The Majestic provided warm decor with good classic American food and it was close to The Herald.
But now that Amante Pizza and Pasta has moved into the Majestic's old spot, my frown has turned upside down.
Amante is a smallish chain with two locations now in Everett -- the other is in Silver Lake -- and several restaurants scattered throughout Washington, one in Los Angeles and two in Maryland.
On the Amante website the restaurant said they use freshly made ingredients and "our own family recipes."
I've eaten at the Hewitt Avenue restaurant twice, and the food was fresh and tasty both times.
I ordered the small Venice pizza each time I've eaten there and both times the pizza was a masterful combination of basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black olives and ricotta cheese ($12.50 for a small pie).
The crust is not the trendy thin crust but the thicker kind, the good kind of thicker. The crust had a good flavor and was not just dough.
When a friend joined me for lunch on one of those occasions, we started with an appetizer of eggplant and roasted red peppers served with pita bread ($7.25).
The grilled eggplant, red peppers and garlic spread was so tasty that the thought of it right now is making my mouth water.
My friend ordered the Amante house special pizza, a combination pie of Canadian bacon, mushrooms, onions, black olives, feta cheese, roasted garlic, diced tomatoes, spinach, green peppers, sunflower seeds and shredded pepperoni ($13.40 for the small).
She couldn't finish her whole pie at lunch but said later that she had had all four leftover pieces for dinner.
She was going to eat just two but couldn't stop herself. She ate three. Then four. Then she said the box was empty and she was a little bit ashamed. But happy.
She had two minor criticisms: The garlic hunks were too big (if that is actually possible) and there was too much Canadian bacon.
She said the other toppings were nicely proportioned though there was a third criticism: She prefers toppings over the cheese not under; she said that's why they're called toppings.
I went to Amante on another occasion with another friend, who enjoys the restaurant's salads.
My friend had eaten there twice before and ordered the seafood salad of spring greens, tomatoes, red onion, roasted red peppers, ranch dressing and a mix of king crab meat and shrimp ($7.95 and $10.95).
The salad came with hunks of avocado, tomatoes, black olives, shredded Parmesan and homemade house dressing.
My friend really enjoyed it.
She had also once tried the bowtie pasta and avocado salad ($6.95 and $9.95).
When I dined with her, I ordered a spinach salad to go with my pizza and I was disappointed.
I was trying to have something healthy but wound up digging out the poor fatigued sprigs of spinach from underneath an avalanche of bacon and dressing and hard-boiled eggs.
But I don't want to leave Amante on a sour note because I really did enjoy the pizza -- and that's saying a lot coming from a former New Yorker.
I plan on returning to try the various pasta dishes. I've got my eye on the rosemary chicken ravioli ($12.95) and the spaghetti Veneto ($13.95), noodles in a blend of Italian sausage, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and olives.
I'm excited about a decent Italian restaurant that's within walking distance of The Herald.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amante Pizza and Pasta
1409 Hewitt Ave., Everett; 425-512-8803; amantepizzaandpasta.com.
Specialty: Italian pizza and pasta.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Vegetarian options: Yes.
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