For those who have fond memories of the old Amrheins, the cozy South Boston restaurant that locals, families, and politicians frequented, the present version of Amrheins may be a bit jarring. Amrheins is now a relatively upscale American restaurant, complete with a cavernous bar area that is extremely attractive, and a dining room to the left that has a touch of understated elegance. But Amrheins no longer has the feel of the old-Boston stalwarts as Doyle's or J.J. Foley's, though it does feel like the eatery has returned--at least a bit--to the vibe of the previous incarnation, especially in the old dining room.
The new Amrheins is, however, a very nice dining spot that competes with some of the more reasonably-priced upscale Boston restaurants such as the Ashmont Grill in nearby Dorchester. The food at Amrheins may no longer be exclusively family fare (a couple of holdouts include the chicken pot pie and the shepherd's pie), but the entrees are very good, including the mouthwatering steak tips with jasmine rice, the delectable broiled chicken, the risotto with seafood. You can also order pork chops, sirloin steak, and various chicken dishes at Amrheins (including a nicely-presented chicken cordon bleu), and the menu has a section dedicated to lighter fare, including mini-burgers. The breads and the soups are also terrific, and you can still get a pint of Guinness at Amrheins (by the way, the oldest hand-carved bar in America can be seen here). The Sunday morning buffet, which used to be in the side room before the makeover, is now in the main room by the bar, and while different from the old-school buffet from years ago, it is quite impressive, with everything from eggs, French toast, and pancakes to Greek fare (including deliciously minty grape leaves and decent spanakopita) to more substantial entrees (ravioli, macaroni and cheese, etc.), and a dessert section at the end has a wide variety of sweets such as tiramisu and cannoli.
In addition to the old bar area, some specific items from the previous incarnation of Amrheins are missed (though it is nice that they have a few of the older menu items available). It does seems like the crowd has changed at Amrheins, as it seems that there are many more people in business attire than in casual clothing, but you can't argue with the food at the present incarnation of Amrheins, and the prices, while slightly higher than before, are still pretty reasonable. It may not be the Amrheins of old, but it's still not a bad place at all.
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