When AMA Ristorante Tuscana reopens in Sea Bright later this summer, the restaurant will have a new name and an ocean view.
The restaurant, formerly a tiny tucked-away treasure in Atlantic Highlands featuring authentic Tuscan fare, will move to the Driftwood Cabana Club in late summer.
A slight name change will reflect the move. The restaurant will be known as AMA at the Driftwood, but will continue to feature dishes from its popular menu prepared by Chef Pat Trama, who worked under renowned restaurateurs David Burke, of Rumson's Fromagerie, Charlie Palmer, of Brooklyn's River Cafe, and Drew Nieporent, of Nobu fame.
Chef Trama is a native New Yorker and grew up in family of restaurateurs. He began his professional culinary career at the River Café, Brooklyn, under the tutelage of Charlie Palmer, now a James Beard award-winning chef with many star-studded restaurants. The Michelin-star River Café — known for launching many world-class chefs — has been referred to as “the Harvard Business School of the Culinary Arts” by the New York Times, according to a released statement.
Like his mentors, Trama believes there is no compromise when preparing authentic Tuscan dishes, the release said. He demands the freshest and highest quality ingredients, whether local or global.
At the new AMA, Chef Trama plans to continue with his signature showcase of the very popular antipasti bar, featuring seasonal vegetables, artisan cheeses and charcuterie. Favorites, such as Calamari alla Frito and Penne con Supo di Vitello e Tartufo Olio, will also be on the menu along with many new dishes.
“We are so excited about our new partnership (with the Driftwood) and our new home,” said Trama. AMA is named after a town in Tuscany and also means “love” in Latin.
The restaurant will occupy the second level of the club, will offer a wine and drink menu, and will include a private dining room for parties and events. The new year-round venue will also be more than double the original restaurant's size and will be open to the public as well as club members.
General Manager Laura Borawski said plans call for a casual, rustic, yet elegant atmosphere reflective of a Tuscan villa.