Massachusetts Restaurant Reviews
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Rating: 4 / 5
The Amore Cafe is in the middle of changing their name to just the Amore - a much better way to refer to their fully fitted, high end Italian restaurant. It is at the head end of famous Shrewsbury Street, right across from the 111 Chophouse. We went here on a Sunday evening in the middle of the NCAA tournaments, which were held in Worcester this year. We figured the place would be packed, but we were happy to find that it was relatively quiet. We even got one of the 'prized tables' - the raised curved, high-backed black leather areas at the end of the restaurant. These two tables are right beneath a mural of famous Italians - including Dino, Stallone, the Sopranos, and many others. The rest of the restaurant is a combination of tables and booths, which red brick and dark wood making each area seem cozy and intimate.
The menu is extensive and features many daily specials. There's anything from steak carpaccio ($8.95) to a Romaine & Gorgonzola salad ($7.95), from Gnocchi Sorrentina ($14.95) to Veal Genovese ($21.95). I ordered the salmon risotto special, along with a calamari appetizer. Others at the table ordered pasta, steak, salad, and clams linguine. We got a bottle of 2001 Billi Billi Shiraz to go with our meal.
The waitress was prompt and helpful. The calamari included both rings and tentacles, pleasing all present. They were nice, but very plain. The other couple with us ordered a salad to share, which featured a lovely presentation of cucumber slices. The woman was disappointed by its overly sweet dressing, but the man enjoyed it. There was a lovely selection of fresh breads including a variety of dipping sauces that was replenished for us.
On to the main dish. I really enjoyed my salmon risotto, even though it's usually not a great idea to order any fish 'special' on a Sunday. The person who ordered the clams linguini was quite impressed with the number of tasty clams provided. My boyfriend had an eggplant parm which was 'store bought quality' - nice enough, but with very plain pasta and sauce. Not quite up to the price tag attached to it.
On to dessert. I had the chocolate cake which was indeed chocolatey. The slice was quite large. The other couple shared a bread pudding and were disappointed - it was more like a square of french toast. We ordered coffee and it was brought quickly enough, along with a check which we paid. But then the waitstaff vanished. We sat around talking and would have liked more coffee - or more water - but nobody even poked a head over to see if we wanted anything even though our cups were empty. I realize we had paid our bill, but we did that to help in case our main waitress had to leave. We didn't expect to be completely abandoned. There were other diners at their tables too, and it looked like they were in the same situation. Eventually we "got the hint" that they wanted us to go - even though we were still well within the restaurant's hours - and left.
The atmosphere is definitely great here, but the food just isn't quite up to the price tags involved. There are other restaurants on this row that DO create amazingly good food that command high prices. I just wouldn't put this restaurant into that category. It's more of a place to bring a date to impress him/her with romantic / suave ideas of slinky Italians.
Menu: Focus on pasta, seafood and seafood pasta
Wine List: A few selections, only 1 pinot noir and 2 shiraz.
Dress: Casual to nice
Staff: Generally friendly and attentive
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