Amici Amore in Astoria
I thoroughly enjoyed dinner at Amici Amore on Newton Avenue near 30th Avenue in Astoria. Though rough in spots, it is well worth a visit now and in a couple of months when some of the kinks will hopefully be worked out.
The mussels in garlic red sauce was a bit troubled. The mussels were overcooked but the chunky tomato sauce with bits of garlic was excellent - I enjoyed dipping the table bread in the sauce much more than struggling to extract the mussels from their shells. Fried calamari was decent, though not terrific.
For entrees, the penne salmone was indeed terrific and the portion perfect. We were persuaded to try a bottle of 1989 Cabernet Sauvignon from Provence, which the owner said he purchased at a bargain price and passed the savings onto his customers. The wine was wonderful .
The food is generally hearty Italian fare and the attentive and very friendly service is worth noting. The exposed brick and fireplace makes it all the more inviting.
I've been there twice with my girl friend--I live about 10 minutes away on foot. We went the first time based upon the TONY and NYT reviews. We weren't disappointed. The starters we've sampled are fresh and nicely prepared, both hot and cold. The pastas and grilled meats we've tried (check out the squid-ink pasta dish) are also first-rate. Decent red wine by the glass. Attentive, non-cloying service. Inviting interior that should be even more pleasant once the warm weather hits and the doors all open to let in the cool evening air.
Probably the nicest overall dining experience we've had in Astoria. We plan on being regulars.