Amici's Italian Restaurant- Suntree- 2 Stars
Across from Publix, off of Wickham road in what is technically Suntree, one will find the Italian eatery, Amici's. As I entered the establishment I was rather impressed with the cleanliness and orderliness of the bar and dining area. The smells of Italian food wafted across my nose and alerted my stomach to the fact that serious work was about to commence.
I had my mini-me in tow (my young daughter) as I was directed towards an empty table and handed our lunch menus. Our server, Susan, soon appeared with a basket of oven-warmed bread (sadly, it was not made on site) and to inquire as to our desires for lunch with a disposition that fits aptly in an area known as Suntree. She was competent, exceedingly friendly, outgoing, spunky and well, sunny. It's a good thing she didn't take too long to see to our needs as the place doesn't have any WiFi (gasp) and the walls are thick concrete slabs that do not allow more than a half bar to a bar on any cell carrier.
I went with my standard Italian restaurant barometer and ordered their Veal Marsala along with a side of sausage and peppers, all accompanied by a glass of freshly brewed unsweet tea. My companion went with the childhood favorite of spaghetti and meatballs. The 20 minutes or so from the time Susan left with our order and returned with our food was enjoyable, if not excruciating. As I tumbled into nostalgia, I wondered how my parents ever maintained their sanity dining with me and my sister without cell phones back in the day. Oh, yeah. Dad drank. Do I love any time spent with my daughter? What dad doesn't? However, as my knowledge of the Littlest Pet Shop was approaching the Ph.D. level, our food couldn't appear soon enough.
Thankfully, Susan was seen walking towards us with our food as my daughter launched into her second favorite topic and dad's least...boys! The iced tea was deliciously fresh as required by Florida state law (see state Constitution), however, the rest of the fare, while mostly edible, was not all that fresh. The veal used in the veal marsala was low grade as it was a bit on the tough side. Not the worst I've had, but certainly not the best. The mushrooms were obviously canned and not fresh as they were uniformly cut and had the texture of canned food and the sauce was a bit heavy on the sweet. As I dove into my order of sausage and peppers, an oft-used phrase popped into my mind, "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." This was my thought as I noticed the grade of sausage was a twin to the grade of veal used in my previous entree. It was edible, but very low grade. The sauce was also not the highest quality, but the chef did what he could to make it passable.
My mini me took one bite of her meatballs and made a face that only a 10-year-old makes when biting something they don't like. She informed me that they were, "disgusting." Upon review, she was correct in her assessment. They did not taste fresh at all (we assumed they were of the previously frozen variety and not made fresh on site) and so were not consumed.
The Big Boy says, "It's not bad for a neighborhood meeting place, but there are much better Italian restaurants in the area." #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy