Pictured above is Jenna, the chef and part-owner (with her husband, Maurizio) of Amore Trattoria Italiana, a new restaurant Kent & I tried recently with our friends, David & Michelle. (Who, by the way, are much more photogenic than Kent & I, so I've chopped us out of the pictures. I can hear David & Michelle complaining already because, yes, I know, I did the same thing when posting about our Bistro Bella Vita dinner.)
First a big thank you to Wendy, who made us aware of this gem on the NW side of Grand Rapids in her restaurant review of Amore Trattoria.
I knew I was going to love the place after reading their website statement:
“Our menu will consist of local produce, local cheeses as well as Italian imports. Our goal as a restaurant is to promote the Slow Food Movement. The Slow Food Movement is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. It strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and promotes farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. We will support as many local businesses as we can and pass this freshness on to you! Our menu will be ever changing to match the seasons and availibility of these items…”
But I have to admit that when we first pulled up, we were a bit taken aback by the exterior, it just wasn't what we expected.
But as soon as we walked inside, the gorgeous decor and atmosphere, along with the amazing food, was everything we'd hoped!
First came our wine and/or beer, and then we started with some salads. I couldn't decide, so Kent went along with me and we split two that I wanted to try. This first one was the “Forte: Mudd Lake Farm's peppery arugula, house made goat cheese, dried Michigan cherries & honey dijon vinaigrette.” Verrrrry good, a perfect salad.
The other salad didn't sound great, but our waitress assured us that if we liked food with a bite, we'd love it. She said that even people who don't like beets, love this salad: “Russa: beets, potatoes, carrots, peas, and onion in a spicy pink dressing served in a martini glass.” You would not believe how delicious this was, and the martini glass makes it extra fun, don't you think?
Next I had the most delicious soup EVER (and have since tried recreating it in my own kitchen, and got pretty close, so look for that recipe soon): garlic soup. (This one isn't on their online menu so I can't share the fancy description.)
For main dishes, David & I each got pizzas that weren't super flavorful, but it could have something to do with how much food we'd already eaten. I never order pizza, but the margarita toppings sounded good. (Can you tell David is a performer? Look at that face!)
Michelle liked her lamb meatballs, even though that was something different than she would normally order. Isn't this presentation beautiful?
Kent really liked his rabbit, but I didn't really even want to try any, ick. I thought this was very pretty on the plate, too:
For dessert Jenna spoiled us! She had her pastry chef (isn't his shirt cute?) make us up this big sampler platter of 5 different desserts each, YUM!!!
Here's a better shot of all those desserts, because I know you want to see it:
Speaking of shots, Jenna also brought us each out a shot glass of a vanilla caramel liqueur that was sooo good, but I'm sure full of sugar so I'd better not love it too much, eh? (Especially after all the sugar in that dessert, yikes!)
Lastly, I'm going to show you something else I thought was cool, but Kent can't believe I took pictures. Yep, it's the bathroom, look how gorgeous it is!
I'll bet you've never seen anything like that before. 🙂
Thank you Maurizio & Jenna!
- Readers, let me know if you like posts like this, I haven't done them a lot so I'd love your feedback pretty please.
- If you do like this sort of thing, here are more restaurant posts and reviews!
Jacquelyn Lindsey Hoag via Facebook says
Thanks Kelly for sharing your special anniversary dinner date. The drink sounds great, never founf ingredients, but just the lemon ginger soda will do!
Tim Robinson via Facebook says
(Sarah) Oh my, oh my we are going to have to try this next spring!!!
Niki Smith via Facebook says
We went because I read your status from when you went last time, I had seen it before but never tried it. OH MY GOODNESS we went for their brunch buffet – it was amazing. We just went again yesterday!
Wendy (The Local Cook) says
I so need to get back to Amore – loved it! For those in different states or traveling– I just discovered https://www.eatwellguide.org/travel_map where you can find local, sustainable and organic restaurants, stores, etc. It’s far from all inclusive but it’s a good place to start.
The Diaper Diaries says
My husband went to high school with Jenna. We are so happy for all her success. I am so happy you reviewed her restaurant.
DH and I have been searching out better restaurants lately, as we’ve become more aware of our food, where it comes from and how we should be eating, and I’m finding that there are more places out there than I had originally thought (places who actually make all their food from scratch, try to use local ingredients, etc.). What I really love about going to those places, though, is that it helps me branch out somewhat as an eater-I find myself trying things that I would never have thought to eat (as I’m not a particularly adventurous eater :-)). All that to say that I understand about the rabbit-I did try it once in a small amount when we ordered an appetizer. However, I was super proud of myself recently when we were at an amazing local place for our anniversary and I ordered the duck, first time ever, and I loved it! So, this week for my birthday I actually ordered duck again, this time as duck meatballs, and they were amazing!! And it was slightly less scary ordering this time. So, I do think it takes practice and kind of forcing yourself to branch out sometimes.
