Amelias Bar & Grill occupies a lonely industrial corner a few blocks south of the storied stockyards gate, and nothing about the facade would indicate that anything more exotic than menudo lies within. But classics like lush quesadillas—made with chewy handmade tortillas, mild Oaxacan cheese and dark, funky huitlacoche—or grilled salmon with green papaya, mango, and avocado creme fraiche share the page with Mediterranean fusion creations like goat cheese ravioli and papperdelle with shrimp, shiitakes, shallots, and Swiss chard in roasted garlic sauce. Lomo de puerco, an entree of grilled pork tenderloin, was terrific—thick medallions of pork painted with a tart, sweet tamarind glaze and seared till crisp. Plated with a handful of sauteed purslane, a smear of roasted quince, and a tangle of grilled onions, it could have come out of a far more pretentious kitchen. A plate of oysters on the half shell topped with ceviche looked fantastic, and if the ceviche was disproportionately heavy on octopus, and the bivalves themselves a little blah, it was all still fresh, and punchy with lime and peppers. The chef and the tiny, effusive staff here do a whole lot with a little.
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