dinner at amp150

It’s been almost a year since I’ve been back to AMP150. And this rather lengthy delay between visits is in no way a reflection of the chef or his food. As I said after my first visit, this guy really can cook and I was wrong to judge too quickly. I guess what it comes down to, for me anyway, is the location. And I don’t mean the location inside the hotel (though that was a distraction at first). But rather the physical location (it’s really not near anything for us and rather off the beaten path, unlike other neighborhoods we like to frequent) as well as the location of basically eating inside the lobby. For as much as I talk about food, ambiance and decor are equally as important to the overall experience. Even dives have character and something that makes them quirky and unique. This space and overall setting do not match up to the level of chef Ellis Cooley’s culinary ability or create the type of environment I’d want to frequent often. But I will say this, add several of your oldest and dearest friends, great conversation, and of course, killer food, and the background eventually fades away.

On to what really matters, and what we are all still talking about – our meal. In all honestly, this is now two truly impressive experiences I’ve had at AMP. And I wasn’t alone. Our entire table, all first-time visitors, were equally as impressed. And we ate just about everything, plus a few sides the chef sent out. My favorite dishes of the night included the duck confit with Maytag polenta, edamame falafel, roasted cauliflower with goat cheese and beet juice, bok choy and the black mussels app with sausage. For dessert, I’d give just about anything for another helping of the maple bacon beignet. That dessert was hands-down the BEST dessert I have had in a very long time.

I wasn’t the only one with a nicely filled belly and big grin. There were empty plates and oohs and aahs from all parts of our table. All were impressed by what we just experienced and of course, had the same thought that I’ve been carrying since last year: now only if this chef would move into his own restaurant…

Fingers crossed. But in the meantime, and despite its overall atmosphere, I’m not waiting another year to go back. The food is just way too good.

11 Comments

  1. steve
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Hi Michelle,
    I was waiting for this review as we really need to get over there. Will soon.

  2. Sue
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t think you give the area enough credit.
    Amp150 is not in walking distance to other great places, but it isn’t that far either. What about all the great bars in the Kamm’s Corners area?

  3. Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I can appreciate your comment about it physical location. While getting to W 150th and 71 is easy for me, the journey back home takes an extra jaunt to get back to my part of Parma. Even said, I keep going back for more. Somethings are worth the extra journey.

    Your opinion on eating inside the lobby is very interesting to me. I understand that feeling if you are sitting in the bar area. I’ve sat in several areas of the dining room and never really felt the presence of the hotel to effect my experience. I feel the decor helps to create an intimate enough environment that makes me forget that I’m at the Marriott. It may be the ol’ theater trick of suspension of disbelief working on me.

    Glad to hear you made it back and that you had a great meal.

  4. Michelle V
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I should probably clarify my comment about its lcoation on W 150. It’s a very quick drive from us on the east side – only 20 minutes. And truthfully, we’ll drive anywhere for good food. I meant that there’s really nothing near there for us to want to explore after, much like we do in other areas when we go out. And I’m not saying we always have to have that – it’s just something we prefer, especially when it’s nice out and we like to walk around after dinner.

  5. Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I tend to agree with you on several of your points. While AMP 150 is not far from us, I enjoy the overall feel of a neighborhood when dining out. Areas like Ohio City and Tremont are what come to mind. While Cooley’s food is certainly worth any trip and any atmosphere- I too would love to see him open his own place that better reflects his vibe.

  6. Edsel
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Once the weather warms up, you can take an after-dinner stroll to the back of the parking lot.

    They have an impressive vegetable garden there. I don’t know of too many hotel restaurants that grow some of their own food. Pretty cool.

  7. Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I definitely was skeptical of the “restaurant in a hotel” feel the first time I went there. But I agree that the food and the company help to distract from that feeling. Did you happen to try the mushroom soup? I seriously crave it…it’s amazing!

  8. Posted March 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    We feel the same way about AMP 150 – fantastic food…a bit of a pain to get to and not much of a “location”. And while it doesn’t bother us too much, if you are seating in the front part of the dining room you do feel like you are on display to the lobby.

    Unfortunately this has kept us away longer than it should have. We really need to get back over there.

  9. Posted March 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I feel the same way about AMP 150 and haven’t gone that way in a long time.

  10. Krystal
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I think AMP150 is so very underrated. I came from downtown and my friend came from Strongsville, so the location was perfect for our meeting. We decided to go with the chef’s tasting menu as it was my friend’s first time there (I had been once before… really enjoyed it of course), and so we went big with the 6 course menu. It was simply incredible. Course after course of chef’s suprises. We both didn’t mind at all sitting next to the Marriott library as there was some sort of high school hockey convention going on nearby, so much entertaining people watching was going on throughout our meal. After the meal, the chef came out to greet us and ask if we enjoyed the menu for the evening, which OF course we did. Seriously, this place is great, and really, it is right off the highway so it is quite easy to get to.

  11. Andy M
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I have been to Amp 150 dozens of times and have never had a bad meal. There is an amazing selection of small plates and bites, and the selection changes on a regular basis. It would be hard to point out the best dishes, as amost all of them are wonderful, but the duck confit, mushroom bisque, flatbreads and especially, THE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA, maybe my favorite desert in the whole world, are especially delicious. The decor is nice, the music is cool (especially for baby boomers) and I really recommend it to all foodies and others with an adventurous palate. The only change I would make would be to glass-in the half walls which surround the restaurant and seperate it from the lobby.

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