That’s Amore is a cute, new(ish) Italian restaurant in the heart of Collingswood on Haddon Ave. I know what you’re thinking (we thought it, too) – does Collingswood need another Italian restaurant? That’s Amore sits within a few feet of Il Fiore and Nunzio’s, and a short walk from Sapori’s, Villa Barone, Bistro Di Marino, Café Antonio, and Mangia Mangia. Clearly, Collingswood loves its pasta. So, what’s the deal? Is That’s Amore a welcome addition?
Absolutely! While Il Fiore remains our favorite go-to, sometimes we don’t beat the crowd in time (try getting a seat at 8pm on a Friday night, I dare you). Sapori’s is too staid, Nunzio’s is too expensive, and Mangia Mangia is reserved for pizza and calzones. So That’s Amore fills our craving for carbs and marinara sauce.
We started with the soup of the day, an Apple and Butternut Squash Bisque. This dainty soup was delicious and lightly creamy, not overwhelming or too filling before our meal. Usually I find that sweeter bisques like this need a dash of fresh pepper to balance out the cream, but this was perfect as is. As usual, we were also served warm, crusty bread and a side of zesty marinara sauce.
Jamie is a fan of the Chicken Parmesan. A sizeable piece of chicken (pounded thin, lightly breaded, seemingly pan fried) smothered in cheese sits aside a heap of homemade pasta – your choice of spaghetti, linguine, penne, or baked ziti. Importantly, they don’t skimp on the tomato sauce. It’s suitably chunky but also delicate. It might not be as good as your Italian nana’s, but better than the canned stuff. Plus, if you’re a fan of Italian cheese (and who isn’t!), most dishes come topped with huge cheese shavings and the table is set with a canister of finely grated Parmesan.
I opted for the Fettuccine Alfredo, to try out something other than a tomato-based option. The serving looked deceptively small, but allowed enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch. It also helps that fettuccine is quite filling. While the homemade pasta was perfectly al dente, I felt that the sauce was lacking. The dish would be improved with an extra layer of flavor, be it crumbled Italian sausage (the saltiness would break up the rather flat cream sauce wonderfully) or even sundried tomatoes or mushrooms. My uncle makes the most fantastic Alfredo sauce accented by an intense garlic flavor. I tried adding crushed red pepper flakes and even more cheese, but still found it on the bland side.
A standout at That’s Amore, though, is their service. I’ve now been here for at least three dinners and a brunch, and each time I’ve experienced stellar service from the wait staff. On occasion, the owner will circle the room and personally thank patrons for visiting. These little things often make or break the dining experience, and – combined with good food and reasonable prices – keep us coming back.
Prices are a dollar or two more than Il Fiore, but agreeable. We always have enough food left over for the next day, and we don’t feel guilt-ridden if we splurge on an appetizer or dessert. At present, I can’t comment fairly on their desserts, as we’ve only tried the Brownie a la Mode. Pretty presentation, decent enough taste – but brownies are hard to mess up.
That’s Amore gets bonus points for straddling the line between romantic and cozy (pretty murals grace the walls and a fireplace twinkles in the winter) and kid-friendly (tables are covered with brown paper and crayons for drawing), making this a welcoming spot for diners of all ages.
To sum it up, That’s Amore is a family-friendly, charming addition to Collingswood’s Italian scene. Come here for the friendly and attentive service, standard Italian offerings, and value.