Crossing the threshold of Antica Amelia is like entering the magical set of Around the World in Eighty Days and traveling with the imagination, indulging ourselves with the best culinary tradition of Verona.
Immersed in the old center of the most romantic city in the world, between Piazza delle Erbe and Via Sottoriva, where the most historic antique markets are located (the spaces previously housed an antique furniture shop), the eclectic interior design of the restaurant, adorned with ferns and other exotic plants, reminds us of the charm of the 19th-century colonial houses. On closer inspection, however, you might realize that the fine furnishings come from every corner of Europe: from the romantic Portobello Road in London to the Moroccan souks, from the most famous French vide-grenier to the Parisian flea markets.
Welcoming guests to this enchanted world is Micol Zorzella, a self-taught Veronese chef with a globetrotting heart, who five years ago, together with her husband Nicola, began this romantic love story.
Antica Amelia is today synonymous with elegance, but also with great hospitality and attention to detail, thanks above all to the warm family atmosphere that characterized the place. In fact, Micol’s mother Elisabetta Brognara is an impeccable head waiter as well as the master of the Carte des Vins, where she unleashes all her passion for wine.
The cuisine refers to the Veronese tradition and combines a refined and very international menu with local and seasonal ingredients. You can taste the “non cold soup” of carrots, served with vegan almond ricotta and pumpkin seed crackers or the “cacio e pepe” pasta with Lessinia cheese, to continue with the marinated trout cooked at low temperature served with red onion jam, goat yogurt, lemon balm sprouts, and mountain flowers, or with the homemade foie gras served with hot brioche bread, seasonal compote and salted butter. Everything is daily prepared fresh in the kitchen, in this case following the traditional French recipe; we find a pleasant Francophone imprint in many dishes like the slightly seared fromages de chèvres (goat) with baked figs and salt flakes.
And when it comes to dessert time, it is like being a kid again with “la cremeria”: a yummy vanilla ice cream served soft and accompanied by lots of silver bowls to garnish it with all sorts of delicacies and candies. Our journey around the world, however, does not stop here and continues with coffee and digestives, taking us to the Majorelle Gardens, in the midst of Moroccan culture. A keen eye will be able to find, in fact, among the various objects that adorn Antica Amelia, many refined references to this magical land.
Obviously, the chefs never reveal their secrets, but let Micol tell you the story of her recipe dedicated to Elkjær (the legendary football player of Verona): it is not only an extraordinary dish but also a tribute to a great man. However, you cannot leave Antica Amelia without having tasted Amelia on The Rock. Are you curious? Ask for one at the bar and let us know if we weren’t right.