Okay. Food was okay, service wasn't great.
"Bargin" Italian shows in the food; if going out for Italian, spend just a little more and get a LOT more.... Reviews tout this restaurant as one of the "best bargins" in Little Italy, Baltimore. I now understand the reason for this, and the lack of praise of their fare. On a recent evening, prior to a show, I was part of a four-person party who landed here for dinner. The atmosphere in their bar is quite nice, but it does not feel Italian. It felt more like an attempt to be trendy (and, of course, to provide patrons an opportunity to splurge on highly proiftable drinks). We were escorted upstairs to a dingy dining room, with vynal tablecloths, poor lighting, and no music. Wearing old jeans, our waitress (who will remain nameless) neglected to welcome us, introduce herself to our party, offer the specials, or point out the wine list. As an appetizer, we ordered the "Pane's Rotundo", which is highlighted in red on their menu. The alfredo sauce was creamy, but the garlic was completely overdone -- a red flag that fresh herbs and spices were lacking. I decided to give their alfredo sauce a second chance and ordered the Tortolini. I was again, very disappointed with the lack of flavor. My wife's chicken parmigian was also very ordinary and, with bland sauce. Others in our party confirmed that their entrees were okay, at best. Now comes the most ALARMING part of the evening: they do not offer espresso! What Italian restaurant worth consideration doesn't offer espresso? I don't mean to be trite, but this was the final straw for me. After we paid our $100+ check (not exactly a bargin), I vowed to try to help others avoid this overpriced, underperforming faux-Italian eatery (really, a glorified pasta restaurant). With so many other good options within a stone's throw, I can't understand why Amicci's remains viable. I HATE to say this, but the "Olive Garden" beats the sauce out of this place, which, if done literally, would be doing a favor for anyone that can tell the difference between tomato soup and marinara sauce.
Amicci's was a great disappointment. If you want to pay inflated prices to eat tastless food off of uneven tables with vinyl tableclothes using tin cutlery in a dingy back room, this is the place for you. Maybe our expectations were raised too high by reader reviews. But after our highly unsatisfying experience, I wonder if the positive "reader" reviews weren't submitted by the restaurant. The front room is attractive, but the rest of the dining rooms are dark, unpleasant, and have greasy floors. But the worst part of the experience was the food. We ordered two appetizers and three pasta entrees (this is not an "Italian" restaurant; the limited menu makes this no more than a pasta joint) and they all tasted the same -- that's to say, they had no taste. The calamari were a congealed mass of tasteless fried dough; the red sauce with which it was served had no bite at all. The mussels were passable but rather small and tough and the garlic broth very thin. Our three pasta dishes -- a red sauce wit sausage, an alfredo sauce, and a garlic pesto -- truly tasted alike. Everyone in our party reached for the salt shaker after the first bite -- a first for me in any restaurant!
Let's face it, Baltimore's Little Italy is a pale imitation of a real ethic enclave. There's no restaurant there that can rival any authentic Italian restaurant in Washington or New York. Whatever language they speak there, the words "al dente" are clearly a foreign tounge. If you must eat there, though, pay one or two dollars more per item and eat at Sabbatino's -- at least you get a little atmosphere with your overcooked noodles. (12/04/07)
Good food - good place to eat. Good place to have lunch or dinner. The food is very tasty, the service is friendly, and the atmosphere is great.
Our favorite in Little Italy. Amicci's is our Little Italy standard. Nothing else compares. The prices are very reasonable, the portions are HUGE and the food is always top quality. I've come with large groups before, small groups and just the two of us - always great service. The wait isn't as bad since they expanded a few years ago, but on a weekend night in Little Italy, what do you expect. When they took my favorite dish off the menu, I just asked, and they made it for me anyway. Their fried calamari is the best in town, and I'm picky about these things. I do wish you could make reservations for smaller groups, but they're always great about the big groups, and we've never had a problem whether it's 8 or 16!
Always a pleasure..
It really is always a pleasure to eat at Amicci's.
I read one review that the menu was not robust enough for the reviewer. This isn't the Olive Garden. I've eaten at quite a few of the Little Italy restaurants, and many are just making money, not food.
Amicci's has an excellent gravy to go on the fresh pasta, not too thin, not too anything, just right if you ask me.
The Chicken Lorenzo is excellent. The tomato-Marsala wine sauce is about as good of a sauce as I've ever had.
I always get the fresh Mozzarella of the day, I even now have my local Italian sandwich shop making a similar appetizer for me.
The service has always been fine with me. Whether it's a Friday night or a Tuesday night, I've always felt that I was well attended to.
Very overrated. Although the amibance and dining rooms were nicely decorated, that was about the only thing that was nice about the whole restaurant. Our server was disinterested and obviously unhappy in her job of serving us. For food, I was sorely disappointed. The house salad, typically a dish that people order expecting traditional simplicity, was too harsh and spicy, and drenched in parmesan cheese (an OVERWHELMING amount of parmesan cheese). Moving onto my entree, the chicken of the chicken marsala was stringy, and the marsala sauce did not taste like marsala sauce. It was ovely sweet. The marinara sauce was also too sweet. I felt as if the chef had dumped two cups of sugar into the sauce to make it taste decent. Overall, I found the menu limiting, the service bad, and the food worse. I don't care what the other reviews said. This place was horrible.
One of the Best. I'm not sure what plenet that last reviewer came from but that review is way off the mark. I'm a born and bred NY Italian and I think Amicci's is probably the best Italian around. The food is classic, southern Italian and if you leave there hungry, it's your own fault! It's a comfy place and not as pretentious as some of the other, higher priced places in that area.
Family-friendly portions of tortellini, penne and gnocchi served for cheap in Little Italy..
You'll spy contented diners clustered around black-and-white checked tables under framed posters of Italian movies if you peek through the picture windows from the street. But then you wouldn't be able to hear the music piped into this collection of small dining rooms which, defying your prejudicial expectations, are more likely to be filled with the vocal stylings of Bob Marley than Andrea Bocelli.
Don't skip the house salad with its sweetly tangy dressing and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Then before the entree, see if you can convince a friend to split an appetizer of the pane rotundo, a lightly toasted, hollowed round of Italian bread brushed with butter and garlic then topped with jumbo shrimp smothered in creamy scampi sauce. Main courses find chicken, sausage, and seafood prepared as cacciatores, marsalas, and parmigianas while the fresh pastas are prepared al dente.
Service ok, need better menu.
I found the choice of items pretty lame and underwhelming. Brought a friend here who had never seen Little Italy in Baltimore based on the reviews and we were both disappointed. The atmosphere is cute, but the menu is pretty lame. Don't come here for a "Little Italy" or a real Italian flavor. Fine for a quick lunch, but not to impress anyone.
Service was unfriendly and brusque at first, but warmed up based on the look of our faces!
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