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Toronto’s Lebanese Restaurant Amal Heads to Coconut Grove

Ink Entertainment Group, a leading North American lifestyle and entertainment company, well understands that Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine is having a moment. It offers the allure of health-minded shared dining, particularly for pescatarians and vegetarians. And with travel restrictions relaxed and Miamians returning from trips to places like Greece, Israel and Turkey, there’s an appeal to cultivating those memories.

Paying homage to the Lebanese roots of Ink CEO and founder Charles Khabouth, Amal, located on Main Highway in Coconut Grove, has opened at the right time. “As a Beirut native, it gives me a great sense of pride that our deep-rooted traditions of sharing and making guests feel at ease and welcomed are ingrained into the Amal dining experience,” Khabouth says. “The essence of Lebanese food and culture is to enjoy a meal in a warm and inviting atmosphere where you can come as a guest but leave as family.”

The name Amal means “hope,” which speaks to the hopeful spirit associated with Lebanese culture—the love of family, zest for life and appreciation for fresh, light cuisine. Amal marks the fourth in a series of new openings for Ink in the Miami area, following the success of Byblos, Meet Dalia and Meet Mia on Miami Beach.

The casually sophisticated eatery boasts an authentic Lebanese menu designed by chef Wissam Baki, who made his reputation with more than 15 years of experience in renowned hospitality venues, including the InterContinental in Beirut. Amal features toothsome modern interpretations of popular dips, like hummus, garlic lebneh and babaganoush; assorted mezze; a luscious branzino; and a standout grilled octopus. Other signature dishes include the monk salad (roasted eggplant, capsicum, parsley, pomegranate garlic emulsion), truffle rakakat (rolls), roasted cauliflower (with green tahini), pistachio kabab and black cod.

The cocktail program relies on the festive and fruit-infused. The Phantom Fortune is composed of Ketel One vodka, Liquor 43, pomegranate grenadine, lemon juice, vegan egg whites and raspberry powder, while the Guava Slay tickles the palate with Tromba reposado, guava purée, grapefruit juice, lime juice, Fever-Tree sparkling grapefruit mixer. Master sommelier Fernando Zamudio oversees the wine program, which includes Lebanese varietals.

Amal’s transporting interiors, dominated by chandeliers that evoke whimsical, tiered, freeform mushrooms, were designed by the award-winning design firm Studio Munge. The 180-seat restaurant, inspired by Lebanon’s sandy shores and contemporary Mediterranean architecture, provides serenity, courtesy of the barest touches of dusty rose, muted terracotta and pale blues against a backdrop of white plaster and natural oak wood. The flavors deliver all the color that’s neede

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.