Pizza perfect at Amicos in Toronto

Dine Palace Makes Picture Perfect Pizza Portraits

On Tuesday the 11th of April 2017, Dine Palace restaurant marketing in Toronto was at Amicos Pizza at 1648 Queen Street West taking pictures of our delicious fresh cooked food.  The food was fresh because Frankie our boss was in the kitchen all afternoon cooking up the best plates on the menu for the camera. You can read a lovingly detailed behind-the-scenes account of the friends who gathered to have lunch that day on Sharing Toronto,
Lunch with Friends at Amico’s Pizza in Parkdale
It was a happy occasion because Frank Horgan here at Amico’s Pizza does indeed have a great many friends in Parkdale, and many familiar faces dropped by that day to get in the pictures and help out with the marketing (and eat free pizza and pastas).

Nobody Minds Helping Marketers When They Get Free Pizza!

Here is our amico Bill Kinch who dropped by for some pizza – in fairness he wasn’t really dressed for pictures as he had no idea what we up to,  and we’ll never tell him we used this picture here either..
Bill Kinch

Bill Kinch dropped by for a slice of pizza in Parkdale which he paid for with his smile.

Inside the downstairs dining room area a photography studio evolved around a steaming plate of the lamb chops. That’s the CEO of Hashtagio John Macintosh holding the light bounce for Roger Metiever of Table of the Week.
lamb chops at Amicos Pizza, with John Macintosh, Roger Metiever

John Macintosh holds a light bounce over the lamb chops dinner that Roger Metiever is photographing for Dine Palace restaurant guide.

And that plate was followed by the Cannelloni in tomato sauce smothered in mozzarella cheese – this is one of Amico’s Pizza’s most understated meals. This dish is delicious. Cantaloni cheese sausages Markus said ‘Okay now we need to see some people enjoying these beautiful meals.” And that was Jay Nadler’s cue (Hutch Henries at Hogtown Wrestling) to sit down and eat a gorgeous 12 ounce rib-eye steak.
Markus, Roger photograph cantaloni at Amico's Pizza

Jay let us all know that he was absolutely starving, Okay Jay how about a delicious steak?

food marketing ar Amico's pizza

Dine Palace has special lights and filters for shooting meat and especially steak in daylight.

Food torture – Jay was hungry but couldn’t eat until all the pictures were done.  This is acting and required great discipline – for ten agonizing minutes the hungry wrestling manager could only look at the meal and pretend to be about to enjoy it…
Jay Nadler asks when can I eat steak

Jay asks why there is no beer on the table? Who would order a steak without wine or beer?

Okay Jay now get the cutlery in your hands and pretend you are here to eat. . . wait for it… okay wait for it…
jay pretends to eat the steak

Jay pretends to eat the steak

Mmmm that 12 ounce rib-eye steak sure looks juicy … just hang on Jay…
premium beef, rib-eye steak dinner at Amico's Pizza for $25

Gorgeous rib-eye steak dinner at Amico’s Pizza – $25

For ten minutes or more Jay had to pretend to be about to cut into the steaming steak… not yet Jay. Just hang on…
Markus and Roger from Dine Palace place a steak in front of Jay Nadler

Markus and Roger from Dine Palace place a steak in front of Jay Nadler

Just one more picture… swapping a lens… hang on Jay… Jay pretends to cut steak, enjoy steak The juicy steak drove Jay mad with hunger. . .
Jay looses patience in the process and goes mad with hunger

Jay is struggles to control his hunger.

And finally he snapped.
Jay loses his cool and devours steak dinner

When finally unleashed, Jay Nadler chewed that steak like a savage – he ate the meal like an animal attends a fresh kill.

This is just one turn of events that occurred while photographing the entries… Now can you imagine how much fun we had shooting the desserts? Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save
Folk Fridays at Amico's Pizza

Folk Music in Parkdale on Friday Night at Amico’s Pizza

Folk Fridays at Amico's Pizza

Folk (music) Fridays at Amico’s Pizza – live folk music upstairs throughout March, April 2017

Folk Fridays at Amico’s Pizza is a popular musical event series with an all-star line up of folk musicians from across Ontario.

