by Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer
There’s an elegance to an expertly cooked scallop.
The caramelized crust. The way it breaks into tender translucent sections under the pressure of your fork.
That’s how my scallops arrived when I dined at Midtown Kitchen, one of several successes throughout the evening for a restaurant just open a few days at 2818 Wolflin Ave. in Amarillo.
Midtown is a new venture by the owners of Fire Slice Pizzeria, with a menu focused on wood-fired Italian cuisine and the open-view kitchen and an impressive oven for delivering the fare.
When we arrived for reservations at 7 p.m., diners occupied just a few tables. But the dinner-hours-only restaurant soon filled up.
The menu offers choices, but not too many. For a starter, we gave the Chef’s Board a try.
The ingredients will change. Chef’s board, chef’s call.
But it’s always a selection of artisanal meat, cheese and antipasto items. Ours included small tastes of extremely thinly sliced salami, swordfish and duck, pickled vegetables such as carrots and cauliflower, olives, and a selection of cheeses, including a ball of pistachio-covered goat’s cheese.
The board’s cost varies. Other small plates ranged from $7 to $10 and ran the gamut from zucca chips or bruschetta to pancetta-wrapped figs or grilled artichokes.
Courses are individually priced, and the menu includes a variety of salads, pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas and main entrees.
The pastas list refers to an “ever-changing ravioli,” another chef’s choice – this one scratch-made.
My husband, Kevin, enjoyed the ravioli, which really was ravioli in a cioppino, an Italian seafood stew with squash and broccolini. I compared notes with a friend also in the restaurant that night who also enjoyed the dish. However, in both cases, what the diners got was not what was described by the servers, so perhaps the restaurant has some chef-to-staff translation issues to iron out.
The evening ran long, but I hesitate to emphasize that for a restaurant in its first week. Any process takes time to hone.
You already know my thoughts on my scallops, which came with a sweet corn orzo and broccolini.
Main courses on the menu include a little something for all tastes, from beef to chicken and pork to seafood, with prices from $19 to $29. Pasta and pizza prices are lower.
We made a selection from the wine list, and beer is offered, too.
Midtown Kitchen operates from 5 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
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