What’s the vibe
In the midst of a massive renovation, Union Station now has its first proper dine-in restaurant with the opening of Amano Pasta. Chef Mike Angeloni, whose grandmother first taught him how to make pasta from scratch, now rolls out starchy sheets in front of a glass walled prep table as early morning commuters pass by.
By evening, dinner service in Amano makes it easy to forget you’re in a bustling transportation hub. Pick a seat at the marble bar, which wraps around Amano’s completely open kitchen, for a glimpse at Angeloni and the team in action. We can see ourselves arriving to Union Station early for a proper meal here before catching a bus or train.
What to drink
Impressively, Amano is pouring the first alcoholic beverages to be served in Union Station in eight years and the novelty of this isn’t lost on us. The wine list is growing as Amano settles into its new space and options are focused on items not available in the LCBO. We started our meal with a glass of Villa di Corlo lambrusco – a juicy sparkling red that complements charcuterie and richer bites nicely – and progressed to a fiano from Rivera Scariazzo that sips like a fresh chardonnay. Visits to Amano offer a nice opportunity to try out lesser-known Italian varietals and perhaps find a new favourite.
What to eat
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Pasta is the name of the game here and Amano’s doesn’t disappoint. But before digging into the main attraction, there’s a worthwhile collection of appetizers to consider with modern charcuterie as the highlight. Their take on the traditional prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe starter sees ribbons of compressed melon among forkable layers of the cured meat.
Amano’s mains are split between staples that will satisfy traditionalists and a section entertainingly named “Not Your Nonna’s Pasta”, which is where we focused our attention (and remaining stomach capacity). The Pillows, fat agnolotti filled with roasted squash, were a satisfying meatless main. But the Dumplings – incredibly soft rounds of gnocchi paired with brussels sprouts and rabbit – might be Amano’s best demonstration of how their fresh-made pasta is superior.
Find room in your appetite for the budino custard to finish your meal. It’s a rich and indulgent combination of a spoonable dark chocolate and caramel base topped with whipped sour cream. Luckily for us (but not for our waistlines), the dessert is available at Amano’s takeaway counter to grab next time a sugar craving hits.
Dinner and drinks for two: about $100
65 Front St. W, 647-350-0092, eatamano.com