Amanda's Restaurant

In the short time that I have spent in Hoboken, I have only dined out a couple of times. With that said, I’ve found that the restaurants seem to err on the expensive side, and Amanda’s Restaurant is no different in that realm.

Amanda’s, located on Washington and Ninth, is among the highest rated restaurants in the Mile Square City. Amanda’s boasts a 4.3 star rating on Google, a four star rating on Yelp, a 4.6 star rating on Open Table, and a 4.5 star rating on Trip Advisor and my experience certainly speaks to that.

I should also note that the food at Amanda’s Restaurant rates a 25 out of 30 on Zagat. For those who don’t know, Zagat’s rating system reads 0-10 Poor to Fair, 11-15 Fair to Good, 16-20 Good to Very good, 21-25 Very Good to Excellent, and 26-30 Extraordinary to Perfection.

Zagat also includes Amanda’s on its best brunch list in New Jersey, so it is likely that the restaurant will someday make an appearance on our Sunday Brunch slot, too.

By this standard, Amanda’s Restaurant is “excellent,” and I have to agree.

The food
All right, all right, enough of the facts. Let’s get down to it, yes? As you can see, I loved Amanda’s. The menu contains items that are mostly classically Italian, but with a creative side. Patrons can find favorite appetizers like creamy polenta served with a sausage ragu, mache, and shaved parmesan, or lamb meatballs with a veal reduction, goat cheese, and micro basil. Yeah, lamb meatballs with a veal reduction. Sadly, my father doesn’t eat meat, so I didn’t go that route this time.

Instead, my family and I shared the arugula salad: arugula topped with strawberries, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and a white balsamic vinaigrette. I couldn’t get enough of this salad. It was sizeable, though, so I was able to have two helpings.

I mentioned recently that one of my all-time favorite dishes is Peking duck, and so when I came across it on Amanda’s menu I was all but floored. Of course, I had to order it. Their pan-roasted Peking duck breast comes with scallion cous cous, a hoisin ginger glaze, and cucumber, radish, and pea tendril salad. I ate every last bite on this plate.

There are plenty of other dishes I’d order at Amanda’s, but as long as the duck remains on the menu, I’ll be eating that.

The drinks
My folks and I found that the wine list at Amanda’s Restaurant was to our liking. We’re a family of dry white and dry rose drinkers, but we don’t typically like chardonnay. Fortunately, Amanda’s offers a great selection of wines by the bottle and by the glass, including two pinot gris from Oregon, a gruner veltliner, and a gewurtztraminer hailing from Alsace, France.

I don’t think of myself as a wine snob in any way, but I couldn’t ask for more than that. Choosing between those three types of white isn’t easy for us, but we chose to share a bottle of the gruner veltliner and were quite pleased.

The service/ambience
The restaurant is situated inside renovated brownstones and truly feels as if you are stepping into another time period. The restaurant is exquisitely decorated to give off both a sophisticated and homey feel.

The wait staff is friendly, attentive, and quite knowledgeable about the menu. When I mentioned that I had a small cut on my foot from my shoe, the host and bartender raced to acquire a bandage for me. Of course, this was much appreciated.

All in all, Amanda’s wowed us all. I’ll certainly be returning as soon as I can, but I haven’t decided yet whether it will be for their well-renowned brunch or for another serving of that perfect duck.