By Marty Trese for KnoxPages.com
MOUNT VERNON - North Sandusky Street just got a huge culinary boost with the addition of Amato's Woodfired Pizza in the building that used to house a hair salon and exercise studio. The new look is rustic with warm colors and modern lighting. There is pizza - but so much more - including appetizers, salads, a large beer and wine selection and homemade cheesecake.
When we arrived the parking lot at 668 N. Sandusky was full. We were greeted by a friendly host and one of our dinner party had already arrived so we were seated immediately. It looked like others had to wait a few minutes for their table. There were several tables - all full - and four or five booths along one wall. While it is a basically an open space, the large bar section is separated from the dining room with a wall with a large TV on it tuned to a Columbus newscast. We sat in the dining room.
Our server quickly came over and said hello and took our drink order. It was a tough decision. The menu offers red and white wines, 24 speciality/craft beers, as well as draft beers, and soft drinks.
After our drinks were decided upon, we order a meatball appetizer. The slightly spicy meatballs were in a tomato sauce and really got the tastebuds to wake up.
My husband and I decided to split a large Margherita pizza. The presentation was wonderful with fresh strips of basil on top. The crust was thin and crispy. The pizza was very tasty and we quickly ate it all. We probably could have each ordered the large and finished it. Our son ordered a small pizza with some unusual toppings. Our teenager does tend to go for the unconventional offerings. So he had what the menu called The Berliner, which included tomato sauce, sauerkraut, and kielbasa. That was quickly devoured and we were offered cheesecake for dessert.
We spoke to operations manager Dustin Overholser who told us the cheesecakes are homemade by "A little lady in Delaware who makes money to play golf by selling her cheesecakes, Cheesecakes by Bernie."
My chocolate raspberry cheesecake came with strawberries and chocolate sauce
I chose the chocolate raspberry cheesecake, my dining partners decided to go with the Oreo. It was the perfect way to top off a wonderful meal.
The prices on the food and drinks were comparable to similar restaurants you might find in Columbus or Mansfield.
The restaurant also features a small private dining room with 8 tables. And the restroom was clean and bright with all hands free amenities. Amato's just opened last Monday and Overholser says they are still hiring. The original Amato's is in Delaware. There are plans to open a third Amato's restaurant in Marion.
Overall, I would highly recommend Amato's Woodfired Pizza for the great food and the fun atmosphere and enthusiastically give it a 4 forks (out of four) rating.
Atmosphere: 4 Forks
Fare: 4 Forks
Service: 4 Forks
Value: 4 Forks
Overall: 4 Forks