Restaurant Of The Week
Of The Week
WWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, thoughts turn to romance, fine dining, candlelight and soft music. Amici Amore has all of this and more. Amici Amore is situated on the corner of Newtown Avenue and 30th Street, off the beaten path. Behind sparkling French doors lies a cozy, comfortable restaurant complete with walls in warm hues, a brick fireplace and rustic stone floor. Candles glow softly and Italian music fills the air and completes the inviting atmosphere.
This charming and romantic restaurant is not only perfect for intimate dining. It transforms itself into a chic lounge after dinner Thursday through Monday evenings, beginning February 14. The Amore Lounge starts from 10 p.m. onward when the tables from the restaurant are removed and replaced with comfy velvet couches for conversation sotto voce. This soon-to-be-hip lounge is ideal for meeting and mingling, enjoying cocktails and the entertainment that sometimes features belly dancers, magicians and more.
Owner–Chef Dino Redzic, who has years of experience running upscale restaurants in Europe, created the menu which includes homemade pasta, elegant sauces and fine meat and fish dishes for all to enjoy. In addition, Redzic also coordinates events for the prestigious James Beard Foundation, a culinary institute known worldwide.
Enjoy a bottle of wine from their ample list, featuring reasonably priced wines from Italy and California. Start with a plate of mixed grilled sausages and prosciutto, made by hand in the family’s own shop. They are served with sautéed zucchini and yellow squash and go well with the warm, crusty bread and fine olive oil on the table. Also try the carpaccio di manzo, paper-thin slices of beef tenderloin served with shavings of parmesan cheese and arugula ($9.50). Carpaccio di salmone is equally good, if you prefer fish. Insalata Amore is a fresh toss of arugula, radicchio, endive, gorgonzola cheese and sweet pears. A delicious white salad of fennel, celery, parmigiano and lemon vinaigrette was refreshing and clean on the palate.
Primi, first dishes, include homemade pasta, prepared in interesting and eye-catching ways such as the rigatoni with eggplant, served inside a half eggplant, brimming with zesty sauce and dotted with mozzarella cheese. Sun-dried tomato ravioli in a light tomato cream sauce is one of their signature dishes, and I urge you to try it either as an entrée or shared as a first course. Black linguine with fresh shrimp in a spicy sauce is another popular dish. I plan to come back to try the penne al salmone in a light pink sauce.
Secondi or second dishes, range from the freshest veal, chicken and beef to fresh fish of the day, always prepared in inventive ways. I enjoyed fork-tender veal cutlets smothered in a robust sauce of porcini mushrooms and wine ($15.95). Double cut veal chops will satisfy even the biggest appetite, especially when served with creamy risotto garnished with a fragrant sprig of rosemary. If you like fish, try the Dover sole, baked whole and filleted at your table with a heavenly sauce on the side.
Chicken breast sautéed with a delicate lemon, caper and white wine sauce is a lighter choice, while the osso buco with mashed potatoes is a rich and savory treat ($16.95). Juicy filet mignon is cooked to order and served with sautéed spinach and a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes.
All dishes are beautifully presented on uniquely decorated dishes and the service is professional and courteous. Reservations are being taken for two seatings on Valentine’s Day. A prix fixe menu from 4 to 6 p.m. is only $29.95 per person and includes a glass of champagne, salad, pasta, entrée and dessert. The same menu is available from 6 to 10 p.m. for $59.95 per person.
Finish this splendid meal with decadent desserts such as chocolate mousse cake, Italian cheese cake and tartufo, an ice cream concoction in a chocolate shell. Cappuccino, coffee or tea will put a cap to this perfect meal.
Amici Amore also has a lunch menu, and will happily cater an affair off premises. Don’t forget the new Amore Lounge Thursday through Monday evenings, after the dinner crowd, from 10 p.m. onward. Cuddle up with that someone special and enjoy a special evening with cocktails, music, light snacks and entertainment. Call now to reserve a table for Valentine’s Day. Amici Amore, where fine dining and romance are always in the air.
29-35 Newtown Ave.
corner of 30th Street