Written by Giovanna Di Giacomo
Illustration by Madison Otten
Hungry for some local comfort Italian food? Amici’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant is the perfect place to visit. Amici’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been around since the 1970s. I grew up eating there with my family, and I haven’t seen its business slow. I chose to review this place, because even though it has turned into a sort of tradition for me, its food and environment can be hit or miss.
When trying something or going someplace new, one of the first things people do is Google it to find out important information. Before I went to Amici’s, I decided to see how easy it would be to look up this restaurant. Looking it up provided me with their address, hours, contact information, and their website. I clicked the link, and it brought me to this weird looking page. I backed out of it and found their website outside of the Google info box, but it was the same weird page. It was a ‘related links’ page, and when I clicked on them, it brought me nowhere.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get any background information on Amici’s: see their menu, if they worked with food allergies, catering, etc., from them directly but rather had to find it off of reviews or blogs. That was a letdown.
Ever heard of the saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’? With restaurants, I feel you kinda have to, because if the atmosphere doesn’t feel right, then you most likely won’t have the best experience. When my party arrived, we had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated, which wasn’t long. However, there wasn’t much seating for those waiting, cramming the entrance and making it harder for guests to close out their tabs at the front counter.
Upon examining the interior, I noticed a bar towards the back of the building next to the restrooms but no bartender to serve customers who were waiting for a table. The restaurant had a somewhat outdated look and style to it, but this brought a more local character to it.
When you hear of a family-owned restaurant, that usually raises people’s expectations for great service. Every employee was smiling and going out of their way to greet each and every guest. The place was quite busy, but I never saw employees stressed or rushed. It seemed as though they had it all nailed. When we were seated, our waitress never once kept us waiting and was on top of all of our drink and food orders.
I ordered the half and half combination, which came with ravioli, rigatoni, one sausage, one meatball, a side salad, and sourdough bread ($13.25). The salad was just some romaine lettuce, shredded mozzarella cheese, four pepperonis, all swimming in their house Italian dressing. The appearance was quite bland, but the taste was swarming with flavor. Our bread was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and paired perfectly when dipped in the extra dressing.
My pasta dish’s appearance was thrown together and had nothing much to it. It was just noodles covered in sauce to the point that you could barely see the noodles. The ravioli were very soft, had an even amount of cheese in them, but the cheese didn’t carry much flavor with it, so I had to rely on the sauce. The sauce was decent, had a good amount of flavor but might’ve had too much tomato paste. The rigatoni wasn’t cooked fully, so it had a bit of a crunch to it.
The sausage was the tastiest item on the plate and carried the perfect amount of spice and crispiness. The meatball was also quite good but had a bit of a frozen taste.
For dessert, we decided on spumoni ice cream ($4.50) and the pizza frita ($6). The spumoni ice cream was very creamy, had a lot of different textures from whole cherries to nuts, and wasn’t overpowered in sweetness. The pizza frita, which was fried dough covered in sugar, was alright tasting, it was missing some other sort of sweetness such as brown sugar or cinnamon, and the dough was a bit overcooked.
Overall, Amici’s turned out to be a pretty good restaurant that I guess I would recommend to any family who is looking to try something new. I chose to give Amici’s a C+, because even though I was swarmed with smiles and great service, not being able to find information on Google directly from them made the choice to go there more difficult. Their food was just okay; it isn’t outstanding, but for the amount of food you receive in the end, it is all worth the buck.
Address: 4300 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Hours: Monday- Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Food Type: Italian
Average Prices: $15
Contact Info: (303) 455-5585
Overall Score: C+