Amici Pizza and Bistro
Don't know if anyone has tried Amici yet. It just opened Sunday night. It is in the old SNAP! location on Johnson and 29th in NE Mpls. We got take out last night cause we figured it was going to be pretty busy with it being the second night it was open (closed mondays). Got two out of their four specialty pizzas. The small being only about 9"s.
We got the bacon, onion, thyme and grana padano pizza and the tomato sauce. sausage, pickled peppers , onions and ricotta pizza. Hopefully in the future they will give them names or something. If you notice on the first one they don't include the sauce in the ingredient list because it does not come with a sauce. kind of weird. a nice white sauce or extra olive oil would have been great. it was dry. on our other pizza they actually forgot the sauce. I called them back and they re-made the first and then just kept the other one warm (not really).
OK, so it was their second night open and we are gonna give them another chance cause the entrees look pretty good. But would hope with pizza being the first part of the restaurant name it would be quite a bit better.
They are working on getting their wine/beer license. Hopefully will, cause I think that will help. I think that was the death of Snap (no wine and beer). Also Snap's pizza was mediocre at best.
Would like to hear what other people think.
The owners had a cereal moment, to be sure, but Jaysin612 has tracked correctly.
SNAP! was two doors down from POP! (An unrelated store -- right where you'd expect the KRACKLE! -- sits between them.) SNAP! closed and has been replaced by Amici.
POP! is still open.
POP!! is still open in its downtown St. Paul location, too.
Wife and I ate there last night. The space is WAY nicer than Snap ever was. The weird wall drips are gone and the space has a nice, warmer feel to it. It is a bit strange in the fact that they have cloth napkins and two LCD TV's that you can watch while dinning. I found the TV's distracting, especially because of the mood the rest of the area creates. On to the food.....
We started with muscles for the appetizer. They were VERY good. They were larger muscles than I thought we would get. They were served in a red pepper type broth. This appetizer in both appearance and taste is on par with some of the best I have had in the cities.
Normally pizza doesn't follow muscles, but in this case I wanted to get right to the core of the business. We ordered a large pizza with prosciutto, mushrooms, bell peppers, and ricotta cheese. Upon arrival, the pizza size surprised me. It was smallish for a "large" pizza. Don't expect leftovers with two people. It looked to be cooked very well, and I liked the fact that the peppers were thin slices, not your standard "mini cubes". The prosciutto was good, although it could have been a bit crispier. The mushrooms were very tasty, and again, not your standard white button mushroom. I couldn't see or taste the ricotta cheese, but the server assured me it was melted in there with the mozzarella. The crust made the pizza. It was crispy and chewy at the same time, and very good. It wasn't cracker thin, but it was thin and reminds you a little of Pizza Nea and a little of something else. Sauce didn't stand out as being extra good or bad, and that is fine. Overall I would like to try more of the pizza, and get one to go to see how it travels.
Dessert. This is where it all falls apart. I had the pear blueberry crumble and the wife had the crème brulee. My crumble was not very good. I expected a distinct pear and blueberry flavor and maybe even something that looked like a pear or a blueberry. What I got was a mush of purple pears covered with a crumble topping of unknown content. It didn't taste like pears or blueberries and I did not finish it. It was topped with Izzy's ice cream that I did finish! The crème brulee had potential in flavor, but it was runny and not at all what a crème brulee should be. It was not finished either.
I like the new space; it should turn out to be a decent place close to home. I am glad to have pizza in the area again. It is basically the only non-chain pizza place with “normal” pizza. I like Pizza Nea, but not for an everyday “utility” pizza. At $50 after tax and tip it was a little pricey. I can imagine it being cheaper for just pizza, and more expensive if we order more entrées off the menu and when they get their liquor license.
Looking for a good restaurant for a Birthday dinner for 8 on a Saturday night I stumbled upon Amici. The menu looked good, location suited everyone and they had room for a reservation.
The restaurant looked nice and we were seated promptly. Service overall was prompt, accurate and friendly. Our group was a mix with 2 teenagers, A devotee of Red Lobster & Perkins (the person whose birthday it was), a couple of urbanites and others.
Appetizers: We ordered both of the available Bruschetta variants and both were well received with the roasted beet variant being the winner.
Bucatini – a big thumbs up from a rather picky 14 year old.
Pizza – both the Hollywood and build your own were nicely done, great crust
Rigatoni – good flavor and al dente
Roasted Chicken – Plate was clean and the sauce was being cleaned off with bread – must have been tasty
Braised Beef – Good dish overall, flavor was lacking a bit of depth but I’d order it again
I can’t remember what the other 2 in our party had but everyone enjoyed their dish
Flourless Chocolate Cake – warm and moist with good flavor, the salted caramel ice cream was a hit.
Crème Brulee – almost caused a fight between the 2 teens that were supposed to share
Limoncello Tiramisu with Blueberries - Homerun! Very nice and light dessert.
Overall verdict – great food, nice atmosphere, reasonably priced – we will be back.
I was there on Friday night for the first time. My wife and I had much of the same items (the menu at Amici is kind of limited which I think is a good thing).
I would add that the Mussels were very good. They were large, plump and perfectly cooked in a very nice tomato broth. Overall the restaurant was a hit, with one small exception.
I ordered Meatballs with the Bucatini and had two problems with them. First, they were very tough and rubbery. Second, they contained Lamb. I am not a fan of lamb, and would not have ordered them if the menu had shown that Lamb was in the meatballs.
Overall however, it was a very good experiance for my wife and I. I would definitly recomend.