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Wegmans Food Markets’ Amore Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar has opened for business. Attached to Wegmans’ newest store on East Avenue in the grocer’s hometown of Rochester, N.Y., the eatery serves up such popular Italian and Italian-American lunch and dinner dishes as pizzas, home-style pasta, antipasti, slow-cooked meat and fresh seafood, all made fresh with premium ingredients.
“You’ll find healthy Mediterranean eating at its best here — fresh seasonal vegetables, flavorful olive oil, and a glass of a delicious Italian red wine,” said restaurant manager Jigmed Latshang of the 85-seat establishment. “You’ll hear Italian music that lifts your spirits, and you’ll savor the aromas of the sauces simmering in the kitchen.” Latshang oversees operations at Amore with executive chef Russell Ferguson.
Licensed for wine and beer, Amore features Italian labels like Zenato, Sassicaia and Ruffino. A Cruvinet temperature-controlled wine-dispensing system provides 2-, 4- or 6-ounce tastings of fine wines. Additionally, Italian beers such as Peroni and Moretti are offered, along with more familiar wines and beers.
The restaurant’s décor is meant to suggest a centuries-old Italian villa with a few modern touches, blending stone and stucco walls, arched windows, and exposed timbers in warm earth tones with contemporary light fixtures, bright-red barstools and vibrant tiles around the pizza oven.
“While traveling in Italy, I noticed how ancient estates had been restored from ruined conditions,” noted Stency Wegman, design consultant on the project. “Original walls and beams were preserved while the interiors were completely refitted with modern and simple fixtures. We have tried to recreate the feeling that this is an old building restored from ruin. The tower is traditional Italian estate-style architecture. The restaurant is fairly simple and cozy, with low decorated ceilings, inspired by the way they would have appeared many years ago.”
Added Corinne Chiogna, Wegmans’ director of store planning and designer on the project: “We looked at ancient towns and beautiful old properties, thinking about how Amore’s design could capture that warmth and feeling. We used materials like those we saw -- stone, stucco, exposed timbers. Amore’s timbers look weathered because they’re reclaimed from very old buildings.”
Further, private dining is available in Amore’s Tower Room, a uniquely decorated space for as many as 10 guests.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 81 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.