For years, my wife and I had gone to Amaretto Bistro after seeing a movie at a nearby theater. Then Amaretto closed for renovations for several months. Well, the restaurant has reopened, and is much larger, swankier, and tastier than ever. Amaretto was always a classy small Italian restaurant with a limited but very good and consistent menu. It was quiet, adult-oriented (no TV above the bar), even romantic. Reinvented as NOVEL, the restaurant is now twice the size, having taken over an adjacent defunct business storefront. It has a banquet room, dining separate from the bar (which now has a smallish TV above it), and it is no longer as quiet because so many people have discovered how GOOD the food is! Some of the old favorites are still on the menu, but a touch of class has been added to the offerings, especially the appetizers and small plates such as oysters, octopus, crudo, foie gras, calamari, and duck confit. My wife and I shared the grilled octopus with a walnut goat cheese salad, and a baked swordfish with risotto and asparagus entree. Our dining companion settled for the baked salmon with beluga lentils. Everything was delicious. And we were happy to see that the restaurant had retained its custom of providing an amuse bouche at the start, a basket of bread and semolina chips, and a small after-dinner chocolate truffle. Service was a little slower than usual, probably because there was a wedding dinner going on in the back room, but leisurely was fine with us. The wine list, curiously, had hardly changed, so we ordered our old favorites. Nothing too extraordinary, but some decent choices. Delighted to see this restaurant back in business and apparently making it.
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