It’s been documented fairly well on this blog that I really like Italian food. So, whenever I hear about a great Italian restaurant in Edmonton, I always make it a priority to go. From what I understand, Cafe Amore has been around for a little while now, but it seems like it has just been in the past year or so that I’ve heard people talking more about it. I guess the cat’s out of the bag now.
About a month ago, Cafe Amore moved to a new location and, although I never went to the old location myself, I have heard that this location is bigger and better than the previous one. The restaurant is now a couple of blocks north of the downtown Grant MacEwan campus and just south of 118th ave. There seems to be a decent amount of parking around the building, which was good, because I don’t know that I would necessarily want to walk too far to get my car if I was walking alone in that area.
My friend, Irene, and I decided, sort of last minute, on Thursday that we wanted to visit Cafe Amore on Friday, so we were glad that they were able to sneak us in at 5:45. The restaurant itself was very warm and inviting on the inside and was filled with the chatter and laughter of groups of friends and families. Each table was adorned with a “classic” Italian-American red checkered table cloth and a wine bottle that had clearly served as a candle holder for many a meal.
The menu was written on large chalk boards around the room, but there was also a paper copy of the menu at each table. Although I am sure it can be costly to re-print menus, all the marker scratches crossing out and replacing menu items and prices looked a little tacky. Hopefully, Cafe Amore has some nice, new menus on order to go with their nice, new restaurant.
Irene and I had both wanted to try Cafe Amore’s signature dish, Amore Pasta Pescatore, which we had heard was big enough for 2, so we decided were were going to share that. We also opted to share some bruschetta to start off our dinner.
The bruschetta was fairly disappointing. It was fine, I guess, it just seemed like it need a little something else. I don’t know what that something should have been, maybe some fresh basil, roasted garlic, cracked black pepper, a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil or maybe some aged balsamic vinegar? Just something, as it just tasted a little bland as it was. I did like that there seemed to be a nice amount of fresh parmesan grated on the bruschetta, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to save the dish.
When we ordered the Pasta Pescatore, we were given the option of either a tomato sauce or a white wine sauce, instead, Irene and I inquired if we could have the dish with rosé sauce instead. We were told that yes, they could do that, but there would be a $5 surcharge. Well, that’s not the end of the world, but $5 seemed a little steep for a sauce substitution, so we though that sauce had better be pretty darn good.
The pasta was brought out in a large bowl and was covered in huge prawns, mussels and a few crab legs. The presentation was really, very impressive. Luckily, the pasta tasted just as good as it looked and that rosé sauce was absolutely worth the extra $5. As well as the large seafood that we could see on top of the pasta, there was also a ton of baby shrimp and clams throughout the dish, ensuring some seafood with every delicious bite of pasta.
Irene and I each had a plate of pasta and then went back for seconds… and we still had pasta to take home as leftovers. For $26 (plus the sauce surcharge), the pasta pescatore seemed like a really good deal to us.
Although we were fairly full after our bruschetta and pasta, Irene and I made sure to leave a little room for dessert, as we both wanted to try the house made tiramisu. The tiramisu was served in a large coffee mug with a nice big dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce and lady finger cookie. It looked great and tasted even better. Our only regret about dessert, was that we didn’t have a spoon to scrape out every last morsel of the tiramisu.
Irene and I really enjoyed our meal at Cafe Amore. The staff were all super friendly, the atmosphere was fun and inviting, and the food, for the most part, was really excellent. I can’t wait to go back and share this restaurant with more friends and family.