Amici Miei, a Flavour-packed Family Italian

Amici Miei owners Marcella and Manrico

Amici Miei owners Marcella and Manrico

I love it when I discover new little places with a whole lot of heart. There’s no question that’s the case at Amici Miei Cucina Italiana (1114 Denman St. 604-563-6610), in Vancouver’s West End.

Owners Manrico Serpente  and Marcella Gentile told me they came to Vancouver last year for the very first time, from Abruzzo, Italy.  It’s not easy to make such a move in mid-life. They’re truly  delightful people and I wish them every success.

Amici itself is nothing fancy: the room is simply but cleanly furnished—and that very much reflects what’s on the menu. The fare is straightforward but the sauces are delicious. Amici’s Miei’s menu is divided into small tapas plates (which seem more generous than most) and pasta dishes listed by sauce style—as in red white and rosé. Most of the pasta is made in house fresh daily. Purchased pasta (more elaborate, Rigatoni and Fusili) is clearly marked on the menu.

This is ‘old style’ Italian, un-compromised by fickle trend or fad. There’s nothing on the list over $20. And if you hurry down before month-end you can dine for even less, thanks to some pretty generous introductory discounts. (50% off lunch and 30% off dinner.)

Amici Miei vancouver roses

Little touches …


Amici early addictions

My initial visit convinced me there’s plenty more at Amici Miei worth tasting.  Based solely on the impossibly delicious and seductive, melt in your mouth, piping hot Crocchette di Patate—potato rolls filled with molten Mozzarella and ham ($12)—I’ll be back at the first opportunity. Sorry. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture…

Also worth a nod, nicely tender Calamari al Pomodoro, which arrives in a pool of intensely flavourful tomato sauce with fresh pesto ($12).

Rigatoni alla salsiccia with wine glass

Amici Miei’s Rigatoni Salsiccia is emblematic of the quality and value you’ll find here

Equally toothsome was a perky and plentiful Rigatoni alla Salsiccia—with spicy Italian sausage and mushrooms ($18), as well as excellent Lasagne Timballo ($20).

The only blip happened when we wanted soda for the Campari and were told there wasn’t any. Maybe they had San Pellegrino but it wasn’t offered. Overall, though, drinks are  very moderately priced, as are the wines, with a limited but serviceable selection by the glass.

You can order the likes of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Tollo Colle Secco Rubino ($8 glass, $36 bottle), plus Prosecco by the glass—and plenty more.

See you there! I’ll be the one with a plateful of Crocchette di Patate …

Amici Miei



Amici Miei group

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:11+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Dining|1 Comment

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.

One Comment

  1. Cynthia Sharp February 25, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Look so good! Can’t wait to try it out!

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