August Restaurant Review – Amare by Chef Chris
By Russell Wainwright
Chris Locher, formerly the culinary genius of C’Italian Restaurant, perhaps one of the best establishments to ever exist in Angeles City, is back. Amare by Chef Chris offers fine Italian cuisine at the Royce Hotel and Casino on Clark. I’ve been fortunate that on the nights I have visited, the restaurant has not been very crowded despite the constant flow of people passing its prominent location on their way to the casino floor. The fare consists of classic and contemporary Italian dining, and the quality is consistently top notch. The service is also quite good, with the staff accommodating off menu orders, dietary restrictions, and similar special requests without hesitation. The ambience has a relaxed, upscale vibe that seems more suited to a dinner date or business meeting than to a family night out with rambunctious kids in tow. Over a number of visits to the restaurant I’ve had a chance to try a wide range of the offerings on the menu and have yet to be disappointed. The spinach, artichoke and salmon dip is a particularly enjoyable appetizer to start your Amare experience. The Caesar salad is a classic execution with balanced flavors and fresh ingredients that is sufficient for 2 to 4 people. Entrees are similarly generous in their portion sizes, making family-style sharing a viable option. I’ve repeatedly enjoyed the lamb entrees, especially the fall-off-the-bone-tender lamb shank. It was previously served with a side of the best tzatziki sauce I’ve ever had, but now comes with a gorgonzola polenta. The kitchen was, however, kind enough to honor my request for the tzatziki sauce upon request and I hope to see it make a return to the permanent menu. The chicken and steak dishes have also proven to be equally good choices on previous visits, and they have a wide range of pizza options on offer.
In truth it seems that you just can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. To round out your meal, the cannoli is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Amare offers a full bar, and while their wines by the glass have seemed a bit lackluster to my palette, they offer a wide range of choices by the bottle for you oenophiles to enjoy.
The prices are comparable to other fine dining establishments in the Angeles City area. Appetizers hover around the P500 mark with many wonderful entrees available for under P1,000.
For a nice evening out, or a break from the Angeles City entertainment, it’s worth the short drive to Clark to enjoy this fine Italian restaurant.