Nude skydiving off the top of the Burj Khalifa. Trekking the Appalachian trail. Enjoying an outlawed dish of ortolan, the forbidden songbird of France. For some, these are the kind of wild ideas one dreams of doing before dying. For Nancy Miller, it's Amici Italian Café. Miller begins her Amici review by writing the Old Louisville restaurant has been on her "bucket list for a long time," but after a single, uneven
lunch visit says she wishes she "had left it where it had been lingering." It seems the "charming exterior" was Miller's reason for listing Amici on things "bucket," but her lunch dinner brought her indoors to face "a tired-to-the-bone decor" as well as some fried calamari she finds "tough," with a breading that is "cold and soggy." She does enjoy some steamed mussels with a broth "so heavenly we wanted to drink it straight from the bowl." Her entrees, however, do not fare as well:
Any flavor-brimming vanished with the gnocchi "agli e ollo" … These gluey little blobs had nothing about which to be proud. Perhaps they were waiting for the spinach and caramelized onions to bring them to life. The rescue didn't happen.Miller goes on to pan her cups of soup (they, or a salad, are included with Amici entrees) and praise her side order of meatballs as "so good even Tony Soprano would have given it a thumbs up," a 2007-era reference indicating that "find fresher Italian stereotypes" may have to be added to Miller's "bucket list."
We ordered the Blushing Florentine Ravioli because "pillows of ricotta and romano cheeses tossed with wilted spinach and our chef's signature blush sauce" reeled us in. The dish was much better than the gnocchi, but still it was merely satisfactory. The blush sauce was only a few grades above tomato soup laced with some cream. If I were chef Adam Woods, I'd get a new signature.
After one meal (and despite noting the presence of something called a "Tuscan Hot Brown"), Miller deigns to offer Chef Adam Woods some advice, writing that "he and his diners might be excited if he occasionally took a gamble." You know, like eating
a lunch dinner in Old Louisville. How many people can say they've done that before they die?
UPDATE: Nancy Miller comments that she had dinner, not lunch, at Amici Café.
· Amici Café [Official Site]
· Amici Italian Cafe [Courier-Journal]
· All Eater Week in Reviews [-ELOU-]