That’s amore

As a Sunderland student in the late 1980s, I was a connoisseur of cheesy chips, which was basically all the city boasted in terms of culinary note.

Some brave soul opened a place on Green Terrace which claimed to offer something it called French cuisine, but they closed it again fairly quickly, and if there was a more sophisticated offering than egg and chips at the bus station Carricks of a Saturday morning I was unaware of it.

Things have moved on now, and the burgeoning Amore group of restaurants has spread its wings from its roots in Tavistock Place to Amore 2 at Ashbrooke Cricket Club and Café Amore@Home Interiors; a coffee, light bites and pannini offering which opened in February.

At Amore, we discover a refreshing absence of the gingham tablecloths, candles in Chianti bottles and ‘O Solo Mio’ background music which was once considered sophisticated among students of a certain era. The surroundings are modern, the service is swift and a range of pizzas and pasta appear alongside risotto, steaks and chicken on a menu which transports this frozen northerner to the south of Italy.

A spicy starter of chicken, pepperoni and jalapenos on warm toast with melted mozzarella is satisfying, while the main course Pesce in Padella provides generous chunks of pan-fried tuna and salmon, squid, mussels and prawns in a delicious white wine sauce which lifts the winter gloom tremendously.

Italian food shouldn’t be complicated or difficult, but it takes a deft touch, particularly with seafood, to make an impression and this is achieved. I’m not surprised the people who run Amore are branching out. There will always be a demand for simple, flavoursome food, reasonably priced and presented in convivial surroundings by people who seem to be proud of what they are doing. Good news for denizens of and visitors to Sunderland, both. Carricks, on the other hand, closed years ago.

Tavistock Place, Sunderland, SR11PB, tel 0191 565 0077
Review: Mark Anderson

Purple craze
Sign up to our news
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us.