NJ Dining: Amici Family Restaurant

This was originally posted in June of 2011. I’ve added some new photos and raised it to the top given the restaurant’s recent review by Elisa Ung in the Bergen Record.

Amici Family Restaurant
127 S. Washington Ave. (Entrance and Parking on East Clinton Ave.)
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
(201) 374-1996

Those who are familiar with this blog understand that I have a love/hate relationship with Italian-American cuisine.

As I have said on previous posts, while this is an area of culinary specialization that Northern New Jersey is particularly known for, that doesn’t mean that we do it particularly well.

When people ask me “What Italian restaurant or what Pizza do you like to eat at in Bergen County” I usually say “None, I go to the Bronx and eat on Arthur Avenue.

The reasons for this are numerous, but it comes down to the fact that the Italian-American restaurant and pizzeria as it is represented in this part of Jersey is usually pretty awful. SYSCO tomato sauce, cheap commercial mozzarella and tired owners that no longer care about the food they are making anymore. That about sums it up.

Forget about what you’ve seen on the Sopranos, Italian-American food in Northeast Bergen County is uniformly mediocre.

And thus explains why it is difficult for a restaurant that serves this kind of food to distinguish itself. You rarely see these neighborhood places written up in the Bergen Record or the New York Times because Pizza places and red sauce joints are a dime a dozen.

Sure, you might get the occasional gem like Di Palma Brothers (which is actually in Hudson County in North Bergen) or a solid pizzeria like  Lodi Pizza, Trattoria Sorrentina (again, North Bergen) or Bartolomeo in Englewood but these are rarities.

It’s nearly impossible to get me into a new Italian-American restaurant or a pizzeria, because I’m expecting right from the start that it’s going to suck.

So when I saw that the aging, failing Terrana in Bergenfield — which never produced more than just serviceable Italian-American food and was a restaurant we avoided eating at for the 10 years we’ve been residents of nearby Tenafly — was being taken over by new owners and being re-launched as Amici Family Restaurant, my interest was piqued.

I’m willing to try a new Italian place at least once, especially if it’s just five minutes from my house. If it was bad, I just wouldn’t go back, just as I have done with 90 percent of the ones I’ve been to in the immediate area.

Amici Family Restaurant looks like a typical red sauce joint that serves average pizza from the outside. Don’t make the mistake of passing it by. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Raymond Novini, the head pizzaiolo and Amici’s manager. Ray and his family did a complete renovation of the restaurant, including the kitchen, which needed major work after the previous owner left it.

I’ve gotten to know Ray over the last two visits and I can tell you this is a man who makes zero compromises with his food. He only buys top-notch ingredients and is an utter perfectionist. So when he tells me that he and his family have put their lives into this restaurant I believe him.

Amici’s gas-fired brick oven, which was brought back to life from Terrana’s sheer neglect. The previous owner never used it, having bought the establishment from yet another owner, and instead used a electric oven in the kitchen to make his pizzas.

Now the revived brick oven is running full blast and is baking some of the best pizza I’ve eaten in Northeast Bergen County in a very, very long time.

Ray working the dough.

Into the oven.

Exhibit A, the plain Margherita Pie. AP flour? Nope. Amici uses Italian Doppio Zero “00” flour, the very same highly-refined almost talcum-like in consistency stuff used in Naples. Low moisture shredded mozzarella? Fuhgeddaboudit. This place ONLY uses fresh mozzarella. Sauce? No commercial SYSCO or Redpack or HFCS-laced garbage here. Only imported Italian tomatoes.

Now, make no mistake, these are not the kind of “Authentic” fully-certified pizze napoletano that a place like A Mano in Ridgewood used to make, but failed miserably to market to Americans. This is kick-ass American-style pizza, with Italian tweaks. The kind of pizza you love.

The pies at Amici are a single size — twelve inches. No small pies, no large pies. Twelve inch pies. Period. And it costs a whole nine bucks. Crazy, right?

See how happy this guy is? If I had access to that kind of pizza every waking moment of my day, I’d have a sunny disposition too.

