In the mood for Italian? Step into Amato’s Italian Grill, a perfect place for a romantic interlude or a family gathering. With Southern Italian flair, the chef cooks up everything from sandwiches, pizzas and calzones to favorites like linguini with red or white clam sauce, Mussels Marinara, Chicken Marsala, Veal Parmesean or Eggplant Rollatine. The meal begins with a generous helping of plain or garlic knots teeming with butter and garlic. The Bruschetta Italiana is an appetizer that will make your mouth water for more. Chopped tomatoes, red onions and basil set atop Italian bread saturated with balsamic vinegar and oil make for a crunchy start and a melt-in-your-mouth, slightly spicy finish. Looking for a milder beginner, try the can’tget- enough Pasta Fagioli, comfort food at its finest. For a light tasting entree that will fill you up and satiate your Italian craving, try the Chicken Francese. One of the more popular dishes, these thin egg-washed slices of tender chicken are pan sauteed in a lemony white wine sauce, made from fresh squeezed lemons. Of course, no dinner is complete without the finishing touch – a dessert. Try their tiramisu, made from scratch with espresso lady fingers, Kahlua, Marscapone cheese, almond cookie and other tasty ingredients. Presented with a criss-cross pattern of chocolate over the dusting of cookie on top, this tiramisu is thick and creamy and sits atop a bed of powdered sugar.
To quench your thirst, there is wine by the glass or carafe, or bring your own bottle ($15 corking fee). There also is domestic and imported beer, soda and San Pellegrino.
Owner Reyna Amato’s favorite dishes are the clams, the Fruta di Mare and Chicken Amato. All of her dishes are made with family recipes. She began her life in cooking at the age of 14 working with her parents at their pizzeria in New Jersey. Her family moved to the states from Palermo, Italy. She moved to Florida four years ago and opened Amato’s in 2010.
“Everything is homemade,” she said. “It is economically-priced, but fresh and high quality. Nothing is pre-packaged. The pizza is made every day. We have New York and Sicilian style.”
She plans on bringing entertainment back. At one time, it was outside on the patio; now, she plans to make it more intimate, allowing a single guitarist to play inside at certain times. For now, Italian music plays in the background.
They have unbelievable specials here, such as their lunch special – half a sandwich, cup of soup/ salad and a slice of pizza for only $6.99. Thursday is seafood night. For under $10, you get your choice of a wide selection of fish or seafood with your choice of sauce. Their early bird special is buy one plus two beverages and get second entree for $1.99. Ask about other specials and look for coupons here in the Observer.
Amato’s Italian Grill is located at 1901 N. Federal Hwy., Unit #112B, in the Pompano Citi Centre, Pompano Beach, FL 33062. Open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 10 p.m., they also do take-out and delivery. Call 954-582-9211. For more information, visit www.amatositaliangrill.com.