Category: Blog

What Makes “Happy Hour” in Bothell?

The Origins of the “Happy Hour”

The phrase became known as a jolly time drinking with friends during late afternoon and early evening hours. So what constitutes a Happy Hour?

Firstly, the perfect place, of course. It must be a bar, lounge, saloon, tavern or watering hole that meets some very specific criteria. The bartender must be friendly and amiable. He must be able to make a really good knock-out drink but that doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds. The venue must be such that it allows conversation and celebration. It must have an atmosphere of conviviality unique to the hours that easily converts itself from cozy and soft at the start to a rambunctious cattle ranch by the hours’ end. There must also be offerings of great food and food service and an impressive liquor collection.

Today, in business parlance, happy hour is a weekday period between 4pm to 7pm when bars, clubs and lounges, even restaurants bring in the customers on their way home from work for drinks and small plates of food. Usually at attractive discounted prices, the exact economics of happy hour is the increased demand offsets the decrease in cost. Not to mention, if you are happy enough at the end of the Happy Hour, there’s a chance you’ll be staying well past the discount hours.

Amaro Restaurant: Where Happy Hours are Awesome!

Find this great Italian restaurant in downtown Bothell with a fabled double Happy Hour, one at 3pm to 6pm and another from 10pm to midnight, daily. Enjoy Tuscan small plates with your fave cocktails, an awesome bistro experience.

Bothell Italian Restaurant: A Taste of Tuscany

Tuscan Cuisine: Diverse but Simple

Tuscany is considered the birthplace of Italian Renaissance. Stunning landscapes and seaside vistas, unique artistic legacy and rich history annually draw millions of visitors and tourists to this central Italian region, whose capital is the beautiful city of Florence. It is not just Tuscany’s physical allure that is popular but also its diverse yet simple cuisine.

You ought to know that Tuscan soil is fertile and rocky and suitable to grow some of the best grapes and olives in Italy. From their grapes come world-renown wines such as the Chianti, the most internationally recognized Tuscan wine. There’s also Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Morellino di Scansano, and the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano

When it comes to meat, the Tuscan diet is rich in wild game, cured meats, and homemade sausages. The Bistecca alla Fiorenta, or steak Florentine is famous, the traditional 3-inch Porterhouse of the highest quality from the Chiana Valley. Another is the porchetta or roast suckling pig, tender and aromatic. When you dine on meat, ask for a wedge of cheese made with sheep’s milk, Pecorino Toscana, the bounty of the region, or a crusty loaf of the traditional salt-less bread pane toscano.

Try also Pappardelle, a flat homemade noodle often served with a rich sauce from wild boar, hare, or duck. And have you tried Tuscan’s white truffles from San Miniato, available only at certain times of the year, the classic bean soup ribollita, and the very popular grilled bruschetta? All these reflect Tuscan diversity, freshness and utter simplicity.

Capturing Tuscan Cuisine in Bothell

If you are in Bothell and craving for authentic Tuscan fare, look no further than Amora Bistro. Picture yourself somewhere in Tuscany savoring authentic regional delights prepared by our culinary artisans in warm candlelit surrounds.

Wood-fired Pizzas

Why Wood-fired Pizzas Taste Better

Wood-burning ovens have been around since ancient times. In Central Europe, earth ovens were discovered in the ground; they were large pits that were believed to be used to roast mammoth.
Now as far as pizzas go, they are not baked in underground pits the size of a prehistoric animal, but great pizzas ones are cooked in modern, portable wood-fired ovens.

Culinary experts cite the many benefits of pizza cooked this way. Firstly, the pizzas cook quickly. At higher temperatures, about 600 to 700 degrees, it cuts pizza cooking time sharply. You get your pizza in under 5 minutes in a wood-fired oven, depending on dough thickness. Also, the even distribution of heat enhances the pizza flavor with that unique smokiness to taste. Then, when pizzas with veggies and fruits are cooked over a flame, the shorter time it takes preserves specific nutrients and antioxidants; longer will deplete the pizza’s nutritional value. Lastly, cooking with wood oven is an energy saver. You don’t use gas or electricity, just heat from fire.

With a variety of toppings available – tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, chicken, garlic, onions, meatballs, pepperoni, pineapple, and a whole lot more – you get a plethora of distinguished flavors combined with optimal crust that is crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. It’s a surreal experience for most pizza lovers.

Wood-Fired Pizzas in Bothell

At Amaro Bistro, have a great pizza experience in candlelit surroundings. Enjoy our wood-fired pizza in five distinct flavors. Amaro serves only fresh and local ingredients, cooked the old Tuscan way. Locals and visitors in town love our pasta, insalate, our grilled delights,and our cozy bar. And our famous wood-fired pizzas – just one of the specialties of your Italian restaurant in Bothell.

The Asparagus Story

Asparagus plays an important role at our Italian restaurant in Bothell. You can find it speck-wrapped in our asparagi, alongside our pan-roasted halibut, or in our quinoa and asparagi insalate. This curious, flavorful vegetable has been a big part of Italian cuisine for many years.

Asparagus was first grown as a source of food in ancient Greece approximately 2,500 years ago. The Greeks believed that the shoots of this plant possessed medicinal properties to cure bee stings, toothaches, and more. When the Romans arrived on the scene, they quickly embraced the vegetable, and began to cultivate it in high-walled courtyards inside their urban areas. The plant then travelled throughout many other countries along with the Roman conquests, and has retained its popularity to the modern day.

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 Invention of Caesar Salad

The creation of the first Caesar salad is attributed to two Italian brothers by the names of Caesar and Alex Cardini, who ran a restaurant in Mexico back in 1924. Though the details are not entirely known, the popular account is that their restaurant ran short on supplies after an especially busy Fourth of July celebration, so they took all of the remaining ingredients they had left over and combined them into a single dish. For extra theatrics, they tossed these ingredients together at their patron’s table.

You can find this long-time insalate favorite at our Italian restaurant in Bothell under the name of insalata Cesare. Try it today at Amaro Bistro!

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!

Why is Gorgonzola Blue?

Cheese can be a high-maintenance food item. We all know the frustration that goes along with discovering a horrible, fuzzy patch of mold on a block of cheese that we failed to take proper care of. After all, you can’t eat moldy cheese. Or can you? You may be surprised to learn just how many people eat moldy cheese at our Italian restaurant in Bothell, and are happy to do so!

Don’t worry; this is not the result of bad sanitation in our kitchen. This is the magic of the famous Italian blue cheese, gorgonzola. This blue-veined classic is infused with mold spores, specifically the Penicillium glaucum variety, as it develops, resulting in the blue coloration for which it is so well known. The end result is a distinctly salty taste sensation that many find irresistible.

It’s important to remember that, though many molds are toxic to humans, the molds used in gorgonzola and other blue cheeses are perfectly safe for human consumption. This is because, unlike toxic molds, the Penicillium glaucum does not feature harmful mycotoxins and aflatoxins. So, feel free to partake of one of our many delicious gorgonzola-based dishes at Amaro Bistro!