If you enjoy the familiar Italian flavors of Il Bistro, a long-time Pike Place Market staple, try the owner’s new restaurant in Bothell—Amaro Bistro.

When the owner, Nick Wiltz, and the Il Bistro team celebrated their fortieth anniversary last year, he also revealed details about the new restaurant, which was set to open in November 2014.

Though Bothell may seem an unlikely location for Wiltz’s latest venture, he has been a resident of the quiet, understated suburb since 2004. He said he is happy to be involved in the development of Bothell and had been waiting for the right time to open a restaurant.

Wiltz worked as a manager at Il Bistro when the original owner decided to retire. Having worked in the restaurant industry since he was 15, Wiltz knew it was a risky business. He had never anticipated owning a restaurant of his own, but when the owner offered to sell it to him, he seized the opportunity.

After successfully leading the iconic Il Bistro, Wiltz was eager to expand, taking what he learned and applying it to design a restaurant from the ground up. “My wife and I travel and dine out a lot to collect ideas of what we like,” he said. “We incorporated that into the design of Amaro.”

Now, located below the Six Oaks apartment building on Bothell Way Northeast, Amaro Bistro is bustling with loyal patrons and newcomers alike.

The menu remains true to the Italian fare Il Bistro is best known for and boasts similar influences and dishes, including a mix of fresh pastas, such as the wild mushroom ravioli with white truffle cream, and roasted meats, like the signature rack of lamb with a Parmesan-crusted polenta and a sangiovese reduction, which is also an Il Bistro dish.

Though dinnertime at Amaro is elegant and formal, happy hour provides a more casual experience with a diverse menu of small plates and pizzas. Peruse the extensive wine menu while snacking on goat cheese toast—hearty, housemade bread smothered in creamy goat cheese, roasted garlic, fresh basil and cracked pepper.

In true Tuscan fashion, follow it with cozze e vongole, a steaming bowl of clams and mussels in a delectable broth of white wine, tomato and garlic.

Next, comes a pizza out of the wood-fired oven. Consider the housemade pork and veal meatballs served atop sweet tomato sauce, Italian cheeses and sweet peppers. Each dish is made with intention: a balance of herbs, spice, sweetness and seasoning.

“If I were to come in for dinner I would order the rigatoni with Bolognese, made using the freshest ingredients with the recipe inherited from the original owner of Il Bistro,” Wiltz said. “That’s the difference between great food and not—there are so many corners you can cut with processed food, but that’s not what we do here.”

Wiltz sources the freshest ingredients he can find and the chefs make as much as possible from scratch.

With the return of warmer weather, the Amaro Bistro din-ing experience will be enhanced by the opening of its patio. The walls of the restaurant open on two sides to create a charming indoor-outdoor experience.

 

 

Amaro Bistro

18333 Bothell Way NE, Bothell

amarorestaurant.com