Author: Amaro Bistro

A Brief History of the Tomato in Italy

It can be hard to imagine Italian food without tomatoes, but Italy went through centuries of cooking before the iconic red fruit was introduced to the country. So, how did tomatoes become such an important part of the menu at our Bothell Italian restaurant?

Before tomatoes were introduced to Italy, most Italian dishes used olive oil and cheeses where you might expect them to use tomato sauce. It was only when the tomato was brought over from South America that anyone in the country ever laid eyes upon the fruit. The first identified account of tomatoes being used in Italy comes from 1548. Around this time, the Italians knew the fruit as “pomidoro”, or “golden fruits”, due to the fact that the first of their tomatoes were small and yellow.

Even after the arrival of the tomato, it would take a long time before Italian food would take on the appearance we know today. Many popular dishes, including tomato sauce, are still fairly recent innovations from as recently as the late nineteenth century. Come and enjoy this delicious and nutritious fruit at Amaro Bistro tonight!

Where is the Spaghetti and Meatballs?

When people come into our Bothell Italian restaurant, they are sometime surprised to find that there isn’t any spaghetti and meatballs on the menu. They reason that a dish so quintessential of Italian dining should be a standard for any proper Italian establishment. However, this is based on a popular misconception.

In truth, spaghetti and meatballs is not quite representative of authentic Italian food. Though the Italians will often enjoy both spaghetti and meatballs, occasionally in the same meal, the two are never served as a single dish. Mixing the meatballs in with the spaghetti is an innovation popularized by Italian-American immigrants, but remains largely unknown within Italy itself. Come on down to Amaro Bistro for a more traditional dish today!

Seattle Restaurant Week October 2016

Seattle Restaurant Week October 2016 | Amaro Bistro

Join us for Seattle Restaurant Week during October 9-13 and 16-20!



Insalata Cesare – Hearts of Romaine, IL Bistro Classic Dressing, Garlic Croutons, Shaved Parmigiano

Calamari – Sauteed Fresh with Kalamata Olives, Capers, Garlic & Marinara

Gamberoni – White Tiger Prawns Sauteed with Garlic, Basil, Roma Tomatoes & Vermouth

Spinaci – Fresh Baby Spinach, Grilled Chicken, Pistachios, Blueberries, Herbed Goat Cheese, Raspberry Vinaigrette

Rigatoni Bolognese – Fresh Rigatoni, Ground Veal & Lamb Ragu, Pecorino Romano, Rosemary

Polpette Spaghetti- Housemade Veal & Pork Meatballs, Parmigiano, Housemade Marinara

Amaro Burger – 8oz Beef Burger, Smoked Mozzarella, Arugula, Carmelized Onions, Fire-Roasted Tomato Aioli, Ciabatta Bun

Penne con Puttanesca – Penne Pasta, Garlic, Capers, Kalamata Olives, Marinara, Parmigiano

Torta Cioccolato – Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut, Torte, Sweet Mascarpone, Raspberry Coulis



Insalate Cesare – Hearts of Romaine, IL Bistro Classic Dressing, Garlic Croutons, Shaved Parmigiano

Bruschetta – Grilled Tuscan Bread, Roma Tomatoes, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cozze – Penn Cove Mussels, Saffron-White Wine Broth, Roma Tomatoes, Basil

Bruxelles Fritto – Fried Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Pecorino Romano, Aged Balsamico

Antipasto Misto – Assorted Italian Charcuterie Smoked Mozzarella, Marinated Vegetables

Rigatoni Bolognese – Fresh Rigatoni, Ground Veal & Lamb Ragu, Pecorino Romano, Rosemary

Gnocchi – Housemade Potato Dumplings, Sweet Tomato Sauce, Romano Cream, Basil

Butternut Squash Ravioli- Butternut Ravioli, Pancetta, Cream, Hazlenuts

Salmone – Grilled Local King Salmon,Toasted Orzo, Seasonal Veg, Truffle Citronette

Fianco Bistecca- Grilled Flank Steak, Risotto al Pesto, Tomato & Parsley Salad

Torta Cioccolato – Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Torte, Sweet Mascarpone, Raspberry Coulis

Tiramisu – IL Bistro Classic Recipe

Sorbetto – D’Ambrosia Mixed Berry Sorbet

The Call of Port

There’s nothing quite like a sweet wine to go with your dessert at our Italian restaurant in Bothell. If you don’t know which dessert wine to pick, try a bottle of port. This long time favorite has been enjoyed with dessert ever since it was first brewed.

Port gets its name from its birthplace, the port city of Porto in Portugal. The drink comes in the form of wine, generally a red variety, fortified with a grape brandy during the fermentation process. The end result is a strong, sweet brew that retains some of the natural flavor of the grape. It makes for great match for many different foods so, if you’ve never tried this delightful brew before, treat yourself to a glass at Amaro Bistro tonight!

Tomatoes and the Benefits of Lycopene

It’s hard to miss the tomato. This classic red fruit has been a huge part of the Italian dining experience for hundreds of years. The Italians embraced it not only for its great flavor, but also its superior health benefits.

Tomatoes contain many valuable nutrients, including a strong dose of vitamin A and vitamin C. What makes the tomato particularly valuable is that it is the single best source of a nutrient known as lycopene, a form of pigmentation that is responsible for the fruit’s red coloration. This pigment is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals in your body, protecting your cells from damage. A diet rich in lycopene gives you a significantly lower chance of developing prostate cancer, cervical cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, oral cancer, and more. It also lowers your levels of harmful cholesterol and prevents heart disease.

There are numerous delicious ways to make tomato a bigger part of your diet at IL Bistro. Visit our Seattle Italian restaurant today to enjoy some of your favorites.

Is Red Wine Heart-Healthy?

Though liquor is not generally a health food, many doctors will tell you that a moderate consumption of red wine is a fair addition to a health-conscious diet. Though the effects of red wine are not well understood, it has been observed that such wines might serve to decrease one’s risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The reasons behind this may be multi-faceted. The alcoholic content has a certain relaxing effect, which can reduce the stress that aggravates heart disease. Red wine pairs this effect with resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been found to protect your blood vessels from damage while also decreasing your levels of LDL cholesterol and discouraging clotting. This antioxidant is not found in beers, white wines, or other liquors.

Unfortunately, most of these observations have only been made with animal testing, and nothing conclusive has been drawn from human testing on the effects of red wine. All the same, it remains clear that red wine is a delicious way to complement many of the meals at our Bothell Italian restaurant. Come try one of Amaro Bistro’s many red wine offerings tonight!

Italy’s Antipasto Course

“Antipasto” is an Italian word that translates into English as “before the meal”. It essentially describes an appetizer course, coming in the form of a small course early in the meal for diners to partake of while they wait on their main dishes. In an Italian household, the antipasto course may be a casual thing wherein they get a bit of salami, cheese, and bread out of the refrigerator while their meal is prepared. On more special occasions, the hostess may plan a more elaborate antipasto course with meat, fish, vegetables, and breads, the likes of which you might expect in an Italian restaurant.

When you dine out in Italy, you can generally expect some variety of antipasti. There may be a buffet, or you may be able to order up an appetizer from the kitchen. Some of the finer restaurants will make more of an event out of their antipasti, offering some elaborate specialty dishes to whet your appetite.

At Amaro Bistro in Bothell, we offer a variety of quality antipasto dishes. Try some sauteed calamari, beef tenderloin, bruschetta, white prawns, and more!