Note: Unfortunately, Amore Pizza is no longer in business.
For more than 100 years, New York City has been famous for its large, fold-able, thin pizzas with unbeatable, fresh flavors.
Carlo Pascarella grew up making that kind of pizza, and now he’s offering it in his new restaurant, Amore Pizza and Subs, right here in Yulee. It’s in the Verizon shopping center just east of Super Wal-Mart.
Carlo was born near Naples, Italy, to a proud Italian family. They moved to the U.S. when he was 14, and he soon found his calling in the pizza business.
“I started young,” Carlo told me. “In high school, everyone in New Jersey has a part-time job at a pizza place.”
By the early 1980s, Carlo was making his own pizzas. He opened a restaurant in New Jersey, and then later moved to Washington, D.C., where he owned another Italian-style restaurant.
But the fast pace and heavy traffic of the city wore on him. Then one day, one of his customers, a Secret Service agent, told him about a beautiful, peaceful place called Amelia Island. Carlo was intrigued — and when he came to see it for himself, he knew he wanted to live here.
He moved to town in April, and in May he opened Amore Pizza. He still orders his main ingredients — including what he calls “the best cheese money can buy” — from the suppliers he always used in New Jersey. And that brand of peeled tomatoes he found was the best of the best when he opened his first restaurant decades ago? Yes, he still uses those same tomatoes.
My little 1-year-old Diva and I met a friend for lunch at the restaurant recently. We took advantage of their special — $5.99 for two jumbo slices of pizza and a drink — and the toughest part was choosing which pizzas to try. When you walk in, the restaurant always has a row of fresh pizzas on display, ready to eat by the slice.
You can also call in and order, and your pizza will be ready in as little as 10 minutes, or a maximum of about 25 minutes if they’re really busy. You can pick it up or have it delivered. They offer tons of gourmet pizzas, including Buffalo, Hawaiian, Godfather, Taco, Western and more, and Carlo said he’s game to make any others his customers request.
“The sky’s the limit!” he said, noting he even recently made a “pasta pizza” that had baked ziti on top.
I ordered a slice of the white pizza and a slice of the meat lover pizza. Both were so incredibly fresh-tasting, and the crust had this fantastic thin texture and homemade flavor. It definitely wasn’t some frozen dough imported from who knows where…. Carlo told me it’s a simple recipe he’s made for many years, though of course he wasn’t about to share it. (It’s OK, I understand!). At any rate, he makes the dough fresh every morning.
My daughter was all about the pizza, and she normally isn’t much for bread. I gave her a lot of the crust — grudgingly — and she ate it like cookies. I can’t wait to take my little guy there next, because he is a pizza connoisseur. It seems like even the fussiest toddlers seem to love pizza. It’s one of those wonderful go-to foods, and I think Carlo’s pizzas — with the absolute freshest ingredients — are about the best pizzas you could serve a little one.
The restaurant also offers subs, appetizers, strombolis, calzones and meal-sized Italian salads. One of my gal pals has carried on and on about how good the salads are. And of course they offer some classic Italian desserts: tiramisu and cannolis.
If you’ve never been to New York City to try the best pizza in the world, you can save yourself the trip and check out Amore Pizza and Subs.
If you want to go:
Where: 464099 State Road 200, Suite #3, Yulee, FL (Next to Verizon)
Cost: As of this writing, they were offering a deal for two jumbo slices and a drink for $5.99. Medium (14″) pizzas were $14.99, and Large (16″) pizzas were $16.99.
For more info.: Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/amorepizzaandsubs