‘Watts for Dinner’: A world of culinary influence at Amfora

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is Amfora Mediterranean European Restaurant in Estero.

Things got off to a unique start with the “Calamari Al Forno” ($16), stuffed squid in a tomato sauce, with olive tapenade and an aged balsamic.

I must admit, this dish challenged me. It looked beautiful, and it got rave reviews from my dining companion. The tomato base was really good. I just need my dishes to resemble their living state a little less.

The lobster bisque ($12) is another story. Made with Maine lobster, mascarpone and featuring hazelnuts and a smoked paprika oil, this is one of the best I’ve had. My compliments to the chef.

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My partner in dine selected the Amfora salad ($14) featuring wood oven roasted beets, marinated goat cheese, walnuts, watercress and a honey pomegranate molasses dressing. This dish was a work of art and was super fresh and delicious.

For his main entrée, he had the fish of the day ($32), grouper, featuring a farro mascarpone risotto, mushrooms, braised fennel and a saffron tarragon sauce. Another beautiful plate.

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For my main entrée, I selected the mushroom pappardelle ($22) featuring “exotic” mushrooms, English peas and fresh tarragon in a delightful, mushroom sauce.

Pappardelle are the wide, but thin noodles that resemble a tape worm but fortunately taste much better (I’m guessing). I love the firm little English peas, and I especially loved the creaminess of this dish. No hint of bitterness.

We ended this experience with a giant crème brûlée ($10). For the first time in my Southwest Florida dining experience, it was actually torched just prior to serving. We watched it happening in their open kitchen that features two giant golden ovens.

This custard had a lot of brown sugar on top. But I’m not complaining.

This restaurant is unique. It stands out in many ways. It’s an experience worth having. The staff is friendly, and the food is made with love. Visit today! And happy eating!  

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Amfora Mediterranean European Restaurant

  • 8076 Mediterranean Drive Suite 107, Estero (Coconut Point)
  • 239-949-4038
  • amforarestaurant.com