A warm welcome by the Silver City has the new owners of a quaint Italian ristorante in the Gulch, singing the song of love.
Carmen Lydom and Debra Barembruch became proprietors of Amore’s Ristorante in mid-September, and since that time have been serving up authentic Italian cuisine five days a week from the historic location on Rossland Avenue.
“There is so much history steeped into this building,” said Lydom, who works in the kitchen and simmers fresh pots of marinara daily. “We have many neighbours who come down to support us,” she said, adding, “they are always telling me how much this business is needed here. Trail has really opened up its arms to us.”
After living in Edson, Alta., the last few years, Lydom and Barembruch decided it was time for a career change.
The women have years of experience working in the hospitality industry, and after becoming fast friends, decided in was time to throw in their hats and start a business together.
They’d been surfing the Internet for months in search of restaurants for sale, remaining steadfast that the perfect place would come along, nestled in the Kootenays.
And it did, as “that little Italian place in the Gulch,” listing former owners Greg and Anita Amantea advertised online only two days before Barembruch spotted it.
Within a week, the ladies flew to B.C. to have a firsthand look at the space.
“I am a Kootenay girl but had never been to Trail,” said Lydom. “The plan was to retire to a property in Creston, but that all changed when Amore’s came along,” she continued.
“As we drove down into the valley and into Trail for the first time we gasped because it was love at first sight. We knew this was the perfect opportunity for us to reconnect with the area and settle into a good place. And, I think we found it.”
Barembruch runs the front of the house and said taking ownership of Amore’s happened with ease and “everything fell into place, like it was all supposed to be.”
“We inherited a wonderful staff and outstanding food because Anita’s standards are beyond impeccable,” added Lydom.
Other than a few tweaks to the menu, such as the herbed focaccia starter with a traditional balsamic dip, and a mise en place Thursday special, the menu remains unchanged.
However, there is one unique ingredient sprinkled over each freshly-prepared entree.
The ladies have a little ‘amore’ (Italian for love) anecdote that they decided to incorporate as part of dish preparation.
“Carmen’s mom gave her an empty spice can that she filled with ‘love,’” said Barembruch. “Our first night was a bit overwhelming until I had a young woman call me over,” she explained. “She wanted to tell me that everything was so delicious and she could tell the food was made with love.”
Barembruch made her way to the kitchen to share the compliment with JP, Amore’s chef since the restaurant opened in 2011.
“He just about fell over,” she chuckled. “Because JP was just about to ask if anybody had said the food tasted different. He had been sprinkling our ‘secret ingredient’ over each plate, curious if anyone would notice.”
Next year, Amore’s will be celebrating a milestone, when the building marks 100 years.
“We have been given such a blessing to help commemorate the Gulch next year,” said Lydom. “A lot of people come in to look at our historical pictures on the wall, and they want to hear about the history of Trail. We want to become ambassadors for the Gulch. It’s a wonderful thing.”
Although taking over the already well-established restaurant was a smooth ride, the rocky road just outside Amore’s front door made for a few bumps as the highway re-paving project rolled through in September.
Lydom and Barembruch took it all in stride, and viewed the traffic as a bonus to their first month in business.
“The way I look at it, is that people are forced to slow right down and have more time to look at us,” said Lydom “I stand at the window and wave and make coffee for the workers. They are so appreciative.”
Now that’s amore.