Look. I mean just look… at… that.

Think about what that thing smells like.

Main Dining Room

While I would definitely classify Amici’s pizza as “gourmet” the target audience is definitely family-friendly.

A bottle of the fizzy stuff, my standard Italian restaurant drink.

Fresh-baked Garlic Knots and Foccacia. Oh yes.

This is a special Calamari appetizer that was introduced after Elisa Ung’s Bergen Record Review — fried squid with tomato, basil, scallions and a balsamic vinegar reduction.

Zuppa de Pesce, which is clams, scallops, mussels and shrimp. This one is in a tomato sauce but you can also get it in a Fra Diavolo (spicy) or white wine with garlic.

“Bruschetta” Pizza, which is chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh mozzarella, red onions, green peppers, banana peppers, basil, garlic, and house vinaigrette dressing. This one is a definite winner, although very different from the other pizzas at Amici.

I’d recommend sharing this as an appetizer with a bunch of people.

Contadina Pizza, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Italian Vinigrette.

Contadina with shaved Fontina Cheese (Closeup)

Arancini, deep-fried stuffed risotto balls. A special that evening.

Big stuffed roasted red pepper appetizer, ordered by another patron. This is filled with prosciutto di Parma, portobello mushroom and mozzarella cheese, baked with mozzarella cheese on top and drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Crabmeat and Asparagus Risotto.

Ray prepping a pie, the “Quattro Gusti”.

A pizza getting some air time.

The “Quattro Gusti” with ham, fresh tomatoes and artichoke hearts.

The upskirt. This baby got crust char. And so crispy thin. I don’t recommend you take out pizzas at Amici, by all means go there to eat them. They’re really the best when right out of the oven and don’t lend well to reheating. If you take some home, eat it at room temperature.

A white pie, with fresh mozzarella and creamy ricotta cheese. Get this one with garlic.

Another view of the white pie “Pizza Bianca”

Another type of white pie offered at Amici, the Quattro Formaggi, or Four Cheeses. Mozzarella, Fresh Ricotta, Sweet Provolone and Fontina. Saltier, sharper than the Pizza Bianca. I’d order this with some sun-dried tomatoes on top as an extra topping.

Quattro Formaggi slice.

Veal Amici. Breaded veal cutlets topped with a generous salad of arugula, diced tomato, red onions, hot & sweet peppers and fresh mozzarella cheese. Nice and crispy veal, refreshing salad, and an ideal summer plate. A nice change up from most typical Italian-American restaurant veal dishes.

This is a dish I ordered on my first visit to see if this place was serious or not. Ragu de Macellaio, or “Sunday Gravy” over rigatoni. There’s nothing more red sauce Italian joint than this dish.

It is the definitive, ne plus ultra red sauce Italian-American dish.

And you know what? At Amici it is ‘friggin awesome.

By all means, order this dish, especially if you are really hungry, want something hearty and are craving pasta. A big giant and moist meatball, perfect texture, flanked by two big hot and sweet Italian sausages and a pork rib.

This is the real deal folks. What more could you possibly want from a dish like this?

Butternut Squash ravioli with sun dried tomatoes in a butter sauce. A special that evening. Rather than making it in-house, Amici buys its fresh pasta from Star Ravioli in Moonachie, so it’s local product. We thought it was excellent.

This was another fresh pasta dish, stuffed “Fagottini” beggars purses with Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts in a mushroom cream sauce. Outrageous.

Stuffed Chicken breast entree special

Stuffed Chicken Breast entree closeup

Stuffed Pork Chop with Gravy with a similar preparation. The pork chop was nice and juicy, clearly marinaded in some kind of brine. Both the pork and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. Bravo.

A peek at the dessert case. Amici uses desserts by Bindi. I’ve got nothing against Bindi as I think as commercial dessert suppliers go, they’re probably one of the best out there, but a lot of Italian restaurants in New Jersey use them.

However, on the night we visited, they also had some desserts made by some local people as well, so double check when you go.

Here’s one of Amici’s new home made desserts — a fresh Apple crumble with ice cream.

Cappuccino, a nice ending to a great evening.

56 Responses to NJ Dining: Amici Family Restaurant

  1. gka says:

    Servings are tremendous!
    Service is great!
    Everything’s delicious!

    • Joe says:

      I went to Amici this weekend the food was wonderful- but have to agree the service was not great. Our Waitress was completely distracted and took forever with bringing drinks and even the check. I believe her name was Lindsey. The definetly need new help there.

  2. Jason,

    Well said (re: Italian food vis-à-vis Italian American food in Bergen County; that is to say, it’s all pretty bad).

    I’m almost always disappointed by Italian American food served in New Jersey but there are some above average pizza joints. The pizza at the above restaurant looks good.

    My standard advice to folks who want to eat Italian food in New Jersey (or ask for a recommendation) is to go out and buy great ingredients (they are available on this side of the Hudson) and put together a great dinner at home. Even with minimal skill superb ingredients will yield better results that 95% of the Italian American food served in the Garden State.

    Vince from Scordo.com

    • Indeed Vince, I think you are correct, that the best Italian-American food in NJ is probably produced in the homes of Italian-Americans. We do have some very good places to buy foodstuffs and ingredients, but our restaurants fall short.

      As to restaurants and Pizza in Northeast Bergen County, I’m always up for your suggestions. :)

  3. Tongo Rad says:

    I passed this place by about a week ago, and it looked promising. Now it’s definitely on my mental list- thanks for the report. That stuffed pepper is totally my kind of dish.

    About that white pie and the garlic (aside: white pizza has become a thing for me within the past 5 years or so because you are much more likely to find a really good one in yer avridge slice joint than a regular one) – do you mean actually order garlic as a topping, or as a flavoring in an infused olive oil? The latter is a major ingredient in my faves, but I don’t remember actually biting into any. Seems like it could be a bit much if that’s the case.

  4. Progeria says:

    A lot of hard work must have been done. It looks beautiful. Keep the good work, all the best. Will tell my friends about this place

  5. Eric says:

    I went here last night to try the white pizza with fresh garlic(as you suggested) and I was not disappointed. Paul told me I was in for a treat and he wasn’t kidding. It was EXCELLENT!!! This is a very nice restaurant. I cannot wait to take my wife here for a full sit-down meal.


    • It’s a refreshing addition to the area. I mean, you’re not going to break the sound barrier with Italian American food in New Jersey, but the quality of what they are producing is amazing.

  6. Randy says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this place! Having grown up in Rockland and lived in NYC for the last 10 years, it’s great to find a family owned restaurant producing excellent pizza so close to our new home in River Edge. Sure beats driving to Kinchley’s on a Friday night only to wait on a line.

  7. Juliene says:

    We want to thank all our customers for the beautiful comments about Amici Restaurant. Your comments are fuel to our modivation!!!!


    Ray Novini
    Joe DiPietra
    Managers of Amici’s:)

  8. Erika Rojas says:

    Joey, Ray & Family:
    Congratulations on your new restaurant!! The food is fantastic, loved the crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms and the Amici salad. The pizza is to die for, so delicious. Looking forward to coming back soon. Best Wishes!!!
    – Erika & Family

  9. Daniel John says:

    I was very disappointed at Amici’s for two reasons.

    1. The service was SLOW. It took 1hour and 15 minutes to bring out a white pizza, calzone and chicken marsala.
    2. Although the pizza tasted great, the middle of the pizza was very soggy to the point where it was damp.

  10. Angela Trapani says:

    I come from New York and have been to many restaurant,by chance we stoped at Amici Family Restaurant. I was amazed by the menue.and what great tasting food.We were two couples and ordered different entrees. They were all fantastic. The server was very attentive also. He told us the place was new. Well this place gets 5 stars in my book. Very friendly people from Brooklyn originally.

  11. A couple of comments:

    The best white pizza I’ve ever eaten was at Trattoria Sorrentina, where it was topped with prosciutto and arugula. Hard to beat that.

