Dining Al Fresco
At Amici Of Commack
By Luann and Richard/ firstname.lastname@example.org
With spring quickly approaching,
the desire to dine outdoors may start to bubble within restaurant-goers.
When that is not possible (and even if it is) rely on Amici
of Commack to take you to an entirely different worlda
world of dining al fresco in the fresh air of
one of sunny Italys piazzas.
Nestled in the eastern corner of the Commack Corners Shopping
Center at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Commack
Road, Amici would be easy to miss if you didnt know
where to look. Once you pass through the restaurants
wooden doors, which sharply contrast with the look of neighboring
stores, like the Blockbuster, the noise of the busy intersection
melts away as you enter a world of mahogany browns, orange
hues and calming greens. The wall mural décor of landscapes
and seaside scenes, patio-like chairs and sandy colored tiles
make you feel like you are dining outside. You can almost
hear the breeze.
After you are seated, your server takes your drink order.
Aromas from nearby tables float through the air, awakening
your senses. Then you are given your menu, which boasts a
variety of pasta, risotto, meat and fish dishes. Dont
get too attached to the menu items, though, for the specials
list is extensiveso extensive, in fact, that you probably
will need to hear it twice.
Our waitress read us a list of over 10 specials that included
a seafood cocktail for two, mussels marinara, pan-seared dried
sea scallops, Mahi-mahi, duck, lamb, crusted tilapia, and
orada, a Mediterranean fish, served whole. The menu and specials
are products of chef and manager Raul Flores, who has been
in the business for 22 years and with Amici since it opened
three years ago. Though the menu is mostly northern Italian,
Raul plays with other continental cuisines and bolder flavors
with his specials.
After much debate and a recommendation from Raul to order
from his specials, we settled on a few of them and one menu
appetizer that caught our eye, the carpaccio di manzo ($9.95),
thinly sliced raw filet mignon over arugula and Pecorino Romano
cheese, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with thin crispy
Oysters Rockefeller ($13.95) is a fine choice, topped with
spinach and a light sauce. The oysters come plump, sizeable
and juicy, and nearly melt in your mouth.
The entrees that followed did not disappoint. The pink tequila
sauce in a chicken dish with artichoke hearts ($18.95) brought
a pleasantly tangy and creative kick to what easily could
have been an average dish, but nothing is average at Amici.
The showstopper, however, came with our other entrée
choice, a classic bouillabaisse that elicited a wow
from us when it was placed on the table, an enormous dish
with piles of seafood over a bed of pasta in a delicate saffron
cream sauce ($31.95). It was like an Italian Christmas Eve
dinner all over again! Seven kinds of fishcalamari,
mussels, clams, peeled baby shrimp, tender scallops cooked
to perfection, half a lobster and a crab clawtopped
fettuccini, barely even visible, there were so many pieces
Desserts ($6 each) range from a creamy, soft homemade tiramisu
with ladyfingers to classic Italian cheesecake. We had both.
Unique ambiance. Flawless presentation. Quality food. Amici
has it all. It can even host parties for groups up to 80 people.
Keep your eyes peeled for exciting developmentswe got
a tip from Raul that they might offer cooking classes for
a romantic night out at some point.
6546 Jericho Turnpike
Commack Corners Shopping Center
Northern Italian, continental fare,
and a variety of specials
Atmosphere: Like having dinner in an Italian
5 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday. Closed Mondays.