Showing posts with label squid ink. Show all posts
Showing posts with label squid ink. Show all posts

Amano Pasta (Toronto)

Amano consists of a pasta bar, café, and market. Within their small footprint in Union Station (in the concourse area close to York street) there’s a bit of everything: the “market” is really a shelf with cans and jars for sale; the café, a coffee bar, includes some takeaway items at the front; and the most sizeable portion of the establishment, the pasta bar, a sit-down dining area at the back of the restaurant.

While the menu isn’t overly long, there are enough tasty sounding options that makes deciding difficult. Their starters are relatively simple Italian staples. The arancini ($9; actually arrives with three) were decent, the best part was the molten smoked cheese centre. Yet, I found the risotto and in need of salt, so that the most prominent flavour doesn’t end up being the honey on the plate.

Nonna’s salad ($7) is a very lightly dressed pile of spring mix with cucumbers. A better salad option is the stuffed squash ($11), which also arrives with greens but also has an entire roasted squash with stracciatella, which makes it soft and savoury. Unlike the other starters, the squash doesn’t lack flavour thanks to the miso brown butter dressing, bread crumbs, and pomegranate sprinkled around.

Amano’s menu, not surprisingly, goes back to Chef Michael Angeloni’s Italian roots while blending in Canadian new world flavours. You’ll find this blend the most in the “not your nonna’s” options. The addition of the crispy shallots really makes the little ears ($19) dish pop, giving the pasta extra crunch and a zip of interest. Of course, the orecchiette is cooked perfectly and tossed with bite-sized roasted broccoli florets and plenty of cheese (white cheddar, aged gouda, and pecorino). It was a delicious main.

While you can’t taste the Dungeness crab or pancetta in the black trumpets ($22), the flower like campanelle pasta has a chewy al dante doneness and is vividly black from cuttlefish ink. Personally, I’d like the dish to have stronger seafood flavours, but realize it’s not everyone’s preference. In fact, with the healthy sprinkling of chives and mustard seeds, the dish has a surprisingly light taste.

For a more traditional option, Amano’s rigatoni is cheekily called fat tubes ($18). The beef Bolognese with parmesan is simple and not earth shattering, but hits the spot if you want a traditional hearty tomato-based pasta.

In terms of drinks, the Sophia Loren ($13) goes down way too easy thanks to the cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and red wine, which covers the Pike Creek whiskey. It’s like grown-up sangria and works great as an after-meal cocktail.

Personally, I’d just go with another cocktail, in lieu of dessert. The leaning puff tower ($9) is really two profiteroles stacked on top of each other … that don’t even lean. They’re at least tasty cream puffs, stuffed to the brim with chocolate cream. It’s a dessert for chocolate lovers, with disks of it topping the cream puffs. It’s much better than the sweet cream ($7) or panna cotta, which tastes like Greek yoghurt - with the almond butter crumble and raspberry pieces, it’s like eating a parfait. Not terrible, but more breakfast than dessert.

I can overlook the disappointing dessert, it means more calories for delicious fresh made pasta.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 65 Front Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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Amano Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato