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Edmonton
November 22, 2019

Coming Home

Coming Home You don’t have to be Italian to feel at home in this cozy bistro. by Cory Haller Photograph by Cory Haller When walking into Caf Amore Bistro – an Italian restaurant with seafood dishes located just a few blocks behind MacEwan University – you can’t help but feel…

Coming Home

You don’t have to be Italian to feel at home in this cozy bistro.

Photograph by Cory Haller

When walking into Caf Amore Bistro – an Italian restaurant with seafood dishes located just a few blocks behind MacEwan University – you can’t help but feel at home. The cozy atmosphere, complete with gingham tablecloths, old-world instruments and intimate lighting is a warm welcome. But not nearly as warm as the one from Cristo Crudo, the co-owner of the bistro, who greets diners with a handshake, a smile and a “welcome, friends.” Each table is paid a special visit from this restaurateur as he ensures his customers are happy – and well-fed.

The menu reads like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. You choose the combinations you want – from the pastas, to the sauces, to the proteins. We start with mussels, which can be bathed in either a tomato, ros or creamy white wine sauce; we choose the latter, and it doesn’t disappoint. The mussels fall from their shells with ease and swim in the creamy sauce, absorbing every ounce of the delicious garlic-infused flavour. The sauce itself is not overpowering, but rather complements the shellfish perfectly. 

To follow, we order a one-pound lobster – one of many in a tank at the rear of the restaurant – and choose it served with linguini. Crudo selects a live lobster and brings it to our table for inspection. The lobster soon returns transformed into a hearty pasta dinner, with a spicy, but light, cayenne sauce. 

With the lobster devoured, we mop up the rest of our delicious sauces with a floury and fluffy Portuguese waterbread, making sure not to lose an ounce. We finish the meal with a limoncello – an Italian lemon liqueur – which leaves the palate clean of the garlic-laden dinner. Crudo makes one last appearance, smiles, and says, “Welcome to the family.” (10807 106 Ave., 780-477-7896, cafeamorebistro.com)