The full-service restaurant AMARI Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop opened recently at UnCommons, the 40-acre mixed-use urban campus development located off of Durango just south of the 215. The welcoming neighborhood eatery is showcasing reimagined Italian American cuisine alongside a diverse wine list, extensive spirits list and a quality beer list.
The décor contributes to a relaxed and welcoming vibe, with wood grain floor, cluster globe lights, blue/gray booths, an open kitchen, windows all around and a four-sided wraparound bar. There’s also a 10-seat private wine room, wine shop, patio and artful presentation of each dish accentuated by colorful, hand painted dinnerware.
The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Brent Stanford, who after working with some of the best Italian chefs on the East and West Coast, most recently worked alongside Chef Nicole Brisson as Executive Sous Chef for Brezza at Resorts World.
Chef Brent has developed a 25-year-old sourdough starter that is used in the incredibly delightful focaccia bread that takes more than six hours to make, which you can top with pesto, whipped ricotta, classic tomato sauce or Calabrian honey. It’s also used for the dough for the pizzas baked in an Italian-made Fiero Forni oven like the Margherita with parmesan crust, fresh mozzarella and basil; and Truffle with taleggio cream, truffle gouda and shaved black truffles.
Other items on the menu well worth investing your appetite in are the Sesame Arancini with beef & pork sausage, Chicken Cacciatore with mushroom and olives, Truffle Ravioli with truffle gouda and capers, Pan Seared Salmon with broccolini and eggplant caponata, NY Strip Steak with black garlic-peppercorn sauce and finales like Affogato with salted caramel gelato and espresso.
The beverage program is curated by Corporate Executive Director of Beverage Miklos Katona, who previously put together a similar program at Brezza. True to the restaurant’s name, there are 80 Amari, the largest selection in town.
The evolving collection includes the likes of Amaro di Capo and some of the cocktails feature the bittersweet Italian liqueur such as the Fernet About It with Fernet Branca, Streta and Lemon Demerara. In addition to locally brewed Able Baker Mango Calutron Girl, there are some Italian craft beer gems including the unique Ducato Verdi Imperial Stout brewed with a bit of hot chili.
There is plenty of parking in a parking garage just steps away, with two hours free and $3 an hour after.
AMARI is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday and will soon be opening on Sundays.
Happy hour is daily from 3-5:30 p.m. in the bar, lounge and patio with bites—Sesame Arancini, Fried Artichoke, Herb Focaccia, Meatballs, Margherita Pizza and Salumi & Cheese—ranging from $5-$15; and beverages—glass of white or red wine, Cocktail of the Day, bottle of Peroni and Fernet—from $8-18.
Opening in the coming weeks will be a boutique retail and wine shop offering a collection of curated wines, Amari, freshly baked bread, sandwiches, salads and house-made pasta sauces.
AMARI Italian Kitchen & Wine Shop
6825 Tom Rodriguez St. STE 100
Photo Credit: Chris Wessling