Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Amore Pizzeria

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.
Amore Pizzeria
41 Boone Village
Zionsville, IN 46077

Amore Pizzeria & Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. I work in the Zionsville area and Amore was introduced to me by some co-workers. Every now and again we'll head over for lunch and get their calzones. Really great price for what you get and I usually have a hard time finishing all of it. Plus, one day a week (maybe Thursdays?) the lunch drinks are free so we try to go then to lighten the burden on our wallets. I've enjoyed their side salads and, though I'm picky about tiramisu, there's was pretty good.

  2. I love Patrick's Kitchen (based on the photo, I believe it may be right next to this pizza place your reviewed - same strip mall as a Marsh supermarket, maybe?).

    I think they use good quality ingredients with decent technique--- I've enjoyed some mighty flavorful sandwiches (under $10)... and the few times we've had their nice entrees, we've left impressed. Well curated beer and wine lists, too.

    I wish they weren't so far away from home!

  3. I gotta second Patrick's kitchen - the food is good and the beer is fresh. It is indeed in the same strip as Amore.

    My wife and I also enjoy:
    - Hong Kong House: pretty good sushi, given we're in land-locked Indiana.
    - Plum's: Eclectic and small portions, but some dishes are exquisite.
    - Noah Grant's: Expensive and delicious.

  4. Hi Erin,

    I wanted to tell you that I went to H20 sushi the other night based on your recommendation and it was delicious. We tried a variety of things and enjoyed everything we had.

    I have lived in Zionsville for 6 years and enjoy Amore pizza. However, I have to tell you that, on the whole, I am very disappointed by the restaurants in this town, and I think I've tried almost all of them. I see Patrick's was suggested a few times--I've been there about 5 times and each time I leave, I swear I'm never going back. But I return because I like the idea of a non-chain restaurant with decent prices that is convenient to my house. But, the food just isn't there, based on my experiences there. (But I'm already outnumbered in this comments section by 2-1!)

    Noah Grants is very good, but VERY expensive. I think that they think they're a swanky NYC restaurant!

    I sound very pessimistic with my thoughts above, but c'mon Zionsville, I know you can do better!!

  5. well, sounds like there is some disagreement about the restaurants in Zionsville. I actually love the debate. I did see Patrick's and wonder because it looked like a little independent and I am always intrigued by this type of place. I also have been to Noah Grant's, although only once, and had a less than stellar meal.

    Mike B, am intrigued by your description of Plum's. Would love to hear what dishes you think are exquisite.

    Jill--glad you had a good meal at H20. It has slowly become on of my favorite go-to places for quality food that is tasty and unique and fairly reasonably priced.

  6. Noah Grant's has some great specials (half priced wine bottles, etc.) on different evenings - worth it to check it out to help with expense. But honestly, their food is phenomenal. A hidden secret in my opinion. They had halibut cheeks on special last time we were there - amazing - and their butter cake souffle is spectacular. Check out the recap on my blog - I would dine there again in a heart beat!

  7. You have to try Big Dave's Deli- when I lived in Zionsville it was a weekly place! Delicious breakfast food.

  8. Patrick's moved...and has upped their game! They're downtown Zionsville now, by Serenity.

    They have a really beautiful bar and the menu is now more seasonal.

    Would love to have you review the place.