Ambrosia: Just Don’t Call It A Diner
By Leah & Erin/
From the outside looking in, one might not
be sure what to make of Ambrosia, a new restaurant located
on Smith Street in East Farmingdale.
Walking in doesn’t really clear up the confusion. Not
only is it a restaurant, but to the left is an elegant catering
hall, offset by a room with a large bar that can serve either
side. The place feels something like a diner and something
like a restaurant emulating the popular Cheesecake Factory
chain. It’s Ambrosia.
Ambrosia was named after the word that means the food of the
gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. Ambrosia’s three
owners, all with the name Nick, have been in the restaurant
business for years. We sat down with Nick K., who came to
America from Sparta over 30 years ago.
All three Nicks are reluctant to call Ambrosia a diner because
it excels where others fall short. The menu steps out of the
box through the use of quality specialty ingredients in the
ethnic dishes, as well as the American classics.
For starters, Ambrosia mixes it up with a combination of appetizers.
The list begins with choices like shrimp cocktail ($14.95),
fried calamari ($8.95) and clams oreganato ($9.50). It also
features spicy Buffalo wings ($7.95), vegetable quesadillas
($7.95) and crab cakes ($10.95). The calamari is fried with
Semolina flour, which is healthier and lighter than other
flours, a good choice by the chefs.
Yet if you want to try something different, order the Estiatorie
Style Grilled Octopus ($11.95) or the Saganaki Fried Cheese
Flambe ($9.95), a traditional Kefalograviera cheese, pan-flamed
Another option is the Ambrosia Tapas Sharing Platter ($24.95),
which includes Spanish Tapas meatballs, Cajun shrimp sate,
Kansas rubbed riblets, mozzarella logs and buffalo wings
The menu warns that the salads are large, and they do not
disappoint. The Ambrosia chopped salad ($9.95) includes cucumbers,
feta, tomato, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, chickpeas,
tossed in a lemon basil honey vinaigrette dressing.
Panini sourdough bread sandwich ($10.95 each) options include
the Roasted Portobello, Black Forest Ham, Tuscan Grilled Chicken
Panini, Turkey Club Panini or the Ambrosia Grilled Vegetable
Classic diner fare straight off the grille includes the Griddle
Crisp Reuben and the Hot Pastrami Meltdown ($11.95). A Healthy
Turkey Reuben ($10.95) option comes with grilled 12-grain
bread, apple wood-smoked bacon, roast turkey, Alpine Swiss,
tomato, sauerkraut and honey mustard dressing.
One of our best decisions was ordering the Island Burger of
Crete ($11.95). A wonderful choice for lunch or dinner, this
burger was made of cilantro- and cumin-infused Black Angus
beef, topped with melted imported Kefalograviera cheese, sautéed
spinach, and accompanied by cucumber yogurt sauce. Even the
French fries that came with it were special, sliced from large
potatoes and lightly fried to a crisp outside with a soft
Mediterranean Marinated Chicken Kebobs – hearty skewers
of boneless chicken breast in a marinade of lemon, oregano
and garlic with roasted vegetables and Tuscan rosemary potatoes
– is great for someone who is making health conscious
The Spinach Strudel Apo Ti Ambrosia ($15.95) is a traditional
Greek dish, with fresh spinach, barrel-aged feta, fresh dill
and Vidalia onions, wrapped in olive oil-brushed flaky filo
dough, baked crispy, served with Tzatziki yogurt dill sauce
and Tuscan Rosemary lemon roasted potatoes. It tasted better
than similar versions we’ve had.
For a casual weekend brunch until 3 p.m., the chefs cook up
If after all that you have room for more, mini-cheesecakes
paired with cappuccino are a great dessert. Many customers
stop in for just that after taking in a movie at one of the
Get to Ambrosia before everyone else, so you can spread the
25 Smith St.
East Farmingdale, NY 11735
Cuisine: American with Greek touches
Price Range: Inexpensive
Monday through Friday:
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday:
9 a.m. to 11 p.m.