Union Station's Hidden Gem: Amano Pasta
It's no secret at this point in my life (or at any point in my life really..) that I am a noodleholic. Give me any shape with any sauce, Italian, Chinese, Thai, and I will polish it off in the time it takes you to say Zoe loves noodles. So, naturally when I found this hidden gem (literally hidden in the basement concourse of Union Station) that boasts pasta that is handmade in-house, I was ALL OVER IT.
Amano Pasta , opened just recently in December 2017, is your new favourite place for a girls night, a date night or a me-night out on the town. Located in the York Concourse of Union Station, Amano's cafe and market are open at 7am on weekdays and 10am on weekends and holidays, and the dining room (the main attraction) opens at 11am.
The entire restaurant is decked out in cool, clean white and wood decor, and you all know I love a good #aesthetic. Typically, visitors are seated in the dining room, featuring custom made chairs and an exposed brick wall. However, if you let the hostess know ahead of time, you can request to sit at the pasta bar and watch your meal being prepared right in front of you. The chefs are all super friendly, so be sure to strike up a conversation, ask questions about what is being made, and you may even learn a thing or two about cooking (because obviously Adrian and I will take all the fun tips we can get!).
Now, onto the important details: what we ate! Being the Italian food connoisseurs that we are (...not..), we went straight for the dishes made with San Marzano tomatoes. You know a restaurant is making it right by how well they can do a classic tomato sauce. The "Long and Skinny", or tagliatelle with San Marzano tomatoes, was so good that I truly considered ordering another bowl after we had finished the first one. The pasta was cooked "al dente" so it had a great chew to it, and the sauce was light and full of basily goodness.
We also ordered the "Fat Tubes" or rigatoni noodles with an Ontario beef Bolognese sauce, which I can appreciate because we all know I like my food local. It had nice pieces of meat scattered throughout, and was dusted with a light layer of grated parmesan. Some other dishes I would totally recommend are the straciatella cheese with roasted squash, the broccoli slaw with brussels sprouts and pickled cranberries, and if you're in the mood for something ultra-decadent, the dark chocolate custard with salted caramel and whipped sour cream. They are updating their menu sometime soon, so be sure to reserve your table ASAP!
Amano also has a cafe and market where you can order a coffee on your way to the train, or pick up some fresh pasta to make for dinner on your way home from work. They purchase their beans from Propeller Coffee Co., a small batch, specialty roaster located just east of The Junction. Along with your coffee, you can choose from a selection of sandwiches, pantry items such as smoked/cured meats and cheese, and their fresh handmade pastas and sauces. The restaurant is also in the process of setting up an online ordering system, so soon you'll be able to purchase your fave Amano pastas from the comfort of your own home!
Have you been to Amano Pasta yet? If you have, what did you order? And, if you haven't, be sure to let me know what you think!