A pick me up

When I think Italian, I think of romance: escapes to Venice, gondola rides on the canals and most of all the Italian weakness for great food.  

Warm savory Roman breads dipped in olive oil, tangy tomato bruschetta, or creamy risotto.  And, of course, for dessert there is tiramisu.

For this, fortunately, you can look no further than Amore Victoria at 1601 W. Lake St.

Tiramisu translates literally from Italian as "pick me up," and Amore’s signature dessert plops you into a lofty cloud of delicate tantalizing cream for only $5.95. Their tiramisu is confident and gentle. A passionate marriage of furiously whipped cream and mascarpone cheese, a bed of ladyfinger cookies dipped in espresso coffee and garnished with cinnamon and nutmeg, then chilled to perfection. The dessert-making process is a simple affair; it just takes the right amount of time and patience, said head chef Alex Victoria, who co-owns the restaurant with wife Jenna.

The ingredients work in a symbiotic fashion to create something so refined and sensual, simple and extraordinary; there’s no harsh bitter espresso taste to be had, just a brilliant paring of vanilla, cinnamon, coffee and cream — a light yet full-bodied dessert. It is the perfect mate for a late-night espresso in one of Amore’s regally velvet purple booths to melt away a hearty meal.

Start with one of their main course dishes like the popular "Mushroom Passion" pasta, a taste sensation even a self-proclaimed mushroom-hater couldn’t resist. For winter, to uncompromisingly satisfy any vegetarian’s or meat lover’s palette, they are featuring two distinct dishes: a naturally creamy yet flavorful Gorgonzola and pear risotto and an Osso Buco (veal shanks). Prices for the veal range from $14 to $23.

"The ingredients are classic Italian ingredients, but the meal isn’t a classic Italian meal," Victoria said, citing Amore’s mix of rich, balanced and earthy flavors.

Located on the southwest corner of Irving and Lake Street, the restaurant is literally a stone’s throw from a romantic after-diner walk along the lake. Now all tonight needs are some gondolas slowly meandering their way along the shore.

Amore Victoria
1601 W. Lake St.