Sunday, February 21, 2010
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
712 W Brookhaven Cir
Memphis, TN 38117-4504
Click Here for Google Map
We had already heard good things about Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. So we were looking for an excuse to go. We also needed to catch up with my parents because we hadn't gotten a chance to hang out with them for a while. These two needs converged and were satisfied quite nicely last night when Neel and I went there with my parents. All four of us came away highly impressed with the restaurant.
AMIK is located in Brookhaven circle in a house-looking structure that you wouldn't notice unless you were looking for it. Inside, it was quite elegant with some great art work and appropriate candle lighting. It would be great for a date, but the mood really was suited for all occasions. The layout of the restaurant was done well: the tables weren't packed too close together and so it facilitated some privacy/intimate conversation but you could still hear and see everyone and the conversation level was not too hushed.
The service was great. Our waiter made helpful suggestions and really knew the menu. We always felt like we had what we needed but no one was hovering over us.
Ahhh, but now to the meat of it all: the food. The food was really, really good. Our waiter describes many of the items on the menu for us and emphasized the freshness and organic-ness of all the ingredients. And you could definitely taste what he was talking about. For starters, we all four got salad and it was very good and light. For entrees, I got the duck. It was really good. I often get duck at restaurants because I just love the taste but often restaurant's cut is just too fatty. Not true for AMIK. The cut was great, the fig reduction (sauce) complemented it perfectly, and the polenta underneath balanced it out.
Neel got the ravioli with meat sauce because it was the house special. She was partly afraid that it would be too rich, an entire serving of pasta. But she loved it. It was a great balance of sauce to pasta ratio and pretty light for a dish that would normally be heavy. You could definitely taste that the pasta was homemade. As for the sauce, it was really good too. Classic meat sauce and I'm pretty tough on meat sauce since I'm 50% Italian and that's my mom's speciality. My mom tasted the meat sauce as well and thought it was great.
Though my dish and Neel's dish were great, I actually think my parents got the best thing: the snapper. I usually prefer duck/beef to fish, but this snapper was seasoned so well that it blew me away. But it wasn't over seasoned by any means. It was a great balance that allowed the freshness of the fish to come out with the flavor just exploding in your mouth. I think the next time I go, I'm going to get that. In fact, even thinking about it makes me want to go back and order it right now.
We ended the meal with two desserts: cannoli and homemade smores with a small nutella milkshake. I think my only complaint (and it's a minor one) is the desserts. The cannoli was pretty good and I enjoyed it. But I think the problem with the smores was not the execution as much as the idea of it. It's pretty hard to make smores great. It is what it is: smores. The accompanying milkshake was pretty good. But, if I had to do it again, I think I would have gotten the apple doughnuts. Unfortunately, nothing really grabbed my eye on the dessert selection. I kinda wished they had a bit more variety.
But that really is a minor complaint. I don't really go to a nice restaurant to get desserts. Even more importantly, the high quality of the atmosphere, service, and entrees easily overcomes my disappointment with the dessert selections. There is no doubt that Neel and I both want to return to AMIC as soon as we can and experience the other enticing choices on the menu. For that reason, we give Andrew Michael Italian Kitchin 4 stars.