    Most pizzas with fresh sauce and cheese have soft centers. You’d have to burn them to get them crisp, and the dough is meant to be chewy anyway.

  12. Sorrentina makes very nice pies. But it’s an adventure getting to North Bergen from Tenafly.

  13. Fran Guzy says:

    Dear Jason,
    Thank you so much for recommending Amici Family Restaurant. I ate there this evening with several friends and we all LOVED it! The food was delicious, the service was extremely friendly and efficient, and the prices were very reasonable.
    We are all eager to return.
    Again, many thanks-we had a wonderful evening.
    Fran Guzy

  14. Maria Massimo says:

    Today July 10th 2011 we had dinner at Amici Restaurant . The experience is everything we were told about. The stuffed pepper apettizer, the rolled filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat and vegetables were superb. The fried calamari and the stuffed shrimp with crabmeat were extremely delicious. Portions are large and service is great. We highly recommend Amici Restaurant. Maria and Frank Massimo

  15. Great Food, and a Great atmosphere. Will go back again and Again

  16. Jerry Henley says:

    I ate at Amici’s tonight. Didnt try the pizza, but did have a dish that was as good as mom used to make — rigatoni with a meatball, sausage, and a rib. The sauce was truly to die for. I say this is truly a MAN’s dish, king sized and very filling. My wife had a nice piece of talapia. I am impressed with a place when a special order is executed exactly as requested. This happened when a guest of ours ordered a dish that normally has sliced tomatoes on it. the dish came out exactly as requested. This restaurant is truly a keeper. I had tried this place under 2 (yes 2) previous owners and never went back. For a Tuesday night in the summer, the place was busy — a couple large groups too (6+) and service was just fine! Next time I will try the pizza. Thanks for the heads up.

  17. thomas markey says:

    Instead of risking my health and well being at the 4 generic pizza distributors in my town( and the many more institutions in the surrounding area) , I gladly drive 30+ minutes to Amici. It is refreshing to see a an establishment in our area that actually cares about what they do. So far my family and I have had nearly every pizza and love them all. The four cheese white pie is the killer. I will indulge in the entrees when I have more time to sit down in the place, but for now that fucking rib eye sandwich with the caramelized onions on the garlic bread is all that I want and think about everyday i don’t have it. This is one of those few places in New Jersey that actually serves real, passionate food. It is awkward to compare it to the garbage you normally see.

    • Jerry Henley says:

      if you are referring to my review, i am real, it is real, and I have been back there and tasted their pizza too. I had a rustica pie with soppresatta on it on one trip and a margherite pie on another trip. Both were thin crust and very good. If the way I wrote my review looks amateurish, maybe it is because I am an amateur at writing but a professional at eating…

  18. vsasson says:

    What is the point of JR’s question? Is he questioning the comment of Maria Massimo?

    On what basis? That she liked the food and service. Does he suspect she is a friend of the family that owns Amici?

  19. maria and frank massimo says:

    we had dinner last saturday night for the second time at Amici. it was superb as the last time we ate there. The fried ravioli as my appetizer was mouth-watering. My husband has pork medallions stuffed with fontina cheese with mushroom sauce.Magnificent!!!!! My shrimp francese was perfecto!!!!! The service was professional and friendly. We would highly recommend Amici Restaurant,

  20. Evelyn says:

    I’m trying it tonight. You turned me on to Seafood Gourmet. I request that you give Bocconi on Essex Street in Hackensack a try. It’s simple, good, affordable, but very tastey food. The host/partner makes you feel like a guest in his home. The chef comes from Scalinatella in NYC – enough said. The atmosphere is well – nothing more than what looks like a cafe.

  21. Rick says:

    Jason, going to Amici tonight, will let you know….

  22. SHAKUEY201 says:

    I have dined here twice, both times the food was very good, loved the Zupa di Pesce. Both times service was pretty poor, but even more annoying was that both times the management team used the table nearest the pizza oven as a defacto office area as their cell phones rang several times and they conducted conversations on the phones.

