We recently went to That’s Amore for one of our family birthday gatherings and given the size of the family, it’s always a challenge to get reservations, but we were fortunate! Italian food had sounded comforting to us in this dark and wet winter and That’s Amore took us in…all nine of us. We have had celebrations there in the past, but I really had forgotten just how good it is!
We tried two appetizers: the Bruschetta and the Antipasto platter. The Antipasto platter was very good, with nicely roasted veggies and fruit in addition to the usual salamis, cheese, olives, but the Bruschetta was fantastic. Grilled Tuscan bread topped with marinated tomatoes, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar…I could have stopped there, but of course I was sharing with eight others, so that left some room for an entrée.
Son-in-law John chose the wine: a Sangiovase Merlot; it was excellent. I ordered the Grigliata di Melanzane and it was fantastic and also a very generous serving. Half of it came home for next night’s dinner. One thoughtful note: the staff had added a steak knife in case the eggplant skin proved difficult but that didn’t happen. It was baked to perfection!
My husband ordered the Penne Bolognese with grilled sausage and although he loved it, half of his came home for the next night! Did we pig out on the appetizers? Give that we were sharing with so many others, I don’t think we overdid it and the entrees were very generous. And we can’t eat like we used to; there were days in the golden past when an Italian restaurant meant starting with Minestrone, followed by salad, pasta course and then the entrée. And finally a scoop of Spumoni ice cream! And of course, there was that magic basket of bread that filled each time we emptied it. Where did we put it?
But back to the entrees: Son-in-law had the special pasta with short ribs (no leftovers there) and daughter, Ann, had another special: Tagliatella with Crab (another take-home box needed!) A roast chicken special with polenta was ordered at the other end of the long table and obviously, it was good; plate went back to the kitchen with entrée completely devoured!
We were celebrating two birthdays that night so our waitperson brought two large portions of tiramisu with a candle on each. The rest of us passed on dessert as Ann had made a cake, which was waiting at home with the yet-to-be-opened gifts. The service was impeccable, which can be difficult with that many at the table. Water glasses were filled promptly and unobtrusively. One waitperson even helped by taking the family photo at the end of the meal.
Ambience? It is a long, rather narrow space and reminds me of the places we used to haunt in San Francisco’s North Beach where you might be seated at a long table with complete strangers. That was not the case here; we were the only group seated at a long table; there were many couples and a few at round tables for six persons. I think it must be impossible to seat a group our size in a manner that seems comfy and makes for good conversation. We have at least one birthday in almost every month of the year and so we have tried many dining establishments.
The South Lake Union Cactus put us in a room of our own with a long table and those at the far end from me might as well have been in the next county. I am not sure how we avoid this at home when the table is extended, except that we are probably much louder at home than out in public. Only the meek are not heard from…and we are still trying to find out which one is meek.
1421 31 Ave. S, 206-322-3677
Mon-Thurs 5-10; Fri & Sat 4-10; Sun 4-9