Cafe Amilia is located at Lawrence and El Camino in Santa Clara, California, in the former location of Flames. I went there tonight with my father, his girlfriend, and one of his co-workers who’s been kind enough to give him a ride to and from work recently in light of his broken leg.
I was surprised upon entering, as I suppose I was expecting an atmosphere similar to that of Flames. The decor was quite a bit nicer than the former restaurant’s, with yellows and golds and browns dominating the color scheme and a surprisingly open and spacious floorplan given its odd shape. The space as you enter is long and narrow, extending to the right and the left. Far to the lefthand side, the space opens out a little into a square bar area with a flatscreen wall-mounted TV. We were seated immediately at a window table about halfway between the entrance and the bar. The atmostphere was quite pleasant — I was easily able to forget that there were customers at other tables, though this may be because there weren’t very MANY of them. The lighting was low but not dim, and the furniture was simple and elegant, leading to a comfortable, uncluttered feel.
The service was pretty good, with the waitress frequently offering refills on drinks and checking to see if we needed anything, though I felt the wait times for food were a bit long.
The food was excellent, if a bit pricy. Pasta dishes ranged from $10 to $15, and entrees were generally between $15 and $25. You get what you pay for here, however — portion sizes were generous, and their dishes are loaded with the good stuff. The three cheese baked macaroni I had, for instance, had plenty of chicken and bacon in it, making it feel like a much heartier meal than you’d expect from mac’n’cheese. My friends in Portland might do well to think of Mother’s macaroni and cheese dishes as a parallel. The chocolate creme brulee I had for dessert wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, although it should be noted that I have a cold right now and my sense of taste isn’t what it usually is.
Overall, this is a pretty good restaurant — great food, good service, a bit pricy, with a nice atmosphere. Good place to take a date on payday. 😀 I give it four and a half stars out of five. Check it out!