Friday, January 21, 2011

An evening at Wild Bites, Amesbury, MA

Cozze - Mussels and clams steamed in a plum tomato sauce

When you make an appearance at Wild Bites in downtown Amesbury, you feel like family. Owner/Chef Tony Ortu and his wife Joan treat you that way. My family has followed the Ortu family from a spot in Amesbury to their venture in Merrimac and finally now back to a new spot right smack in the middle of downtown Amesbury. Wild Bites tends to be the spot our family members choose for a birthday or other special occasion because we know it's going to be a blast. This occasion was for my brother's birthday and personally, for my last meal before my tonsils came out!

Our sampling of appetizers

Our first bottle of super tuscan

For the special occasion, we were seated in the Tuscan Room. Basically, this is the prix fix area of the restaurant. There's also the a la carte cafe and pasta bar out front, either are a great choice. We elected to allow Tony to "Go Wild". Basically, he creates a menu for the table based on his whims, your preferences and any allergies. He knows our family, so it always ends up being quite an experience. We started with family style appetizers - Tony's amazing meatballs, bruschetta piled high with fresh tomatoes, and a caprese salad. We paired it with our first bottle of super tuscan, a 2005 Sant Antimo. We weren't thrilled at first, it took a long time to open up. We started to enjoy it by the time the mussels and clams (at the top of the page), scallops and calamari arrived, but Tony had already moved on for us - offering us a 2004 Purnaio at a comparable price. That's Chef Tony, the Tuscany-native wants to see you happy. The Purnaio was to die for, by the way.

Pasta Course

I love this course every time. The chef's fresh pasta, three-ways, filled this time with blue crab, pumpkin, and artichoke and sage. The fresh pasta melts in your mouth, the inside combinations always right on.

Filet of salmon in a Gran Marnier citrus sauce

Finally the main course, mine was a filet of salmon in Gran Marnier citrus sauce, some of my table mates chose the lamb chop. This salmon is done perfectly, the slightly sweet sauce is a wonderful compliment, laid over a bed of risotto and perfectly steamed vegetables. We were full on amazing food and wine, but Tony wasn't finished with us yet.

tiramisu in zabaglione

For dessert - a bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial appeared with plates of liquor soaked tiramisu in zabaglione. I was beyond full but I couldn't resist. Tony's version of this dessert takes me back to a lunch in Sicily I had with family a few years back.

All in all, if you want a special experience, Wild Bites can provide it. If you become a regular, you won't regret it. Whether it's for a quick lunch or a special meal, make a stop here.

Wild Bites
36 Main Street
Amesbury, MA 01913-2807 
Phone: (978) 792-5051
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Tiffany said...

The tiramisu looks to die for! :) P.S... I'm from Mass! :)

Kimmy Bingham said...

yay! I love finding more people from Mass!

Robert said...

One of the finest restaurants in the area. I have never had a bad meal there.

P.S He does have a pasta bar in the front where you can have authentic and amazing pasta.

Kimmy Bingham said...

yay! I love finding more people from Mass!