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Pretty Pasta at Amano Proof That Union Station is Getting a Magnificent Makeover


To any of my Toronto friends who grew up like me in the burbs (Oakville ya’ll) you likely have a love/hate relationship with Union Station. Over the past several years Canada’s busiest transit hub (300,000 visitors rush through its historic halls each day), which connects commuters via TTC, Go Train, Via Rail, and UP Airport Express, has been undergoing an extensive facelift which has made navigating its underbelly nothing short of a headache.

It looks like we can stop popping those painkillers as Union Station has slowly started to spring forward, and upon its completion will offer visitors to Canada’s largest metropolis a world-class destination all on its own. While Union Station’s longtime signature scent, the sweet waft of Cinnabon, has waved goodbye, once completed, the 170,000 square foot space will play home to more than 100 retailers, restaurants, and cultural events.

Last week I found myself chirping to a friend, “I have to run I’m heading to dinner at Union Station,” and almost caught myself off guard. Historically Torontonians would be less inclined to cheerfully announce their dinner plans at the city’s fast food infested train station. After skipping over to Amano Pasta, recently ranked as one of Toronto Life’s Best New Restaurants, it is clear that sentiment is choo-chooing away.

At 5:30pm on a Thursday evening I step into Amano’s chic dining room and am greeted by a bustling restaurant. If Amano’s success is any indication, it looks as though Toronto’s Union Station is on track to be Canada’s first transit hub that truly offers visitors an elevated experience. Who hasn’t arrived at Union Station in the past to discover their train is canceled or delayed? In the past I’d loiter by treating myself to a Purdy’s Hedgehog or day old Mmmuffin. Union Stations new future looks bright for peckish commuters as craft cocktails and award winning restaurants with trendy interiors may just make it “the place” to meet friends for a feast in the city.

Amano Pasta is brought to you by Chef Michael Angeloni, a graduate of Humber College’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program, who worked under the watchful eyes of Chef David Lee at Splendido, and Grant Van Gameren at The Black Hoof, before moving on to manage the kitchens at Yorkville’s L’Unita Enoteca and Parkdale’s Grand Electric.

Amano Pasta offers a quick grab and go section by its main entrance featuring freshly baked Italian pastries, stellar espresso, sandwiches and take home hand-made pasta. There’s also a petite cocktail bar serving up Italian Riviera-inspired sippers including Amano’s take on Chelsea Handler’s fave Aperol Spritz.

Perfect pillows of Arancini arrive stuffed with molten smoked cheese and drizzled in honey while a plethora of inspirational pasta’s offer carb lovers a safe place to fulfill their fantasies. My suggestion is to bring a gaggle of friends and order every bowl, forks ready to sample through each of Chef Angeloni’s creations.

Crispy gnocchi are served on smear of creamy pureed pumpkin, rich mascarpone-filled tortelloni are topped with fragrant olives and roast lamb, and glistening ribbons of tagliatelle are topped with a red wine muddled beef shoulder and pork sausage ragu. The show stopper is that bowl of Little Boats, stuffed with salumi and mortadella, topped with crunchy amaretti, and paired with pickled raisin and crispy kale. Leave room for fruit jelly and dulce de lech donuts which are best enjoyed dunked in a piping hot espresso macchiato.

Amano Spritz |  aperol, fiol prosecco, lemon, peach bitters

Firefly | havana 3, masala chai, vanilla, ginger beer

 

Arancini | smoked cheese, pear, pancetta, rosemary, burnt honey

Stuffed Squash | straciatella, miso brown butter, pomegranate, sleger greens, breadcrumbs

Pope’s Hat Tortelloni | mascropone filling, roasted lamb, olives, fried rosemary

Crispy Dumplings Gnocchi | squash puree, toasted pumpkin seeds, ricotta salata

Little Boats Casoncelle | salumi and mortadella filling, amaretti, pickled raisin, crispy kale

Yellow Ribbons Tagliatelle | 24 hour cooked beef shoulder ragu, pork sausage, red wine, majoram

My Little Clementine | sweet pastry, coconut cream, vanilla white chocolate mousse, fresh clementine

Donut Duo | raspberry jelly + dulce de leche

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