Last night the Marquette Warrior and I had dinner at a restaurant called Amada. It’s one of those tapas places that offers a number of “small plate” options that the diners can share. (In our case no sharing occurred because the MW is a strict vegetarian and I go for meat options, so we didn’t quite fulfill the restaurant’s intent.)
Tapas restaurants have a good aspect and a bad aspect. The bad is that there are lots of choices, so you end up carefully scrutinizing the menu and spending a long time thinking through your order. The good is that you end up with very tasty food that is always well presented and served in moderate portion sizes. The result is a fine meal where you don’t get plates groaning with food, and after you’ve cleaned your plates — which both the MW and I did, with relish — you rise from the table feeling satisfied but not uncomfortably stuffed.
We’ve got a problem with food waste in this country, and some of it results from unconsumed food left on plates that were overfilled at the outset. At tapas places, that isn’t an issue, which is another advantage to the tapas model.
Last night after the Symphony performance we headed back to German Village for some noshing at G. Michael’s, the terrific bistro located within a few blocks of our new home. We wanted to sample some of their “small plates” — which seemed like a wise option, as opposed to a full-blown meal, after 10 p.m. on a Friday night.
Guess what? The G. Michael’s “small plates” aren’t in fact, very small . . . but they are incredibly tasty. Kish and the CCC each got the shrimp and grits, which is one of the bistro’s signature dishes, and shared a side of brussel sprouts and couldn’t finish it all. I got the housemade sausage stuffed strudel, with low country red beans and pepper jam, pictured above, which was both huge and fantastic, with a very pleasant spicy kick that more than held its own against a good glass of red wine. I ate every bit of it.
At the end of the meal our great waitress gave us good news and bad news. The bad news is that the G. Michael’s autumn menu will be ending in a week or so, and the excellent sausage strudel will be cycling off the carte. (Noooooo!!!!!) The good news is that the talented chefs at G. Michael’s no doubt have already created new, equally tasty concoctions to replace it — well, in a manner of speaking — on the menu.
Incidentally, the late-evening dining ambiance at G. Michael’s is very enjoyable. We got there as most of the supper crowd was clearing out, and we enjoyed sitting in the quiet, candlelit, white tablecloth-topped dining room, listening to some mellow jazz selections on the sound system and hearing the clink of glasses as the bartenders prepared to close up shop while we finished our drinks and dessert. It’s another reason why G. Michael’s is one of Columbus’ very best restaurants.