A visit to Café Amore Bistro, which is hidden down a residential street in Delton, is like a visit to another country. It also emulates a boisterous family reunion, even for neophytes. It is well after 9 pm when I visit Café Amore Bistro for a late supper. The street is starkly silent and the golden light that spills from Café Amore’s windows are the only indication that a boisterous scene prevails indoors. Indeed, the room veritably hums with the good energy that emanates from those that prepare good food and from those that enjoy it.
Café Amore Bistro: 12118 - 90 Street
The system is simple: one of the owners, Nick or Cristo, stops by your table and you order from one of several hand-written menus on the wall. They will return in a little while with hearty, home-cooked Italian fare like pasta and panini. There are daily pasta specials; tonight, the feature is Pasta Calabrese ($10). It recapitulates the spicy flavours of southern Italy, replete with hot Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, and creamy tomato sauce. A chicken pizzaiola panino ($8) holds a whole chicken breast, mozzarella cheese and zesty herbs in a crusty bun. A glass of robust Montepulciano is an amenable and appropriate companion.
The night wears on and Café Amore’s energy shows no signs of waning. Having supper late is not at all North American, and stumbling upon this unassuming restaurant is like tripping into a wormhole and winding up somewhere in an Italian osteria (a small and lively restaurant). The family photos on the wall and fraternal pride of the owners adds additional appeal. Many restaurants strive to provide the atmosphere of international escape and familial inclusion. Café Amore Bistro easily accomplishes these feats.