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A Mano Kitchen & Bar

I don’t know how they do it but I’m telling you that every time I go to A Mano Kitchen & Bar, I am somehow even more impressed than the time before! This is honestly quite the amazing feat considering how great they were even that very first visit! At A Mano they have managed to take the simplest ideas of culinary principals, using the best local and important ingredients and making just about everything from scratch in-house, and they have turned it into an absolutely amazing dining experience. Their menus change and evolve with the seasons insuring only the freshest dishes and their specials are always incredible! A Mano is located in the Icon Tower at 344 S. Warren St. in the heart of Downtown Syracuse and they are open Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Although reservations are not required, they are highly encouraged, particularly on the weekends. To make reservations or to place a take away order give them a call at (315) 303-1630 or check out their website at www.amanosyr.com.

Believe me when I tell you that A Mano is the perfect place to go to no matter what you are looking for! Whether you are looking to meet up with a friend for a craft cocktail and pizza, a cozy date night with wine and dessert, or even a meal with the whole family, A mano has got you covered! The spacious get still cozy atmosphere can transform into whatever you are looking for! One thing I love about A Mano is that although the restaurant is always busy they still provide amazing service and you never feel like you are being rushed. I also really appreciate that they have made fine dining at a price point that allows just about anybody to enjoy their cusines! I would say that at A Mano they really take a hands on approach to making sure their guests leave happy and full! This makes perfect sense when you consider that A mano means “by hand.” This phrase is simple and yet so elegant. This name is the embodiment of everything you will find at A Mano Kitchen & Bar because as you might have guessed everything is made by hand. From the freshly made pasta to the hand tossed pizzas, right down to the homemade butter. They have adopted a fitting description for their style of cuisine –- Modern American with an Italian Soul.

At A Mano Kitchen & Bar the food is really the star of the show! You just have to try the Bruleed Goat Cheese served with figs, honey, thyme, and herbed garlic bread because it just tastes like all of the best parts of fall. If you are a hand-tossed, wood fired pizza lover (and frankly, who isn’t?) then you won’t want to miss out on the Fig and prosciutto pizza with fig jam, hand dipped ricotta, prosciutto and thyme or the Trapanese with almond and tomato pesto, fresh mozzarella, provolone, and basil. You absolutely can’t beat the handmade pasta at A Mano and I absolutely have to recommend the Maccheroncini di Campofilone with fresh capellini, pork & bean ragu, and topped with parmigiana and herbs. You also can’t go wrong with one of the amazing pasta specials like Brie pansotti (brie filled, wood fired grapes, pistachios and fennel). One last bit of advice is to always save room for one of the scrumptious desserts!

Kyle and I were super excited for our trip to A Mano, not only because we had a babysitter but also because we just love it there! Something about the intoxicating smells emanating from the kitchen or pizza oven, the soft lighting, and the welcoming tables immediately puts me in a good mood! When our friendly server read us the evenings specials I knew we were in for a real treat! We began our meal with an order of the Calamari, a dish of hand breaded and gently fried calamari served with long hot agro dolce and lemon aioli. We both really enjoyed the sweet and spicy flavor that the agro dolce added to the dish especially when paired with the zesty lemon aioli. We also just had to try the meatballs or Polpette as they are called, hand rolled pork and veal meatballs and smothered in sauce arrabiata, and served on a bed of perfectly whipped ricotta. Even the bread baskets are a thing of beauty at A Mano. They are served with different types of freshly baked bread (Italian and focaccia), handcrafted butter (it was cinnamon this time) and even adult cheese-its that are to die for! For an entrée I couldn’t pass up the Chicken Milanese alla Antipasto a breaded chicken breast, whipped mascarpone, prosciutto, gem lettuce, creamy Italian dressing. I also had to have an order of Long Hot Peppers served with eevo, sea salt, and topped with hard cheese. Side note: the leftover peppers and meatballs made a fanstic lunch the next day! Kyle, my carnivore husband knew what he was having the moment he heard the specials. He went with the Ribeye cooked to order, rare in his case, and served with grilled lemon, potatoes, and three different types of sauces including horseradish cream sauce, porcini peppercorn sauce and salsa verde. I may have taken a few bites and I can confirm this steak melted in my mouth – 10 out of 10! I also have to tell you that the potatoes are a must order everytime we go – I try to make them at home but never seem to get it right and I just love the colors. We were full but still had a sitter for a little longer so we ended our meal with the most perfect slice of White chocolate cheesecake topped with grindstone farms blueberries.

At A Mano Kitchen & Bar they are focused on providing you with a unique dining experience that you can’t find anywhere else in town. The menu is always evolving to make sure the best of the season is served to every guest so be sure to look out for new things! Check them out on Facebook to keep up with their yummy daily specials and special events and visit their website at www.amanosyr.com. Better yet, head over to A Mano today and experience the “handmade” difference!

Kerilyn Micale
Kerilyn E. Micale is a Cicero native.