I tried Ragu, Mussels, & Risotto Milanese at Amante
⚝⚝⚝ Trifles ⚝⚝⚝
Last updated 02/04/24 ⚝ First posted 01/30/24
On 1/28/24, I went to one of my favorite Italian places in Los Angeles, Amante, for a big dinner and to try some new things. I love Amante because it has such a great interior decor, it’s fantastic inside there, and the food is usually great too.
I was hungry so I first ordered something I knew I’d like–Amante’s Ragu, spaghetti with house-made meat sauce.
No surprises here, the ragu was excellent, but this wasn’t anything new to me. I just wanted to get my hunger out of the way first so I could focus on the taste of new experiences to follow.
Next I ordered the Mussels alla Diavola–mussels in a spicy tomato broth. “Alla Diavola” means “Devil’s Style.”
This is the first time I’ve ever had a mussel! I frantically searched YouTube for “how to eat mussels” as they arrived on my table. Some videos suggested a novel way of using one mussel to scoop out another, but mostly it was just “use one hand to hold it, then use a fork with your other hand to spear it and pull the meat out.” Easy enough.
I’m not always the biggest seafood guy so I thought they were good, but not great; I just don’t think it’s my taste. But I like the fact that I know how to eat them and have experience with them so I’m not caught lacking if they’re served in the future.
I do have to say that the “spicy tomato broth” was just normal marinara sauce, nothing remotely spicy or interesting about it, and it did absolutely nothing to the taste of the mussels. If this is the “devil’s style,” the devil is certainly not adding any heat!
I feel like olive oil might’ve been better, or a more interesting seafood sauce that I’m unaware of. I may try them in the future somewhere else if they’re prepared differently.
I was also munching down plenty of this delicious buttery spiced bread. Lots of butter, so much butter– I couldn’t finish all 4 pieces, but it sure kept me happy!
Anyway, finally I ordered the Risotto Milanese–“arboric with onion, butter, white wine, saffron, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.” I’ve been to Milan, but the only place in Italy I ate risotto was Venice. “Arboric” in the description refers to Arborio rice, grown near Arborio, Italy.
It was pleasant, if not my favorite risotto. I’m not always the biggest fan of saffron, and this dish really brought it out along with the onion taste, plus the cheese. I could still finish it, but it isn’t going on the top of my list or anything. A little too stuffy/earthy for me.
None of this is to reflect badly on Amante, which I still love–this is just what you get when you try new things! (Granted, they could step up their Devil’s Style…)
Written by Ethan J. Hulbert.