Friday April 14th – Don’t miss The Greyhound Riders, a Toronto based folk band made up of two full-time members, Celina Di Cecca on fiddle, viola, mandolin, ukulele and vocals and Tony Nesbitt-Larking on guitar, and percussion. The two musicians met on a Greyhound bus in 2011. After collaborating on various projects, they decided to bring their diverse musical styles together in the fall of 2013 to form a band with a name that remembers their fateful bus trip. Tony and Celina’s original music is rooted in folk, has a twist of jazz, a touch of new-grass and hint of old-time. Both have an extensive list of composition and performance experiences
sarah hamilton, fiddle player in Toronto

Sarah Hamilton performs at Amico’s Pizza on Friday 21 April 2017

Friday 21 April 2017, the lovely and talented Sarah Hamilton Toronto fiddle player will perform live! Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, Sarah has been playing fiddle since the age of six, and started performing professionally at the age of 14. She’s the driving force in The Done Gone String Band accompanying groups such as Reuben and the Dark, and Spencer Jo and the River Ramble in Calgary, Alberta. Sarah is now located in Toronto, Ontario where she’s singing and playing in the Pigeonhawk Stringband and local swing orchestra Combo Royale and has just released her first solo recording, engineered by the legendary Bob Hamilton at Old Crow Recording.  With that in mind I reckon there’ll be CDs for sale at this show. Friday April 28th the last show in the Folk Friday series will see Sarah Jane Scouten perform upstairs at Amico’s Pizza.

Discovered by Vancouver label Light Organ Records when she was cold-called into the studio to make an EP with the prolific music producer Andy Bishop as part of a series of releases, coined The Railtown Sessions (links here), Sarah’s career has blossomed ever since.  She has performed on big stages with majors artists all over Canada but now calls Parkdale home and of course she loves Amico’s Pizza.

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LAN Party, CIV3 Multiplayer, Crush Human Opponents, Sunday 15Jan2017

Civ3 logo Come play Civilizations  III in an epic struggle against seven human strangers in an old school LAN (Local Area Network)  Party at Amico’s Pizza. On Sunday Jan 15th 2017 we’re taking over the upstairs of the restaurant for the entire day, and probably well into the evening. upstairs at Amicos pizza We’re making tables and chairs in the big room available for gamers of all stripes, but specifically for six to eight players to have a very special experience – something they’ve dreamed about… A chance to test their mettle against human players who are just as cunning as themselves.   Sure sure more folks can play other games but specifically this day is for six to eight civilizations to clash upstairs at Amico’s Come play Sid Meir’s CIV3 the way it was designed, against seven human players. Why CIV3 and not 4, 5, or now 6? because CIV3 is the last of the LAN – we’ll need the CDs!  Bring yours – come jack in  we play Civ3 today because its the quickest and best multiplayer experience. There’s no pesky religions to miss out on, and you can stack troops and the scramble for finite resources is brilliant as they often appear on the borders.. Its a well conceived blend of strategy and luck and perhaps a perfect isotope of the game, certainly the best version for a LAN party. How it works. Six to eight human players,  each with their own equipment (desktop or laptop) will meet for the first time and test their skills in a multiplayer ARCHIPELAGO game set to simultaneous turns governed by a slow turn timer. Each turn is approx 3 min and most will go the full length as inevitably someone will always be dealing with disorder, a barbarian incursion or tricky diplomacy etc RULES – We play the best of three starts – that means we start three games and play each start for five turns, then we vote to play one game forward to the end.  That championship game is expected to last until five or six pm but could continue until midnight  – until one player remains. There will be prizes! and the winner will take home a free family sized Amicos pizza provided the kitchen is still open when the game ends. The player that’s in the lead in the scoreboard could suffer the small discomfort of having their screen rebroadcast on the central big screen TV in the room so their game can and will surely entertain the mass of people who drift in and out of the restaurant’s upstairs area to spectate on the event. That player can also ask for and will be deserving of free pizza slices from admirers. Are you worried the administrators will have technical difficulties and won’t be able to get everyone jacked into the LAN or accommodated on WiFi ? So a I .. and that’s why I’ve asked Ahmad Zehour from A2zPC computer repair to stop by at nine am that morning and be on standby until noon. Ahmad lives and works just one block north of Amicos on Dundas St W at Roncesvalles Ave. Any questions? comment for answers. I’ll update this post with pics and more details on sponsors prior to the event. Save Save Save Save
The Lover is celebrates his victory!

