You know those paper towels that feel like fabric? They’re always stacked up in some kind of receptacle in the bathroom next to the sink so you can grab as many as you want. They’re usually emblazoned with the restaurant logo. This is one of those restaurants. They don’t have that type of paper towel in the bathroom, but it doesn’t matter. Amanda’s exudes an elegance that doesn’t try too hard.
Eugene came up from the kitchen to greet us and he talked about some of his favorites:
We’d obviously started with Eugene’s Bloody Mary; this is brunch, honey. When our waiter asked if I wanted another one, I politely declined (oh, the sacrifices I make for this project). Eugene was telling us about this cranberry brined martini they served a few nights ago I was curious about. It’s nice to see a chef that is not only excited about food but also drink. From every one of our interactions, I get the feel that he’s a very genuine guy.
The Croissant French Toast with Apple and Curant Compote (pic) was every bit as heavenly as we thought it would be. It certainly ruled the breakfast part of the meal. We talked about how we would expect a croissant to become an absolute puddle in any kind of french toast egg/cream bath, but these croissant slices were crispy all over. Chris and I killed this thing in a matter of seconds.
The Poached Eggs over Crab Hash with Orange Hollandaise didn’t disappoint either. I haven’t had a crab benedict as good as this one since Market Lunch in DC (link to video). Living in Maryland for five years gives you a skewed perspective on what things made out of crab should taste like. This dish put me right back inside the beltway. Moist and tender crab with just the right amount of potatoes in the hash. Come to think of it it was also much better than the Lobster Hash at the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse in ME (link to review).
The Potatoes (pic); a few were thin and fried to a crisp and a few were fat and moist. This is how you do home fries. The Sausages (below); you see the word sausages on the menu as a side for breakfast with a number beside it, and it basically doesn’t matter what the number says; if you want them, you’re getting those sausages. When these bad boys come out, all you can do is smile to yourself and think that this is what all breakfast sausages should look like.
Now I know it does.
The Panna Cotta with Pistachio Creme Anglaise (top) won the day. We got the panna cotta at just the right time – there were some ice crystals left inside that gave it an angelic crackling on your tongue. I want to believe that is intentional and then I think of how tough it would be to serve it at that exact temperature every time. I need to go back to find out. The creme anglaise; I joked with Chris about licking the plate clean. If no one was around, it would have looked like a case of Jet Dry got at that mother. Wonderful.
Chris indicated that there was no way he was going to be able to avoid bringing his wife here to get the croissant french toast. Eugene it’s a recipe that he saw eighteen years ago in SoCal. My question for him is; how come everyone isn’t doing this? My guess is that they haven’t figured out how to keep it crispy while still giving it a distinctly french-toast feel.
Who says you shouldn’t have drinks before 12 and dessert for breakfast? Make sure you do both at Amanda’s.
Guest Writer: Chris Durso
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Amanda’s for providing this meal.
908 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030