Amici, a Filipino-owned restaurant serving Italian-style dishes, has updated its menu with new salads, pasta preparations and entrees.
This year, Amici (www.amici.ph) marks its sixth anniversary.
In an interview with Inquirer Lifestyle, general manager and COO Philip M. Moran recalled that when his father Danny took over Amici in 2007, there were so many dishes with practically the same ingredients. (Amici was previously owned and operated by the Salesian priests of Don Bosco Makati.)
“My dad decided to take out the less popular items and focus on the crowd-pleasers. We kept the cafeteria-style concept where customers went up to a general counter to place and pay for their orders before heading to their seats,” he said.
“We evolved from quick service to casual dining after customers remarked that they should be waited on since they were paying for premium items,” Moran added.
Now, customers are led to their tables before their orders are taken.
(Today the average check per person is P400.)
Moran takes pride in the quality of food ingredients in Amici. The restaurant has also flown in three Italian chefs who specialize in pizza, pasta and gelato.
At the food sampling we attended, Moran introduced each dish. The new items included Truffle Mushroom Pizza topped with arugula; Smoked Salmon Top-Crust Pizza that is basically smoked salmon sandwiched between two thin-crust pizza sheets; Prosciutto and Artichoke Cream Pizza Roll; and Prosciutto Portobello Pizza Roll. The last two were served topped with orange-colored roasted garlic dip that lacked that garlicky kick we expected.
The salads—Asian Chicken Salad and Mediterranean Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad—had a nice crunch and provided a counterpoint to all the carbs we had that afternoon.
We also sampled two pasta preparations: Penne Rosa and Bacon with an orangey béchamel sauce that looked and tasted strangely similar to the pizza roll dip; and Garlic Chorizo Spaghetti which had just the right combination of spice, meat and oil. It became our favorite item.
The two entrees, Chicken Parmigiana and Pork Marsala, sounded like something we can get anywhere else. But the latter was perfectly cooked and flavored. It was tender, and you could actually taste a hint of the wine.
Dessert that afternoon came on a tray: scoops of gelato in Ferrero and Pistachio flavors. It was the perfect end to a meal shared between friends and new acquaintances.
PHOTOS BY RAOUL J. CHEE KEE