Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Amici's Place - Kettering, Ohio

So, there's a new deal website akin to Groupon and LivingSocial called Seize the Deal.  The first email offer I got from them after signing up was for a joint called Amici's Place in Kettering on Dorothy Lane, where the old Barbie's Bistro used to be.  I didn't even know there was a new restaurant there, but apparently Seize the Deal made a bold move and offered the $20 for $10 gift certificate just as the place was opening.  Clever, because nothing will hurry me into a new eatery like a nearly-free meal.

It was a bit too hot to dine al fresco, but they do have a nice patio.  I'm actually already looking forward to next summer when I'm not making another human and can enjoy one of their signature Limoncellos on that sunny deck. We sat inside, where the tables are seemingly far fewer than outside.  I think there were maybe three or four tables and bar seating, which would accommodate half a dozen comfortably.  It's small in stature, but big on everything else important, as we soon found out.

I'd already perused the menu online, but once Mr. FvF got to check it out, we decided to get two 8" pizzas - since we never agree about what to get on a pie.  The small pizzas are $9 for a specialty and $7 for a build-your-own with three toppings.  The front house manager came and greeted us first, asking if this was our first time in, explaining their special bevvies and asking if we had any questions - then another nice fella came to take our order as he brought our drinks.  The Mister picked the Buffalo Chicken sans onions, and I opted for the Chicken Pesto, adding bacon (duh).  I also asked for one of their craft root beers, which was almost red in color and super tasty.

The food came out quite a bit faster than expected, considering the craft that goes into making a pizza like this, and looked absolutely amazing - not to mention massive.  When I think 8 inches in my mind - well, I won't tell you what that really brings to mind - but in terms of pizza, I was certainly thinking more along the lines of one of those crappy Pizza Hut personal pans.
If this pizza was only 8", I'll lick my own elbow.  There were eight solid slices, and I could barely finish three.  I seriously considered continuing to eat and just making myself ill with it, and I almost had to stage an intervention with Mr. FvF when he was eyeballing his sixth slice.  All of the ingredients were super fresh - the kind of fresh that you can actually taste.  Crispy bacon, bright tomatoes and long stretches of cheese.  Also, not the kind of fresh that gets skimped on just because they advertise fresh and locally grown ingredients that happen to cost more.  There was no shortage of toppings on these whatsoever.
The Mister's Buffalo Chicken Pizza didn't look like much, but was pretty killer, even to a gal who doesn't like hot sauce.  Heavy on the cheese (including bleu) with a sassy kick and super tender chicken.
The star of the pizzas at Amici's, though, is the crust.  Think along the lines of Dewey's, but then imagine if Dewey's had their asses handed to them by someone else.  Bubbled and raised perfectly, but not too thick or chewy.

As we boxed up our extra slices and paid our bill, the owner came over and asked how we liked everything.  I commended him on the excellent staff and food, and in an uncommon turn of events, actually told him I was a food blogger and would be giving his new venture a rave review. I don't think I've ever done that, but it was very thoughtful for him to come chat with his customers, and I feel that certain compliments deserve better than anonymous internet delivery.

So, stellar service and top-notch food - must be expensive, right?  Couldn't be further from the truth.  The price points are so spot on, that I'm hoping and praying they'll bring the kind of crowd Amici's need to stay put.  I've dined at nearly every eatery that's graced that spot in the last 8 years, and they were all overpriced and unimpressive.  I think the steepest thing on their spanking-new menu is a family spaghetti dinner for around $17.  They deliver, you can get carry-out, they have a great looking sandwich and salad menu, and they even have breakfast!  Still not enough for you?  They also host a farmer's market in the adjacent lot on Saturday mornings.

After several months of duds in the Gem City, I'm super pumped to give Amici's Place
5 out of 5 sporks!!


Carole Ohl said...

I heartily agree! I'm not much of a pizza eater, but the pizzas here are excellent, fresh and the crust... well, I'm not turning the crust over to my mister EVER on these pizzas! And I am quite inspired to test every flavor they have.

Anonymous said...

"Think along the lines of Dewey's, but then imagine if Dewey's had their asses handed to them by someone else."

Classic. I'm there.

Kachup said...

Hi Vizz!

Excellent blog...been lurking for a few months, reading along. My wife and I took in Amicis last night, and it was everything you said. The Otalian Nachos was an app to die for (the Gruyere cheese was excellent). I had the Neptune 'za (excellent) and she had th9e black forest ham and Gruyere cheese sammy. Delish! The owner and server were friendly as could be. I mentioned you, and he remembered! We'll be back.

Big in Dayton said...

This place is truly amazing. I echo your thoughts about the pizza, with one note: we wish the crust had been a bit crisper. Apparently, we visited on the same day they received a new walk-in cooler; the owner, very friendly, told us the dough hadn't had time to be properly proofed and took our suggestion about the crust in stride. We are definitely heading back soon!

Anonymous said...

How does it compare with Troni's?

Vizz said...

I haven't had pizza from Troni's, so I really can't comment. Their stromboli, however, is out of this world.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the Lemoncello slushy!

Big In Day-town said...

FYI: they're now closed on Sundays, and wont serve appetizers until 4 pm (a big "huh?" in my book, and disappointing). Place is still terrific, though!

Post a Comment