Why: Amaro’s Table recently opened in the space formerly occupied by the now-defunct Charlie’s Bodega. Amaro’s brings a modern American dining experience highlighting steaks, seafood and craft cocktails. The restaurant is open six days a week with happy hour every day.
What I tried: To start, my dining companion and I tried the ahi tuna roll. We also tried the beet salad. I settled on the daily risotto special for my entree, and my dining companion had the pan-seared top-sirloin served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. For dessert, we had the ricotta donuts with caramel. We also tried a couple of the craft cocktails, which were very satisfying.
The tuna roll was attractively presented on a plate aside a mixed green salad, wasabi, and ginger root. It was a bargain at $12. The generous portions of tuna were very tasty atop the crab-stuffed roll.
I love a good beet salad, and Amaro’s did not let me down. The salad consists of beets, field greens, cilantro and chevre tossed in a honey lemon vinaigrette. The ingredients were fresh, and all the flavors were complementary and balanced.
The risotto of the day was topped with a tangy, tomatoey sauce with meatballs. I found the portion just right and the dish possessed homemade goodness.
Dining out guide: Amaro’s Table
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is 2 to 5 p.m. every day in the dining room, and 2 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close in the bar.
Where: 1220 Main St., Suite 100, Vancouver.
Contact: 360-718-2942, amarostable.com
Health score: Amaro’s Table has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.
My dining companion thoroughly enjoyed his meal, and although he is not a huge fan of vegetables, he noted how delicious they were. The mashed potatoes were equally impressive, and the steak was prepared just as he requested.
The ricotta donuts are doughnut-hole style. They were not too sweet and pleasantly moist with a flavor that reminded me of churros.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Starters include house potato chips, salt & pepper calamari, Bavarian cheese fondue with a soft pretzel and an antipasto platter. Among the salad options is a wedge salad, a tenderloin steak salad that combines brown rice, roasted vegetables and heirloom cherry tomatoes with the beef and a basil vinaigrette. Burgers and sandwiches come with fries or potato chips or a soup or salad upgrade. The house quinoa burger sounded delicious. This is made with quinoa, brown rice, roasted beets, roasted poblano peppers and garlic aioli. A classic French dip is available as well as a herb chicken sandwich. The hickory-bacon barbecue burger is made with Fulton ground chuck, cheddar cheese, honey smoked bacon, caramelized onions, lettuce and tomatoes. Large plates include beef tenderloin medallions, classic fried chicken, wild Columbia king salmon, and fish & chips.
Atmosphere: The space has been reinvented to portray a light, bright and somewhat eclectic vibe. The wallpaper has a colorful pattern reminiscent of string art. Chandeliers are all different from one another, and light fixtures above the bar add a touch of Old World flair. Seating is available at booths as well as tables and chairs. The back bar consists of shelving that utilizes wood boxes trimmed in light strips.
Other observations: I found the wait staff professional, knowledgeable about menu items, and attentive. I enjoyed the atmosphere and, although it is family-friendly, I considered it more suited for the adult crowd than families with children. The food was delicious and priced right. I highly recommend making reservations; Amaro’s Table is already packing the house.
Cost: Starters cost $6 to $12. Salads are $6 to $16. Burgers and sandwiches are $10 to $14. Entrees range from $14 to $26. Desserts cost $5 to $10. Kids menu items (under 12 years old) are $6. Wine tops out at $15 per glass and $84 per bottle. Cocktails, beer on draft and by the can range from $4 to $9.