That’s Amoré

A perfect taste of Italy.

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Frank is singing in the restaurant, or maybe it’s Tony Bennett. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is the mood is being set for a classic Italian meal, and that’s Amoré.

Tucked away in a small shopping center on Highway 280 near Greystone, you can walk into Amoré Ristorante Italiano and quickly forget your location. You could just as easily be in an Italian place in North Boston or somewhere in New York. The lighting is turned down to romantic. The decor fits the mood. Heavy curtains blanket the windows, erasing any glimpse or sound of the traffic beyond the restaurant.

When Dino Drakos bought the restaurant in 2013, it only had 10 tables. About two-and-a-half years ago, they expanded the space, building a bar, wine room and adding more tables. “We have steadily made improvements in the quality of the food and the service. The restaurant is taking off, doing very well. We are working hard on it. I have some really good people working here. That’s the key,” Drakos says.

Drakos, who is partners with his family in the Fish Market Restaurants on Highway 31 and Highway 280 and who’s been in the restaurant business his whole life, had always wanted to operate what he calls a boutique restaurant. With Amoré, he realized that ambition.

“I have a passion for it. It is a lot of work but I love it. I know how things should look and how they should taste and how they should be served. It’s just a matter of executing that knowledge.”

The menu features dishes like Vitello Osso Buco (veal Osso Buco, gnocchi, Mediterranean vegetables, and basil veal ragu), Domenica Salsa Ragu (with authentic Sicilian Sunday Gravy, filet mignon, pork chop, spare ribs, meatballs and Italian sausage), pasta dishes like pollo alla gorgonzola (chicken, fettuccini, gorgonzola cream sauce and sundried tomatoes) and lasagna Bolognese.

“Everything is made to order,” Drakos says. “We only make the marinara ahead of time because we make so much of it . We make our own bread every day. Every order is made one at a time from the best ingredients we can find. The menu is not inexpensive. But it is a good value because everything is inclusive in the meal, nothing is a la carte.”

The white tablecloths, lighting and well-dressed wait staff work in concert with what is actually a casual, non-formal and friendly restaurant. “You have to know about the culture. I am Greek, but I grew up with Italians in my neighborhood. Knowing how things should taste and all the years of experience is the key,” Drakos says.

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