BTW-if you want any good restaurant recommendations for Denver, please tell me, happy to help as we have some really great ones!! One of our favorite places has the most amazing pastry chef (seriously, I could eat her pastry shells by themselves they are that amazing, melt in your mouth!).
Yes, please! I’d love Denver AND Colorado Springs restaurant suggestions for when we go next month! Maybe I’ll put that up on Facebook for suggestions, too… Thanks for the idea!
Soli @ I Believe In Butter says
Hit up Delicious Obsessions and ask there, that’s her neck of the woods.
Angie D says
I would LOVE some good restaurant recommendations for Denver, since I’m fairly new here!
Great photos and I love the names chefs choose for their dishes but barely can pronounce some of them.
Perhaps we need a course on how to say the dishes as so many good ones come from foreign places.
I’d love to eat there for there’s nothing like that here for sure.
Actually on their menu they have very clear instructions for how to pronounce each menu item! 🙂
I really like these posts, too, especially since we live in GR and we could actually go to a place like that!!!!! So, yes, definitely keep them coming!
And, I actually know where that is–(just can’t believe it!)
Thanks for the review because reviews really influence me. I cut the ones that interest me out of the newspaper because it will help me remember the restaurant better.
[email protected] Ponderings says
Yum yum yum! I love reviews too, even if I’m nowhere near them.
Soli @ I Believe In Butter says
I love restaurant reviews! Reminds me of a little trattoria we have here called Skappo. Very old school Italian, the majority of the seating is at two long tables (yes people who don’t know each other sit next to each other), smaller plates a la tapas, and mama Anna in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Molto delizioso!
I love reading these Kelly! It’s fun to hear about places locally that I didn’t know existed. Please share more!
What a neat restaurant. Wish we lived nearby. Fun to see rabbit on the menu. We may be raising some for our on consumption in the not so distant future.
That should have read “own” consumption. sigh.
Angie D says
Very inspiring! (Especially that bathroom!)
On a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to thank you for the baked oatmeal recipe. Best thing we’ve had for a long time!
I very much enjoy these posts and since you are just a state away, I put them down as possibilities for when we travel into your beautiful state! :-). Thank you, so much, for taking the time to do them – I really appreciate you and your time and effort that you share. Blessings to you girl!
Love restaurant posts!
I like posts like this, but it makes me jealous because there is nothing like this where i live! I would love to see rabbit on a menu! Much better chance that it wasn’t factory farmed! (I just recently prepared a turtle soup my family, it was a hit!)
Are you kdding?? Who wouldn’t possibly be drooling over these fabulous pictures?? And, not one samo-samo pasta dish close by??!!!!
Fabulous fotos, Kel, and YUM what great food combinations. I love the fact that you ordered 2 different salads and I got to see the pics…that one w/ potatoes, peas, carrots and the dressing! Oh ! how creative!! Yum!!
Sigh…I wish I was around the corner. This is a truly unique restaurant and it sounds sooo tasty!! My hat goes off to them for going to the time and trouble to make it so!
Fabulous !!! As far as more of these kina posts, yeah! But send me a ticket! 🙂 i wanna go to dinner w/ you too.
Love and Hugs
Karen in CA
Catherine H. says
I do like these restaurant review posts, although as Linda pointed out, I would like them even more if there were more of a chance to go to the restaurants myself!
I would like your posts better if I lived there so I could go try these restaurants.Great pics! I could never eat rabbit because I had one for a pet many years ago, but the desserts? You bet. And the restroom? It looks like something you would see in a palace!
Elisabeth @ Treasuring the Moments says
I live way away (Arizona) but I enjoyed reading this and seeing the pictures.
FarmgirlCyn (Cindy) says
We ate there the week of their grand opening, maybe a couple of years ago? The food was great, and Jenna came out and talked with us for a few minutes…just made the whole experience so personal! And you are right…the bathrooms were spectacular!
Like! Especially since I’m within driving distance of your local spots. 🙂
Super interesting that she had rabbit there! I’ve never had it but have heard good things. I like posts like these. How did you find this place??
I enjoy these posts – ‘specially since we don’t have much like that around these parts. And I love the curtains around the mirror in the bathroom! Don’t know if I’d ever do that, but I’m definitely filing it away in my brain. And the food sounds awesome (like it’s an afterthought… :>))