Amore Pizzeria in Zionsville
Updated: Sep 1
Promising New York style flavor and ingredients, but our display case pizza ended up too crispy and hard to gauge. We'll be back eventually.
After receiving rave reviews from my boss, friends, and strangers on the internet - we knew we had to check out Amore Pizzeria in Zionsville (view on map). It's a New York style pizza place with mostly thin crust, by-the-slice options with ready-made pizzas, and regular pizzas made to order.
Because we are more familiar with Bella, it reminded us of this same vibe - with the display case full of a delicious variety of pizzas. It's a cute little shop with a front room, a large back room or maybe a party room, and they were set up with lower seating density and a lot of carry-out orders because of COVID. In fact, most people were waiting around for pick-up orders rather than eating in (foreshadowing).
We went with our friends Ryan and Sarah, but we didn't get any photos of their pizza, so everything you see we got and ate to try a wide variety. Everything we got was the ready-made display window pizza.
First up, my personal favorite was the Margarita (or margherita) pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, strips of basil, and fresh tomato rather than a tomato sauce. It had an olive oil and garlic base and the emphasis was on the delicious cheese blend. The first-bite impression is the oily cheese that has a baked flavor to it like baked parmesan. The slices of basil and tomato brighten it up so it's not all oil and makes it taste lighter. The crust is a thin New York style with a flop toward the tip - but the reheated slice was rather hard and crunchy on the outside edge. In fact, it was no longer foldable and it snapped like a cracker. Overall great flavor, decent crust, but the crust texture on the outside was a disappointment. We'll have to go back and try a fresh pie because I think this Margarita is a contender for one of the best around!
Next up I had the BBQ Meatlovers pizza, featuring savory not-too-sweet BBQ sauce, pepperoni, and crumbly sausage. The BBQ sauce really stays in its lane and doesn't take over the whole thing. You can still taste the other ingredients, and get waves of cheese, and pepperoni amidst the BBQ so it's a good balance and not out of control. The fantastic crumbly sausage came in very tiny crumbles almost like sausage sand that was dusted over the whole thing. Very well done, especially with a tricky ingredient like BBQ sauce, to pull off a meatlovers pizza where you can taste each part.
The slice of Stuffed Meatlovers is huge, and includes double pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham and mozzarella. I didn't get much bacon, but the sandy crumbly sausage was fantastic. The ham was a bit weird because it was like lunch meat hidden inside the stuffed crust and seemed like an odd ball. The top crust was fine but the bottom was actually a little too charred for my liking toward the tip, and the same story with the other re-heated slices where the outer crust was a bit too crisp and hard. I could have used a lot more cheese on this stuffed meatlovers, in fact I didn't finish the whole slice it was a lot of meat and bread.
Garlic knots were okay, they had a good density and were made of the same dough as the crust, but the garlic flavor is mostly on top and doesn't penetrate down very far. The marinara dipping sauce is a more acidic but still slightly fruity tomato sauce that is rather thin.
The stuffed pepperoni breadstick did not re-heat all that well and the pepperoni inside had not 'melted' yet, they were not glistening in grease they were like room temperature. Again, we should have known better and ordered all fresh rather than display case items, but hey if they offer it on the menu it's fair game and should be a great pizza experience.
Chris got a slice of cheese and a slice of pepperoni. His first observation was that the cheese was orange, which kinda threw him off. The pepperoni had a nice spice to it, but he feels like he needs a fresh pie to really judge it.
We will definitely be back, we have to give this place another shot. The New York style crust and great tasting cheese (especially on the margarita pizza) were definitely noteworthy. But based on just this visit alone we probably wouldn't make the drive to Zionsville just for the by-the-slice stuff. I blame COVID, there were probably way less people eating in and so the display pizzas might have been sitting there longer than usual. I wanted really badly to like it, I felt like I owed it to Johnny and David and @eatingthroughindy for recommending it, but it was just not my favorite.