Ok, this is almost getting ridiculous. There are so many good Italians in Quiet Center that it ought to be renamed Little Italy. I think you actually have to get Rimi's frozen lasagna in order to have bad Italian food in this part of town. If this rumor were to spread across Europe down to Italy, I wouldn't be surprised if soon we'd have some curious visitors wanting to check out this budding restaurant scene; Roberto Benigni pestering everyone within running distance, Berlusconi humping everyone within limousine distance, and would there be some handsome donkeys in the parks, I'm sure Cicciolina wouldn't be far behind.
But for now, and as far as I know, the rumor hasn't spread that far. Which for me is good, since now I can enjoy restaurant Amarone in peace, without fearing to be molested in very unpleasant Italian ways. This beautiful restaurant shares owner with fellow Italian Rossini on the same street, which explains why their respective websites lets you choose which restaurant's website you want to visit. Much like Rossini, Amarone sets a very high standard. However, I hold Amarone in slightly higher regard, which will be very difficult for me to argue for since I can't really pinpoint the exact reason. Either I'll figure it out while writing this review, or you'll just have to live with this question mark.
The first thing you'll notice is that service is good. The staff at Amarone are very attentive, professional and ready to cater to your wishes. Considering how good the restaurant looks and how you're being looked after, you'd imagine the prices to be higher than they actually are. Amarone is not cheap, but still a good deal more affordable than the real high street tourist magnets in and around Old Town.
However, you cannot possibly pass verdict on how affordable a restaurant is without also sampling their cooking. And I won't beat around the bush: the food at Amarone is good. I cannot tell about the fish dishes and grilled meat, because I didn't try them, but the soup, pizza, pasta and risotto are very good. Maybe, just like with Rossini, you will have to sprinkle some salt over your dishes to bring them to your exact liking, but everything is very well made and nicely presented. My only gripe would be that with many dishes, the servings are a bit small. This goes especially for the pizzas, which is particularly noticeable since they are so good. However, Amarone is good news for vegetarians, since it's not difficult to find lots of strictly vegetarian dishes here. And if you're one of those vegetarians who also eat fish, you will have plenty of choice. Also, people who are sensitive to gluten will find options. Thumbs up for this, Amarone!
I would also like to briefly mention how nice this restaurant looks. In the summer, you can sit on a nice little outdoor terrace which remains surprisingly undisturbed despite the heavily trafficked Kalpaka bulvāris some 15 meters away. If it rains, or during the other seasons, you venture downstairs into a very beautiful stone cellar. While many other restaurants just do the bare minimum regarding their interior design, Amarone has really gone the extra mile. And we, the guests, are rewarded for it. It simply looks gorgeous.
So... while you are hopefully wiser now about this great restaurant, I'm still wondering. I think there might be two reasons why I prefer Amarone over Rossini. The first is that the place, to me, has slightly better ambience, and the second is that I have never been disappointed at Amarone, whereas at Rossini I once had a very tasteless experience. Still, I'd highly recommend the both of them, and whichever you choose to dine at I am sure that you will be happy.