Amico’s Pizza Sponsors Need for Speed 11 Nov Wrestling at HogtownPro

Amico’s Pizza continues to sponsor Hogtown Wrestling and was especially proud to help the league produce their Friday 11th November 2016 Need for Speed event. This night featured some truly exceptional wrestling as fourteen different athletes hit the mat, each motivated to win fame and acclaim on their rise to the top. Read about who rose and fell during the matches on the Hogtown Wrestling Blog. Here are some highlights we captured from the match-ups.  Below is CL Volino being abused by Bruiser Brakken. aa-cvolino aa-dinepalace1 Above, Roger from Dine Palace watches the action is amusement; his organization donated the huge new vinyl ring apron to the wrestling league.  They made it extra large so that it will better accommodate the new ring that is on order for the 2017 matches! Below is Goliath Ayala who took on Speedball Mike Bailey.aa-goliath Below the camera captures Jim Nye the Science Guy moments after he had his arm wrenched backwards by The Sumerian Golem. Both of these characters benefited from 3rd party sponsorship, besides eating our pizza. Jim got a half hour massage from Toronto Physiotherapist Damian Wyard of Pilates4Physio and The Sumerian Golem tried the spa and vitamin drips at Jaconello Wellness Centre and is the star of a funny video wherein the masked wrestler tries every treatment in the clinic. aa-jimnye-golem Here’s a nice wide shot of the backstage area where wrestler’s change costumes and where they eat our pizza before and after their matches in the gallery. aa-p4p-stageaa-mediawallHogtown Wrestling has introduced a video projector to the live shows, and on Friday night they were using Hashtagio to curate Instagram and Twitter pictures of the wrestlers. This interactive ingredient makes the shows even more entertaining. Below is Speedball Mike Bailey who was the star of the Need for Speed event posing for a picture beside an obviously adoring female fan – the photo is not staged. This girl really was looking at her hero with pizza dough eyes. aa-mike-adoring These two veteran wrestlers both had amazing matches that night, and the crowd that greeted them was genuinely interested in buying their collectible merchandise. Wrestling posters and 8×11 glossy photos can be quite collectible and each one they sell is another brick in their reputation tower. aa-vendor-pizza1 aa-vendor-pizza2 Speedball Mike Bailey photo -signed 'To Becca' Below is Shannon Tebb from Shanny in the City, the Ring Girl at the Need for Speed show. This person is part of the show and poses with sponsors – she sits near the ring and gathers clothes and props and excess gear and keeps such items safe while the wrestlers do battle in the ring. Behind her, deep in the sponsor section (the safest area still close to the ring) is John Conn from Standard Telecom office phone systems and Ahmad Zehour from A2ZPC computer repair who both starred in a terrific video about the office phone hacking and PC virus removal story core to the Hogtown Wrestling league name change and the myth making that is helping make this sports theatre so special and so well integrated into the community. aa-shanny Below is Martin Casanova, the Latin lover. If you look closely at the picture you can see he’s wearing a custom sports-guard made by Archer Dental that says ‘The Lover’. A sports guard covers the top row of teeth only, allowing the wrestler to call out in comprehensible language during the match. aa-thelover aa-thelover2 aa-wrestlg Above is Wrecking Ball giving the knee bend crux to Eddie Sapps!   Save Save Save Save Save Save
olive oil tasting at Singles Pizza Night at Amicos Pizza

Sarafino Foods with Single in the City at Amico’s Pizza

Here’s Laura Bilotta the Toronto matchmaker from Single in the City with John Macintosh from Hashtagio social media aggregator just before the start of Laura’s Singles Pizza Making Night, a unique networking event held here at Amico’s Pizza.

Laura Bilotta with John Macintosh from Hashtagio

Singles Pizza Making Night at Amico’s Pizza in Toronto!

