Restaurant Spotlight: Amorette

An intriguing dining experience in a small Pennsylvania town

Restaurant Spotlight: Amorette
Eye-catching dish names on Amorette's menu include "Canned Tuna Fish" and "It's Not an Ash Tray." (Megan O'Donnchu)
Sep 9, 2021

Two hours west of Philadelphia in Lancaster, Pa., Amorette has been a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner since it opened in 2018. The restaurant offers an immersive experience, describing the meals as “multi-sensory puzzles … where one thing looks—and tastes—like something entirely different.” That’s thanks to innovative preparations and dramatic presentations, and there’s a world-class wine list to go with it.

The restaurant quickly established a substantial wine program in its three years of business, boasting a 3,500-bottle cellar supporting a 700-selection wine list managed by wine director Thierry Lesparre. With 26 selections available by the glass, the dynamic wine list represents most of the world’s growing regions, with a breadth of white and red Burgundies and California Chardonnays and reds, plus a variety of Italian reds. The list also has rare and landmark bottlings from producers like Chateau Montelena, La Spinetta and Bouchard Père & Fils.

Lesparre occasionally hosts wine dinners in collaboration with winemakers and executive chef Rikku Ó’Donnchü, who joined Amorette when the restaurant reopened this summer after a temporary closure for COVID. With a wide array of fine-dining experience under his belt, Ó’Donnchü crafts six- or nine-course tasting menus (with vegetarian alternatives) and à-la-carte dishes such as seared king oyster mushroom polenta cake, sweet-and-sour turbot and Wagyu tenderloin with Rendang black rice, roasted hazelnut, celeriac puree, compressed pear and charred feta.

Lesparre and Ó’Donnchü plan on organizing more wine dinners with both local and international producers in the future. On the wine list, they hope to incorporate more New World wines from South Africa and New Zealand. Reservations for both their dining room and lounge are available for dinner, Wednesday through Sunday.

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