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A Mano Kitchen & Bar

Have you ever noticed that things made by hand are just…better? That is precisely the idea behind A Mano, where you will always find the pasta, pizzas, and doughs are made by hand every morning and served fresh to your table! A Mano is located on the ground floor of Icon Tower in downtown Syracuse at 344 S Warren Street. Currently, they are open Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 9 but hopefully as restrictions lift they will be expanding their hours! For reservations visit their website at www.amanosyr.com or give them a call at (315) 303-1630.

Between covid and having a new baby my husband and I have not been going out to eat nearly as much as we used to so when we do get the chance we really want to make it count. We find ourselves really making an effort to pick a place we actually enjoy and making a night out of it. I have to be honest with you, A Mano is quickly moving to the top of our shortlist of favorite places! One of the things I love most about A Mano is the entire vibe of the restaurant. It’s comfortable yet cool, it’s a perfect mix of trendy and traditional. I like looking around and seeing the patrons that it brings in- there was a table of college-aged people in joggers and beanies sharing appetizers and drinking craft cocktails, there was another table with a 60 something married couple on a date sharing a bottle of wine and a hand-tossed pizza, there was also a table with a mom and her 8-year-old son all dressed up for a fancy night out together. What is really special is that none of these people seemed out of place- everything just fit together- and there was something for everyone to enjoy. The other thing I really like about A Mano is that the menu is constantly changing with the season, using only the best ingredients, sourced both locally and internationally, to make every single dish interesting and unique but yet still familiar and delicious.

We arrived at A Mano on a frosty, snowy, night in January. We were immediately seated at a cozy table with a great view of the bar, the brick oven pizza station, and next to a large window so we could watch the snowflakes dancing outside. We noticed that the tables have been spaced for safety but it also helps you to feel like you are in your own private section where it is easy to have a conversation. We looked over the new winter menu with excitement, we just love coming here and trying their new seasonal fare! For an appetizer, we decided on the Polpette, a colorful dish of mini mortadella meatballs topped with crunchy crushed pistachios, in a basil pesto sauce with thinly sliced cheese and pieces of fresh basil leaves. These little bite-size meatballs had a really great flavor and the generous helping was perfect for sharing! We also couldn’t pass up an order of the Wood Fired Pecorino, served with crispy pane carasau and topped with honey and walnuts. We are huge pecorino fans and this dish was a flavorful delight! The warm and melty cheese was perfectly paired with the crunch of the pane carasau. We talked about how we would come back just to order this scrumptious appetizer! One of the other things that I absolutely need to mention is the breadbasket at A Mano-  with the homemade focaccia bread, the homemade cheese-its, the Di Lauros bread and the homemade butter- it is the best in town! The homemade butter this time was spicy garlic and it was probably the best one (even though they are always good!) Also, I could eat at least 100 of the homemade cheese-its. For an entrée, it was really hard to choose because everything just looked so good but I finally decided on the Ricotta Gnocchetti topped with pesto Genovese and parmigiana. These little pillows of goodness were the perfect texture and were incredibly paired with the pesto. Kyle absolutely could not resist ordering the giant 34oz Prime Ribeye- twice-fried potatoes (crispy bites of heaven with parmigiana, pecorino, and herbs) and baby greens drizzled with grilled lemon. This dish not only looked impressive but tasted even better and it was certainly enough to share! So here is how the conversation with my husband went once this amazing dish was placed in front of him: first few bites “wow this is really good”, a few more bites “oh my gosh I think this is better than any steak I’ve ever made”, a few more bites “this is incredible, it’s the best steak I’ve ever had” and then finally “Can we please come back here for my birthday!” He doesn’t take his love of steak lightly and this was one for the record books- a 10 out of 10! Even though we didn’t really have room for dessert we just couldn’t pass it up.

I decided on the lemon tart, a sweet and tart dish topped with pistachio, toasted coconut and a dollop of mascarpone, and a crunchy cookie.  It was truly delicious. The final tip I will share with you is that A Mano has amazing ice cream so you can never go wrong with the ice cream option and tonight it was the semifreddo with rich coffee ice cream, chocolate crunch, and burnt meringue. This meal was absolutely incredible all around!

For information on their menu or even to make reservations be sure to check out their website at www.amanosyr.com. A Mano is a perfect place for a date, a meeting with friends, or even to bring the family. Impress your date this Valentine’s Day (or your friends for Valentine’s Day!) and treat them to an unforgettable meal! Be sure to make reservations in advance because seating is limited and you don’t want to miss you! Do your taste buds a favor and head to A Mano today!

Kerilyn Micale
Kerilyn E. Micale is a Cicero native.