    • Service is definitely a work in progress for most patrons. But the place is so close to my house and the food is such an excellent value that you overlook these things.

      • Evelyn says:

        I believe I was sitting next to Jason on Friday evening..I tried the zuppa di pesce with the red sauce (since Elisa Young raved about it), and most of my mussels and clams were not even open! The flavors were good though, and our waitress was very nice. They must’ve read The Record article.

  23. @evelyn you probably were sitting next to rachel and me on Friday. We were there pretty early.

    Shellfish can be pretty weird when it comes to them opening or closing when cooking. It depends on how cold the fridge was when they were cooked, how big or small they are, the strength of the abductor muscle, if there is residual beard material on the inside rim of the shell still holding it closed, etc. As long as they weren’t overcooked that’s the prime thing. I’ve eaten plenty of clams and mussels that didnt open that tasted and were cooked perfectly fine.

    How were the scallops and shrimp in the zuppa?

    • Evelyn says:

      Yes. The shrimp was a little on the dry side. Please check out Bocconi on Essex St. in Hackensack if you haven’t. I keep trying new casual Italian restaurants and am always drawn back there.

  24. Evelyn says:

    Jason, I understand your point about the shellfish; however, I didn’t want to pry open shells (it was really 99% of them), which would’ve enevitably resulted in tomato sauce on my clothes. They should’ve noticed it when plating and could’ve just popped them open.

  25. @evelyn: if the shrimp and scallops were overcooked I would have sent the plate back and ask them to do it again.

    However, I would give the place a few weeks to recover from the Ung review and go on a quieter night. They were utterly slammed all weekend so I am sure the kitchen was not performing optimally. I tend to go early or in the middle of the week.

    • Evelyn says:

      I’ll try the pizza aspect some time. I understand they were slammed, which is why our entrees took so long to come out, and I was too hungry to wait for a corrected dish. Overall, it wasn’t bad.

  26. Daniel says:

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Frankly, There wasn’t anything special about this place that can’t be said about hundreds of other places. What is offered here can be found anywhere. Just your basic standard recipes – nothing original. For those of you who may not be aware of it, there is a difference between being a cook and being a chef. Bindi are you serious? The owner should hook up with a good bakery and offer a couple of cakes, pies and canolies. Or just a selection of good homemade Italian pastry’s. This restaurant is perfect for people like to glaum mounds of food. Me, I’d rather have more quality than quantity.

    • Um, “Daniel” given this is your first comment on my blog I’m going to cut you some slack. I’d be interested and I am sure the owners would be interested to hear about in what you didn’t like at this place after dining there.

      The service needs work. That’s a given. However, as I said in my introductory text, this restaurant is not trying to break the culinary sound barrier. It is an Italian-American restaurant making for the most part boilerplate Italian-American food. That’s a given. However, there’s nothing WRONG with Italian-American boilerplate classics.

      The place happens to do a good job making them (which is not something most restaurants of this style do particularly well as a norm) and I also happen to think their pizza is probably the some of the best in the entire area. I’m in complete agreement with Elisa Ung at the Record n this regard.

      Not everyone wants an inspired culinary experience every time when they go out to eat. Some of us just want dinner and we’d also like value.

  27. henley365 says:

    I went to Amici’s again the other evening and had a friendly waitress who really was coping well with what seemed to be an over worked kitchen due to the Record review. I also saw people at the next table using a coupon that they said they got in the mail. The owners need to respond with more waitresses and busboys for the front, PLUS they need to ensure the same quality of food keeps coming from the kitchen, but I bet the kitchen needs some additional support as well. The few times I have been there the food was always good. The rush from the review will subside, and lets hope the food quality and value remain as good as it has been.

