(UPDATED 2/2/2018) Despite generally good reviews, Amaro Bistro & Bar, which opened in January 2017, has closed its doors. The Sacramento Business Journal reported that the establishment closed January 27, 2018. The reason given – it was not generating enough revenue.
Description and review of Amaro Bistro & Bar, an Italian restaurant located at 11th & R Streets next door to the Warehouse Artists Lofts (WAL) in Midtown Sacramento.
I had wanted to visit Amaro Bistro & Bar since it opened earlier this year in January. A friend and I recently stopped by to have a weekday lunch and check it out. This was the first time either of us had been there.
I arrived first and was immediately greeted. It was sunny outside but there was a breeze so I opted to sit inside reasoning that we could always move outside if that appealed to my dining companion.
As I was waiting for my friend to arrive I looked around the interior. The kitchen has an open format, and I overheard a party of four specifically ask to be seated at the bar so that they could watch the action in the kitchen as they dined.
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In addition to the menu, the décor of the dining room upper walls and ceiling remind you that you are in an Italian restaurant. Be sure to look up at the chandeliers, the decorative ceiling tiles, the wall of (faux) books, and old-style (faux) portraits. I think it is a very clever use of the space.
The interior of Amaro Bistro & Bar is not particularly large, but the outside patio along R Street is good-sized and features both lights and heaters. The large windows on the R Street of the restaurant slide open so even though we did indeed sit inside there was, in fact, a gentle breeze.
To drink I settled on an iced tea ($3) – and my friend ordered a “Diet Coke” ($3). The waitress mentioned that they make their own “cola” from syrup, adding carbonated water. My friend indicated that was fine – as long as it was “diet”. My iced tea was just that – plain iced tea. The house-made cola was judged ok – but not as good tasting as “real” Diet Coke.
The pizzas caught my eye – and my friend was checking out the pasta dishes. I decided to order a small Funghi pizza (olive oil, garlic, scamorza & crescenza cheese’s, mushroom medley, caramelized onions, arugula, and white truffle oil) ($11).
My friend ordered the Ravioli “Amatricana” (house made ravioli stuffed with amatricana sauce – pancetta, tomato, garlic, onion – topped with Delta asparagus, beech mushrooms, cherry tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce) ($18).
The ravioli had a bite – i.e. hot/spicy due to the use of red pepper. That was fine with my friend – but she commented that (knowing me) she thought I would not likely find the dish to my liking.
When I asked her ranking of the ravioli (1 – 10) she rated it a 6 – 7 max. The reason? The garlic used in the dish was under-cooked (essentially raw) which greatly impacted her enjoyment of the dish. Given the $18 tab I would have expected better execution. The restaurant was not packed and a few moments more in the pan would, I expect, have done the trick.
I enjoyed my thin crust pizza. The crust was good and I really liked the Funghi topping combination. My friend commented, and I agreed, that anything made with truffle oil is naturally going to be good. I managed to eat half the pizza (four slices) and took the leftovers home for dinner that evening.
To Sum Up
To sum up, I look forward to returning to Amaro Bistro & Bar and sampling more of the menu. Amaro Bistro & Bar is upscale Italian – but not in the same league as Biba’s.
Comments on Amaro Bistro & Bar?
Have you been to Amaro Bistro & Bar? What has been your experience?
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