One of the great things about this blog, and my connection with all of you guys is the way I can ask for a recommendation somewhere (usually on twitter) and get an answer back really quick. I also love it when people ask me for help and I can help them (sometimes also with help from you guys). I usually get a couple of emails a week from people asking for recommendations for some specific occasion or location—often people from out of town. I love that. Anyway, I am rambling on because the other day I needed to be in Zionsville in the afternoon with my kids and figured it would be a good time to try something new for lunch. I posted a tweet and after two different people recommended the same place, we set out to find it. Amore is set in a little strip mall (I sort of expected it to be in downtown Zionsville for some reason) and is your classic New York pizza style set up. Lots of pies behind a glassed-in counter. They heat up a slice of whatever you want, and you are good to go.
As I looked over the pies, I thought several of them looked good. I asked about my classic combo, red onions and mushrooms and was told they didn’t have red onions, only white. And I saw the mushrooms on another pie, and they looked like the same kind I had at Giorgio’s downtown—the ones that looked suspiciously like canned, so I decided to go another direction. Their version of the margarita ($3.50/ slice) looked really good and different from a lot that you see in that the tomatoes were chopped up and evenly distributed on the pizza (instead of just like one slice on each piece as you commonly see). There was also a lot of fresh basil sprinkled on top. So I went with a slice of that, ordered a couple breadsticks ($.65 each) and the cheese slices for my kids ($2.85/slice). But then, as we were paying for everything, I saw this Greek pizza come out from the back ($3.50/slice). It looked awesome. I ordered a slice of it too. Normally that is a lot of pizza for me for lunch, but I couldn’t pass it up. Who knew when I would be back?
As I sat down with the food, I realized I had ordered two flavors of pizza for myself that did not have red sauce on it—which I thought from a review perspective was probably not the best plan, but I also realized that I think I probably do tend to prefer a white sauce or olive oil these days---mainly I think because if I don’t like a pizza it often is because of the sauce. Anyway, the margarita was good—there was mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top of the crust with the tomatoes and basil and the tomatoes tasted almost like they might be slightly marinated in a very light vinaigrette. The Greek pizza also had a thin layer of cheese and then was topped with lots of fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives cut in half, garlic and feta cheese sprinkled on top and lightly melted. It was hard for me to decide which one I liked better, but I probably ended up eating more of the Greek—and would be tempted to order it again. I loved the thick juicy olives. I did try a bite of my daughter’s cheese slice, and a dip into the marinara we got with the breadsticks, and you know, it was a little sweet, which is exactly what I don’t like in a red sauce. The breadsticks, by the way, were nothing special to me. (And I am frustrated to see on the menu now that they have garlic knots—I totally would have ordered them if I had seen them. That’s what happens when you are with your kids who are busy spilling their drinks and causing a general ruckus as you are trying to peruse all your options). The crust on the pizza was good—nice and thin and crispy but with the right amount of bendiness to make it a proper New York style slice (at least in Indiana).
This place obviously has a loyal customer base—at lunch on a Monday the place was jammed by the time we left. And it is good pizza (and they have a very large menu of other things). If it were my neighborhood, it would certainly be in my rotation. And next time, I’m getting the knuckles.
And p.s., what else is good in Zionsville? I am keeping a list.
41 Boone Village
Zionsville, IN 46077