Frank Horgan on phone in Amicos PizzaFrank got the call a month ago, and he said yes to Laura Bilotta when she asked to bring twenty-four single people to our historic Parkdale restaurant at the start of November 2016. He said yes because over the years Amico’s Pizza has been the meeting place for many married couples; we frequently get people returning to where it all started for them a decade ago or longer. If you’re one of those people who met your lover here in the nineties or 2000’s please don’t hesitate to contact us for a deep discount anniversary pizza! As usual, our man Frank Horgan ran the kitchen and made sure that everyone who participated in the event and who came back into his realm to make their pizza had the correct amount of dough, and applied the proper amount of sauce, and sprinkled on enough seasonings, and had full access to countless fresh ingredients.  That’s all they needed as Frank took care of all the cooking. Here’s Mr Horgan with his son beside him at the top of the night. Frank Horgan and Son at Amicos Pizza

Angelo Tramonti from Sarafino Foods generously donated an authentic olive oil tasting experience!

Andelo Tramonto - olive oil importerAngelo Tramonti, the boss at a local olive oil importing company Sarafino Foods brought samples of four different oils from four different olive tree varietals and gave the audience an amazing taste experience.  He took everyone to Italy in their mouths for a moment and won our hearts forevermore with his knowledge and perspective. olive oil tasting trays By putting the four different oils in four different coloured shot glasses, Angelo was able to demonstrate the subtleties of the product in a way that many of the attendees had never experienced before. Plus he gave each participant an unopened taster bottle so they could go home and impress their family and friends with their knowledge. The screw cap bottles are resealable so they can do this many times. olive oil testers Angelo offered the group four different olive oils to try, but not before first telling them that they’ve probably never tried real olive oil before in their entire lives. He used the outrageous comment to spark a discussion on the fraud that’s happening on supermarket shelves today regarding the way the Canadian government lets olive oil distributors use misleading labels so consumers don’t realize they’re buying inferior product. There needs to be more public awareness about this issue and Angelo is on a mission to educate consumers and demand change. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, each participant was given an apron and two minutes at the counter to add tomato paste and seasonings and then garnish their own very personal pizza anyway they liked. custom pizza making event for singles There was a massive array of toppings for the pizza-making participants to choose from, including a variety of exotic ingredients like capers, pickled onions, asparagus, basil and other specially imported meats and cheeses in addition to the arsenal of regular toppings present at the counter. At the end of their chef experience, each artist had to sign the pizza somehow, and make some distinctive feature so they could identify their work when it was cooked and brought out hot later on. custom pizza-making experience at Amicos Pizza in TorontoEach group took about ten minutes to complete their cuisine creations and there were six groups or twenty four individual pizzas made in total. Laura from Single in the City makes pizza Twenty  five pizzas actually, as Laura went last and made a wicked Za with everything she liked most, and Frank was truly amazed at her creativity. Her pizza creation, the Single in the City pizza (for two) may be featured on the Amico’s Pizza menu next summer, so I wont give away the ingredients now as we’ll likely have a patio party and debut it. Frankie guarded the custom pizzas waiting to be cooked as they stacked up behind him in the kitchen. Now with Laura’s pizza ready to go, the pies were loaded into the oven six at a time to be finished and served hot to the waiting crowd all at once. custom pizzas waiting to be cooked custom pizzas in pizza oven, Amicos kitchenAs Angelo wrapped up the olive oil tasting in the main dining area, the smell of cooked pizzas wafted through the restaurant and drove everyone crazy.
As everyone knows our legendary Italian eatery also has a back patio and the smell o9f pizzas had one couple walking through the back lane stop and ask if it was possible to buy a pizza from a participant!  I’m not sure if that attendee sold their pizza but regardless our events do impact the neighbourhood.
Frank had been half baking the pizzas just to get them started, and now finished the pies off in a group bake to slice them and send them out to the waiting chefs. The hungry event attendees lined up at the bar to claim their work and eat and share their pizzas while they were still piping hot. group examines pizza made by participant for makers' marks

Beautiful pizza made by single pizzamakerAfter that the evening came to its delicious conclusion with everyone mingling, sharing and eating their pizzas. As mentioned earlier Angelo gave everyone four small olive oil tester bottles to take home with them and these combined with the left over pizza slices made the event very worthwhile for attendees, some of which also collected phone numbers ! Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save