Amorosa & Santali

IMG_2136 IMG_2137When you can’t choose between Greek or Italian. Have both.

I don’t make it a practice to come all the way out to Edmonds for dinner, but my guest swore that her favourite Italian restaurant that was out here was a gem, and worth a trip to try. Initially I was a little confused seeing “Amorosa” dark, empty, gated, and abandoned. I eventually noticed the large novelty sign, a 2D chef holding a chalk board. It was used to say that the Greek restaurant, “Santali Souvlaki Restaurant” and the Italian, “Amorosa Pasta House” have merged, and were now one establishment. Both working out of the existing location of “Santali”.

IMG_2138Walking in after 8:30pm on a Tuesday, the place was empty. Two tables clearing out and ours was just sitting down. I would later learn that they were only open until 9pm, because of the area. The place looked like a restaurant that belonged to a three star hotel. There were dull worn down carpets, orange flickering lights, pale off white walls, fake plants, and blinds over all the windows. You could tell the restaurant was originally decorated in its intended Greek theme, but now also had pieces from the Italian restaurant intermingled in. It was Greek with the watercolour paintings of Greece, arches separating sections, and clay urns painted with olives and grape leaves. It was Italian with with grated Parmesan and chilli flakes in shakers at each table, bottled vegetable preserves separated in layers by colour, a bar with its bottom shelves stocked tight with wine bottles, and an espresso and specialty coffee machine.

Like everything else, you were able to distinguish between the Greek and the Italian with the menus. There were two full menus, it looked like they kept both as is; instead of trimming down each, to make make a more concise one. For those wanting Italian, their selection of pasta offered you the ability to match any pasta noodle with any of the over 28 varieties of sauces listed. They made sauces I have never even heard of before. For pasta you could choose from fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, penne, rotini, tortellini, and spinach cheese. Add beef ravioli, gnocchi, or whole wheat linguine for a $1. Add vegetables for $1.50. Chicken or sausage for $2.50. And $3.00 for shrimp, calm, and scallops. Small plates went for $12 and large $16 per. There were also appetizers, soups, and salads for those wanting more.

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My guest chose the “Doppio Strato”, smoke salmon and shrimp in a double layer sauce; with her choice of spinach linguine. You needed to mix it all together in order to get a taste of the salmon. I was in awe that this serving was just the small. It tasted as interesting as it looked. Nothing special, but it was certainly filing.

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There wasn’t a lasagna option on the menu, but when I asked for one, I was offered their $11 lasagna special. It was only advertised outside their restaurant. It was a healthy portion of noodles, meat, tomato sauce, and cheese; that came with a creamy Caesar side salad and a garlic bread nub. The ends of a baguette are the worst part. The garlic bread was hard and lacked proper buttering, considering all its actual surface area. I by passed the lack lustre salad all together. The lasagna was just ok. It was better the second day as leftovers, after the addition of extra seasonings and extra cheese.

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And for those who wanted Greek, this was presented as a special feature dinner menu. On the laminated one pager there were dips, soups, salads, souvlaki, seafood entrees, and special dishes. I went for my usual go to when having Greek, lamb. “Kleftiko”, tender shoulder of lamb slowly roasted with Dijon mustard, herbs and red wine. I appreciated the inclusion of more roasted vegetables than just potato. The lamb was thoroughly tender and the sauce unique to the dish. I liked the red wine in it, but could have done without the tang from the mustard. The portion of lamb was as impressive as that of the pasta. With both plates, there was plenty to have eating in and more than enough to have as a second meal at home.

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The side for each dinner actually came first. The French bread with packets of butter was for the pasta. We were very unimpressed by this. The use of packets looked tacky and cheap, definitely not the vibe this establishment was trying to give off. The pita and house salad was for the Greek dinner. The pita came without a spread or tzatziki. So I held off eating any until the main came with some sauce. The House salad was basically a Greek salad with lettuce. It was pre made, and therefore cold and overly tangy, thanks to having to sit in vinaigrette all day. This too was nothing special.

We knew it was time to go when the metal gate guard was manually placed up over windows, and the two servers began eating their dinner out of takeout containers at the bar.

Would I come back? – Yes. Although the food was nothing special, at the prices we were paying for it, it tasted great enough, and I was able to leave full and satisfied. Plus I am curious to try a few of the unheard of pasta sauces I mentioned earlier.
Would I recommend it? – Yes and no. There is nothing else around this area, so there is no need to fight for parking or worry about reservations. The food is decent, the service fast, and the prices fair. Though all this is not something exclusive to this restaurant, nor is it done excitingly amazing by them. Either way don’t deny your cravings.

AMOROSA PASTA HOUSE
7874 Edmonds St, Burnaby BC, V3N 1B8
604-525-3343
Amorosa Pasta House on Urbanspoon

SANTALI SOUVLAKI HOUSE
7870 Edmonds St, Burnaby BC, V3N 1B8
604-525-8286
Santali Souvlaki House on Urbanspoon

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