Sometimes it can be downright difficult finding restaurants that are delicious and healthy. Thankfully there are places like Amphora that not only serve nutritious, scrumptious food, they also provide inspiration for making these things at home.
My friend Elizabeth introduced Bear and I to this wonderful little spot in St. Lucia (Brisbane) last weekend. I immediately fell in love with the serene interior: cool white linens, turquoise chairs, and shuttered windows letting in a soft glow of light. I felt like I’d been transported to springtime Greece instead of wintry Australia.
Amphora is a BYO (bring your own) restaurant. We’d anticipated this and bought two bottles of wine for our celebratory meal. Alas, we managed to leave them chilling nicely in the fridge. 🙂 Thankfully there was a wine shop just around the corner, so Bear nipped out and brought back a bottle of Riesling and nestled it into the bucket of ice our waitress provided for us.
Then we examined the menu, oohing and aahing our way through it as we read descriptions of pork loin breaded with rosemary and macadamia nuts and duck glazed with berry sauce. We couldn’t settle on any one thing, so we ordered a myriad of items via the Mezethes Platter along with a starter of fried Kefalotiri cheese with caramelized figs.
I’d never heard of Kefalotiri cheese, but it was fantastic – firm and salty and perfect with the sweet caramel figs. Swoon. I will definitely be picking some up the next time I’m at the Greek deli.
And then the Mezethes Platter arrived. Oh. My. Word.
This is my kind of eating. A massive platter filled with little bites to share – each one distinct in flavor, texture, and even temperature.
We ate our way through tender calamari (I confess I judge a restaurant by whether their calamari is like rubber or velvet), dolmades, slices of chorizo, smoky grilled peppers and eggplant, fried haloumi, salty feta, savory meatballs in tomato sauce, fresh veggies, and warm pita bread to dip in tzatiki, hummus, baba ghanouj (eggplant dip), taramosalata (fish roe dip), and skordalia (potato and garlic dip).
The dips were especially wonderful and I’m excited to try making the latter two at home soon.
It was all delicious and such a lovely meal to linger over, visiting happily and sighing contentedly over each bite.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, our waitress brought us complimentary Turkish delight to go with our coffees. Soft, gooey, with just a hint of roses, it was a splendid bit of sweetness to end the meal.
With full bellies and beaming smiles, we lingered long over our coffees: Long Black, Flat White, and Cappuccino.
Should you find yourself in Brisbane craving beautifully prepared Mediterranean food, give Amphora a ring. Reservations are vital.
Address: 36 Hawken Dr, St Lucia QLD 4067
Phone:(07) 3870 0788
What is your favorite restaurant to go to for inspiration?