1100 R ST.
Sacramento, CA 95811 916-399-4145
The clever design of the dining room at this new Italian joint from the Shady Lady team has a novel wow factor in the dramatic atrium—lined with red-bound volumes and reproductions of paintings by Renaissance masters—that floats above diners’ heads, but once the food comes, you won’t be looking up. Amaro’s pizza dough ferments for 12 hours before being hand-stretched, and the toppings are thoughtfully applied, with a nod to the Neapolitan style of favoring sauciness over cheesiness. But the pastas are where executive chef Kevin Ritchie really shines. Take a perfectly spicy puttanesca, briny with fresh anchovy and olives, or a lasagna made of a single, hand-cut noodle draped accordion-style over layers of “ricottage” cheese, béchamel and Bolognese sauce. Don’t neglect to sample one of the R Street restaurant’s cool cocktails made with the namesake liqueur, like the Hazelnut Heights, which features Amaro Averna, rye whiskey and Frangelico chocolate bitters, and is served with a slice of lemon.