DINING OUT 07030Amanda’s

first_imgIn the 10 years that I worked in Hoboken, I passed Amanda’s hundreds of times. I was always charmed by its welcoming storefront and its warm candlelit ambience.Mention Amanda’s to just about anyone, and you get the same knowing nod: sophisticated cuisine in understated elegance.Which is what I discovered on a Wednesday evening, just after the first night of daylight savings, when the dining room was softly lit with candles and wall sconces.When you enter, you’re greeted by a friendly host. A restored brownstone, the place has a homey, residential character, with tables and a small, club-like bar.To the right, and down a step, is a much larger dining room. We chose a table overlooking the back garden. There’s no outdoor dining, but the terrace is small and cozy, with Hoboken’s leafy backyards stretching into the night.Imbibers, take note, Amanda’s is definitely a wine venue with an extensive list and monthly five-course wine dinners. It also has a small but intriguing array of signature cocktails and martinis.Beer drinkers, take heart! A few are on offer. After a brief discussion, owner Juan Mendoza brought me a Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Organic Lager, brewed in New Jersey. He splashed some in a glass for me to approve, just like a wine drinker. (Class act!)The warm bread comes from the legendary Dom’s Bakery in Hoboken and is served with a light, soft herb butter.OK, let’s get down to business. We chose from a selection of 14 appetizers. It wasn’t easy because all of them were enticing. The finalists were Baby Lacinato Kale with orange, apple, and ricotta crostini; and Roasted Baby Beets with horseradish goat cheese, arugula, and walnut vinaigrette. Both were excellent. As you can tell from Terri’s pictures, the beet salad, especially, was a work of art.Now, I have to warn you. We ordered two entrees, but Chef Deuhana Vargas sent out two more, way too much for two people of course, but these varied dishes give you a good idea of the menu’s broad reach.The first of two fish courses was Dorade, with broccoli rabe, pickled shallots, and Italian salsa verde. Full disclosure: Neither of us knew what it was. For the record, it’s in the bream family and found in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. It was worth the adventure, and the smoothly prepared broccoli rabe was not as bitter as it sometimes can be.Next up, Atlantic Salmon. This deliciously crisp cube of salmon came atop lemon risotto, arugula, and balsamic. Another home run.Out came the Duck Confit Tagliatelle. This is like a casserole with parmesan sauce, sautéed kale, and black pepper. It’s quite rich, so pace yourself if this savory dish is going to be your main course.Fasten your seatbelts. The final entrée was a Braised Short Rib, with gnocchi, black truffle cream, and crispy potato. This may have been the most tender meat I’ve ever eaten. Put away your knife. You could actually eat it with a spoon. I’d like to come back for this when I’m not so full!At this point, Juan joked that we probably would not have room for dessert. We didn’t, but lo and behold, one of our many fine waiters appeared with a Lemon Crème Brule, which wasn’t even on the dessert menu. Truth be told, the fresh lemon flavor was perfect after the mélange of tastes that we enjoyed throughout the evening.At one point, Juan’s wife Juliette showed up with their daughter Mia, who appears in one of Juan’s hand-painted photographs that grace the front of the restaurant.Juan has an interesting back story. He started as a waiter at Amanda’s, eventually buying it in November 2016 from then owners Joyce and Eugene Flinn.Bottom line? Amanda’s reputation for exquisite food and gracious dining in a warm and friendly milieu is well-deserved. If you’ve walked by hundreds of times as I had, next time, walk right in.—07030Amanda’s908 Washington St.(201) 798-0101 amandasrestaurant.comlast_img read more

The Latest: SEC football players to be tested twice a week

first_img Associated Press The league on Friday released its initial COVID-19 requirements for fall sports, including football. In football, the testing will typically come six days and three days before competition.Coaches, staff and other personnel will be required to wear face coverings on the sidelines at sporting events this fall.The initial guidelines include testing requirements, procedures for infections and contact tracing and protocols for quarantine and isolation. The rules, which also apply to volleyball and soccer, were recommended by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.The league expects the task force to release another report by Aug. 31. August 7, 2020 ___What did cricket fans do when there was no live games to watch during lockdown in the coronavirus pandemic?Watched replays. Lots of replays.The International Cricket Council released figures Friday showing it had 1.65 billion video views on its Facebook channel in the first half of 2020, saying it “topped the rankings in terms of video consumption among leading sports bodies” on the social media platform.Cricket was shuttered globally from late March until last month, when host England beat West Indies 2-1 in a three-test series that was played inside bio-secure venues in Southampton and Manchester. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Southeastern Conference will require football players and others in direct contact with the program to be tested at least twice weekly during the season. The ICC, citing statistics from the CrowdTangle analytics tool, said daily video consumption on its Facebook page increased from 3 million minutes viewed to 15 million minutes per day during the lockdown.“At a time when COVID-19 has severely impacted live sports, the ICC’s channels have gone from strength to strength,” the ICC said in a statement.Cricket hit some highs in terms of viewership over the 12 months to June, including the 1.1 billion views for the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in February and March.Online traffic from India helped. The final between Australia and India, which attracted a crowd of more than 86,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, set a single-day record for women’s tournament with 64.9 million views on the ICC Facebook page.___ ___The Detroit Lions are preparing to host fans at all eight regular-season home games, although it’s uncertain how many will be allowed to attend.The NFL club said Friday season-ticket holders can opt out of purchasing tickets for the 2020 season if they want. The team also is offering various incentives for fans who defer payments to the 2021 season instead of asking for refunds.Fans and employees at Ford Field would be required to wear face coverings. Designated gates and entry times would be assigned to fans.The team says the ability to host fans at a reduced capacity depends on local and state approval. The Latest: SEC football players to be tested twice a week More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more