favorite thing about Amalfi is. “My favorite thing about this restaurant is the centerpiece of the restaurant, which is the fish market. First of all, it shows how beautiful the fish is here and on the Amalfi coast, fish is king. It’s so nice to be able to have the customer get up from the table and become sort of an interactive part of the experience where they can actually pick out their own fish.” The fish market to which Chef refers is the stunning display of fresh catches that are housed in beautiful blue mosaic pieces. “We have our own fishmonger; they can tell them everything about the fish, where it comes from, what the name of the fish is, what the properties of the flesh are supposed to be and then how we can cook it for them and what sauces we can pair it with etc. And then we take it from there.”
The excitement in his voice was contagious, and as he spoke, I relived my visit to the fish section and the fun of picking out my fresh catch for my meal. It was a memorable experience and one that made savoring the entree even more special. Chef concluded, “To me, it’s a very simple idea, but I think it’s one that really separates us from all the restaurants.”