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Food for thought: Café Amore

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Café Amore derives from a long line of secret family recipes and a passion for genuine hospitality. The restaurant concept was created by Cristo and Nick
Crudo, and their father Giuseppe, whose family roots stretch all the way back to Italy. Café Amore keeps the colourful memories of the Crudo’s family history alive by providing guests with a feeling of authentic Italian hospitality and culture.

In the 1960s, Giuseppe moved to Canada from Italy, and started working in the restaurant industry when he was 15 years old. In 1986, he opened up his first restaurant named Galileo’s located in the heart of Whyte Avenue. The Crudo family continued to share their passion for authentic Italian cuisine by opening two more restaurants in Penticton BC named Nicolas and Scampi’s Bistro.

After Cristo and Nick’s mother fell ill in 2006, the family situated in Edmonton permanently and opened the Café Amore restaurant in 2011 at their first location on 90 St. and 121 Ave. In 2013, they moved to their current downtown location on 106 Ave and 108 St.

Cristo says that “everything on the menu (has been) pretty much passed on (through our family).” Although the restaurant’s red seal chefs also have the
opportunity to showcase their talents, “it goes through us to make sure that the flavour profile and the taste is there for the customer,” Cristo says. “(The chefs) know how to acquire our flavours and our taste.”

Café Amore’s signature “spectacular seafood pasta dish” as chef Cristo calls it, is the Pescatore, an intricate dish consisting of fresh prawns, mussels, BC manilla clams, and even Atlantic lobster if a guest chooses. Pasta dishes can be made with a variety of house-made sauces including rosé, garlic white wine, fresh tomato, or garlic cream that can satisfy any preference for their guests. “A lot of the fresh pastas that we make here are made here daily,” Cristo says.

Café Amore has more than just pasta; their appetizer menu has been constructed to portray many different flavour profiles, “whether it be spicy or sweet, or mild, or traditional,” Cristo says. Another fan favourite is the maple sausage crostini, crafted with spicy homemade Italian sausage, house-made herb spread, and authentic Quebec maple syrup.

What sets Café Amore apart from other restaurants is the generational history. “It has been passed on from my father to us, and hopefully onto our kids as
well,” Cristo says. “There’s that extra mile that we like to go because we are very passionate in what we do.” The family strives to provide their guests with flavours that their family has tasted throughout history. From the menu, to the cocktail and wine list, “every single item on the menu is looked at very thoroughly,” Cristo says.

Although the family does not plan on creating another Café Amore, they have grown their business by opening The Black Pearl in 2015, and in 2016 they also opened Amore Pasta, which allows guests to customize their dish completely, using fresh house-made ingredients.

Cristo encourages guests to come in and try their menu, “you’ll be in for a nice pleasant feel.”

Simply put, “it’s amore,” Cristo says.

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