    • SHAKUEY201 says:

      Although I havent been to this restaurant since August what I saw both times was a restaurant trying to make do with only 1 waitress which led to a poor dining experience despite the good food. My one visit was around 6PM on a weekday, the other was around 8PM on a Saturday night, so it is pretty safe to say that I came here at two different extremes. To say that the service is a work in progress is a little deceiving, what I really see is a restaurant that seems to be adverse to hiring a second waitress. Due to this I experienced not one but two different waitress who forgot to take drink orders, forgot to bring out bread to the table, bring out bread that had been waiting to be brought out when hot but sat a bit and got hard, forgot to ask what type of salad dressing we wanted and did not wrap something to take home that we had asked for. What I do see here is a restaurant that is pretty poorly run from an operations standpoint yet produces above average Italian food for a reasonable price.

      • The restaurant has considerably improved its service since August and they have brought in more help, especially since the Bergen Record review.

        I would say the food is significantly above average, not above average. It’s an excellent value for Italian American food, period.

  28. Daniel says:

    I had no intentions in replying to responses to my post, however, since you asked me questions, I will. First, allow me to thank you for “cutting me some slack.” I had no idea I was posting on a blog hosted by a self proclaimed culinary guru. My sincere apologies if you have an extensive culinary background. I fully understand they are “not trying to break the culinary sound barrier.” This is why I wrote there is nothing special about this place that can’t be found in numerous other places. Allow me to begin at the beginning. One of the first things you are taught at any culinary school is first impressions are the ones a customer will always remember. What happens at the FOH when you walk through the door is monumental. I had a 7:30 reservation. I realize this doesn’t mean I’m going to be seated exactly at 7:30. The standard wait time on any reservation can be from 5 to 10 minutes. Numerous times several employees came into the waiting area to tell me my table was almost ready. I was finally seated at aprox 8:10. I need to back up here a bit. When you first walk in, there is no sign or indication that you need to step into the restaurant to what appears to be a deli counter left by the previous owners. I stood there with many employees walking by me. Not once did any of them greet me, acknowledge me or as much as look at me. After 5 minutes of this, someone finally asked if I were being helped. I gave this person my info and went back to the waiting area only to find several other people confused and not knowing where to go or if they should just wait there. The waitress we had was very nice and seemed to have command over what she was doing. I had no problem with my FOH service. Our salads and appetizers came out in a timely manor. However, it took an extremely long time for the entrees. This was probably do to the waitress waiting to long to tell the kitchen to fire our plates ( I realize not all restaurants use this method, so I may be incorrect), but still, it took far to long. When I ordered the Crab Cakes I asked the waitress to be sure and tell the kitchen to cook them on the moist side. I’m happy to say they came out as ordered. Sad to say they had NO flavor. Had the Chef simply dusted them with Old Bay or any type of seafood seasoning would have made all the difference in the world. You commented on someone’s post about the shell fish not being open. You are correct with regard to opening them up at the plate. However, most of her clams and mussels were closed tight – no way was she going to be able to pry them open. The only reason why a clam or mussel doesn’t open would be because it was dead to begin with. They open during the cooking process as the mussel relaxes. Any Chef who knows what they are doing, knows how to properly clean and de-beard a mussel. They should never be served with the beard still attached. The bottom line is this. There are many little simple things they could be doing to help this restaurant stand above the rest. ie: Proper training of FOH and BOH staff, proper plating and above all, someone looking at every plate before it leaves the kitchen. I wrote this not to bash your blog but to help educate people. I know this is an opinion blog. Much the same as Elisa Ung. I’m not a follower or believe in anything she writes. She has NO culinary background. You may already know this, but perhaps most of your readers don’t. She was a staff writer for the Real Estate section of the Record before being assigned the food critic position. Hers is nothing more than an opinion. This restaurant is perfect for those who want nothing more than to bloat themselves on mounds of inexpensive food. But than again, what do I know, I only went to one of the best culinary schools in the world.

    • “I had no idea I was posting on a blog hosted by a self proclaimed culinary guru. My sincere apologies if you have an extensive culinary background.”

      I am not a self-proclaimed culinary guru. I am not trained in the culinary arts, but I have been writing about food for over 10 years.

      I am a fairly avid amateur cook, and I founded the largest food discussion website on the Internet in 2001 which exposed me and introduced me the most well-known people in culinary arts in the entire world and by restaurateurs all over the country. That’s has given me the privilege of dining at their restaurants and being sought out for advice on their menus and their operations. So I’ve been around the block a few times.

