Ama Ristorante to Open at Oceanfront Site

September 7, 2012
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SEA BRIGHT – A new setting on the oceanfront, a menu that offers both traditional and newly imagined Tuscan classics and a hand-picked wine will be the focus of the new Ama Ristorante at Driftwood.

Ama Ristorante’s Chef Pat Trama plates a seasonal fettuccini with zucchini blossoms. The restaurant is moving to Driftwood in Sea Bright.

The restaurant will open its doors at 1485 Ocean Ave. at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in its newly renovated, elegantly appointed space with its expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and Shrewsbury River.

Regular guests and newcomers alike will enjoy the best in Italian cuisine in a wonderful new setting with wines served in a warm, comfortable, Tuscany-inspired interior.

Ama will begin taking reservations on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 732-530-9760, or online at It will be open year-round to the public.

Ama, which is Latin for love and the name of a small town in Tuscany, is the result of a collaboration between well-known Jersey Shore chef Pat Trama, who is celebrated for his creative interpretations of classic Italian dishes, and the Stavola family, which brings their dedication to excellence and proud family traditions to the new venture. The restaurant’s new logo – a rooster, which is known throughout Italy as a symbol of good fortune — has been a symbol used by the Stavola family for several generations.

“We are passionate about our food and wines and proud of the beautiful new setting in which we will present them in,” said Trama, who, along with Laura Borawski, Ama’s  general manager, were the team behind the popular Ama Ristorante Tuscana in Atlantic Highlands.

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For the new restaurant, now with much larger seating capacity, a full bar and intimate private dining room – Trama plans to re-create some of his favorite dishes from the Atlantic Highlands menu, but also has spent months assembling, testing and perfecting new creations, thanks to a larger, state-of-the-art kitchen. Some new menu items are fettuccini Bolognese with black truffle butter and shaved Reggiano; Maine sea scallops with chanterelles, baby zucchini and local corn; and 16-ounce milk-fed veal chop with white fig marmalade and dolce gorgonzola.

Trama is also pleased to present his new, carefully hand-selected boutique wine list for Ama. To develop the list Trama relied on his depth of wine knowledge gained from personal visits to Italian vineyards and his lifetime career as a chef to many star-studded restaurants. They include the Michelin star-rated River Café, the Myriad Restaurant Group – which includes The New York Times™ three-star rated Cor­ton, Tribeca Grill and Nobu, David Burke Fromagerie and the recently closed and be­loved Della Femina in East Hampton, N.Y., where Chef Trama developed the entire wine list and menu during his time as executive chef there.

“We tried over 500 wines for Ama’s wine list,” Trama said. “This is an exciting addition to our dining experience.”

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