Gallery: Amali is the Upper East Side’s Newest and Greenest Mediterrane...

"Katharos" is a Greek word that means pure, clear or clean, and it is a particularly apropos way to sum up Amali, the Upper East Side's newest Mediterranean restaurant. "The food from that region is all about taking humble, fresh ingredients and making the most of what is available," explained owner James Mallios. "I thought the materials used in the space should also reflect that." Just like the rustic, farm-to-table fare served at Amali, the eatery's finishes are minimal in number but masterful in their combined effect. And although the intimate resto has only been open for about a week now, it already has about a thousand tales to tell. We visited Amali this week to hear the stories for ourselves, check out the newly revamped dining room created by architect Caleb Mulvena and, of course, sample the food. Step in for a taste of what we saw and savored.

Every aspect of Amali is sustainable and personal, from the story of the tabletops, which were crafted from 150-year-old pine taken from the ceiling of the establishment that preceded Amali, to the plush chairs (expertly reupholstered by the former restaurant’s dishwashers and waitstaff – if you’re confused about this part, we’ll come back to it in a bit), to the 20-year friendship between Mallios and Caleb Mulvena, the lead architect who designed the space, which is also what ultimately led to its eco-friendly features.

A partnership between restaurateurs Steve Tzolis, Nicola Kotsoni, and James Mallios, the former general manager of Resto, Amali is a departure from other UES restaurants, which tend towards the more buttoned-up, white tablecloth variety. We saw each guest greeted warmly by Mallios – in fact, he couldn’t help but pardon himself from the interview each time a new group walked in so that he could personally welcome them.

The decor, much like the temperament of the staff, is warm and without pretension. You won’t find gigantic floral arrangements or chichi accouterments at Amali, nor will you be met with the menu prices that would sustain such extravagances. Despite being locally sourced and farm-fresh, chef Devon Gilroy‘s appetizers will only set you back $7-$15 and dinner selections run between $12 and $36.

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2 Comments

  1. Bridgette Meinhold Bridgette Meinhold December 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I want to go!!

  2. Diane Pham Diane Pham December 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

    omg, i got hungry just looking at the pics.