Amore Mio is located on the north side of the square in Fairfield, Iowa.
Fairfielders have three new restaurants to choose from this holiday season. The Cider House, Amore Mio, and the Bun House opened this fall, and all three have proved to be popular destinations.
Antonio Pagana moved to Fairfield and started Amore Mio to be closer to his daughter and her fiancé. Born and raised in Italy, Antonio is an experienced chef and successful restaurateur who has been running his own establishments since 1994.
Antonio has transformed an old buffet-style pizzeria on the north side of the square into a real Italian ristorante, full of Old World charm. Extensive renovations have created a fine dining experience.
Antonio’s emphasis is on old-fashioned hospitality and authentic Italian food. Amore Mio is a TV-free oasis, to facilitate community connection over the dinner table. “I like to see people come in with their families, listen to some relaxing music, and concentrate on each other,” Antonio says. “I tell people, if you want to watch TV, go to a sports bar. This is a nice, quiet spot for people to go out to dinner and enjoy the evening.”
The menu features traditional entrees, like pasta, risotto, and polenta, a variety of salads, and hearty Italian soups. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic options are available. Antonio’s favorite entree is the Eggplant Parmesan, inspired by his mother’s recipe.
With a passion to share, Antonio has been happily surprised at the new restaurant’s popularity. “It’s a brand new place,” he says. “People have a curiosity to see what’s going on.” Antonio intends for the restaurant to be a legacy for his children and is impressed with Fairfield. “Very many people like what I do, it’s surprising in this little town. The people are special. It’s a different kind of town. Very quiet, very relaxing. I start to like it very much.”
Amore Mio is open 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For reservations, call (641) 469-3066.