      Usually a good idea to Google the person who’s blog you’re commenting on before you make any assumptions.

  29. Daniel says:

    Sometimes the writen word can be taken out of context. My appologies to you if you think I’m bashing you or your blog. I actually think you are providing people a good service.

  30. Ray says:

    Daniel your input is appreciated. I am disappointed that Amici now does not sound as good as I hoped. Daniel can you please tell us what Bergen County restaurants you like.

    The Record’s dining section has for a long time been a disappointment. It is very poorly written. Ms. Ung has no formal training does she? Ms. Ung used to write news articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer. News articles not food lol. It is a disgrace the Record cannot find a real reviewer.

  31. John Jay says:

    Daniel rocks!!

  32. john says:

    After seeing the review in the record we decided to try this place…….food was awesome but the service was lacking, well lets just say everything……..thank goodness for their hostess because she picked up the slack of our waitress and helped our move our meal along…….margarita pizza was good…..a little well done but good…zuppapesce was great…..chicken was moist and tasted so good we couldnt stop eating it….we thought we found a new place to eat…….well 2nd time back……food was not good and the service…well same waitress as the first time so you can just imagine……i said to my husband the chef must be different…you can always tell……zuppapesce….shell fish was not opened and smelled bad….didnt eat it…..we asked about the chef and the waitress didnt know she said….well that means he or she was different…….we will not be back……where did that first chef go?????does anyone know?????…….

  33. I’m looking forward to eating at Amici’s .. Voglio la pizza!

  34. Daniel says:

    Well here wo go…. I try never to have an opinion on a restaurant until I’ve eaten there at least 3 times. Well my friends I have done just that at Amici’s this week. Sorry and sad to to say nothing has changed. For all you bloaters out there, by all means go. But for those of you who really love freah italian food, please find another place – and let me know. Oh, since I know all the tricks in the book, I looked in the garbage bin and found exactly what I thought I would. Commerial size cans of tomato sauce. Which tells me they are dockering it up a bit – ther are NOT making there own sauce.

    • Daniel, what would you define as “Commercial size cans of tomato sauce.” If it’s crushed or processed San Marzano or similar Italian plum tomato such as simple passata there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Even Mario Batali uses that. That is how most Italians cook unless they live on the damn foothills of Mt. Vesuvius on the Amalfi/Sorrento coast where the damn things are grown. Are you really expecting any Italian restaurant to cook massive quantities of fresh (ripe) tomato and pass it through a food mill during November? Seriously?

      Any Italian chef that is worth their salt knows damn well you do not make a marinara or a “gravy” using fresh tomatoes. Period. You cannot get the concentration of flavor that way. A fresh tomato sauce is not the same thing.

  35. Evelyn says:

    Wow, this blog has stirred up some conversation. Everyone has different palates and different levels of food appreciation. I grew up with a chef and a baker for parents, so I’ve been lucky to have been taught what good, fresh food is all about. It’s funny to hear some people’s opinions of good food, especially those who gauge it on quantity. The same arguements can be made about music and art. What is GOOD? It’s mostly opinion, but there are certain standards of quality that need to be met to be considered good. I don’t believe this place has met those qualities yet, especially if there are still major service issues. This is a SERVICE business.

    I’m ready for the next review Jason.

  36. SHAKUEY201 says:

    I am starting to have difficulty believing Daniel is just some guy off of the street that tried Amici. He states in one post that this place just isn’t for him, yet he now claims to have returned for a third time and once again it disappointed (most people would have given up after the second time). In addition, he also was checking out what was in the dumpster. Give me a break.

  37. We won’t be returning to Amici after we were served a tough piece of fish that purported to be red snapper, and one of us found a bug in the salad:


  38. Stephen says:

    I went and gave it a try. It was amazing, Fresh food, great pizza, friendly service. If you hit this place at a busy time of course it will be hectic. Some people on this blog expect to be treated like a king. Get real. If you want great family food and a good experience give it a shot.

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