Monday, October 14, 2019

Return to Amici – Maryville Tennessee

I rarely blog about a restaurant that was the subject of another post within the last month or even the last year although sometimes I will post a new entrée or featured dish from a recent visit.  However, I’m going to make an exception in this instance and in another in the near future as well…

In this case, both Amici and another to follow, are both ‘different’, ‘innovative’ and a cut above the norm.  In this instance, there were three of us…allowing for a broader sampling of the menu.

Amici is a new Italian Restaurant located on East Broadway Avenue in the Five Point neighborhood which is in the east side of Maryville Tennessee.  They had been open for between 4 and 5 months when we visited this second time.

In case you didn’t read my last post re: Amici, the interior of the restaurant is simple yet eye-catching.  During our first visit, we arrived for an early dinner on a Thursday and the restaurant was fairly quiet with a limited number of customers.  However, in this case it was about 7 PM on a Friday night and Amici was quite busy…with that long communal table fully occupied!  Business was good indeed…

Dawn Marie had flown in from Miami for a short visit and we went straight to Amici after picking her up at the airport.  The ladies immediately opted for a bottle of red wine, in this case it was a 2012 Brunello Di Montalicino, a Sangiovese wine from Tuscany Italy. 

Both ladies enjoyed the wine…as they should have because a little after-the-fact research revealed that most ratings in Wine Spectator and other sources gave this vintage 90 points or better.  It was obvious that our helpful and attentive waiter was a bit inexperienced in opening wine bottles and he missed the mold on the cork… It didn’t seem to have affected the wine though.  FYI, I had a nice specialty ale from Grand Rapids Michigan...

Despite the fact that I’m not crazy about smoked fowl of any type, I decided to order the Hickory Smoked Buffalo Wings with Calabrian Chili Buffalo Sauce and Buttermilk Dressing. ($9.00)

I was right… Despite the positive impact of the Calabrian Chili Buffalo Sauce and the Buttermilk Dressing, I just don’t really like smoked chicken!  Laurie and Dawn had a couple of wings too.  Dawn expected something more with the buttermilk dressing but thought that the wings were good and Laurie liked them quite a bit.  Different strokes…

Dawn ordered the Short Rib Arancini. (I’m not sure of the price as she picked up the bill and it wasn’t on the menu) These roasted balls of garlic risotto were stuffed with meat from beef short ribs, jalapeno, mozzarella and Pomodoro tomatoes.

Dawn thought that they were pretty good and I really liked them.  I considered them to be superior comfort food!  However, both Dawn and I thought that they should be kicked up a notch with some crushed red pepper flakes.  It probably won’t happen as most diners in East Tennessee aren’t into a bit of ‘heat’...favoring less spicy recipes. 

Dawn order the Smoked Chicken Alfredo as her entrée. ($16.00) This version of chicken Alfredo comes with penne pasta, caramelized Cipollini onions, and Pecorino and Taleggio cream. (She skipped the brocolini that normally comes with it)

Unfortunately Dawn didn’t enjoy her dinner.  She said that it was far too salty…taking away from the taste of the chicken, onions and cream sauce.  Laurie had ordered this entrée the last time we visited Amici and she really liked it.  We both tasted Dawn’s pasta and agreed that the salt levels were over the top… Someone in the kitchen had heavy hand with the salt on this occasion. 

For my dinner I chose the Lamb Bolognese. ($18.00) In this dish, lightly sauced ground lamb and pork with pecorino cheese were tossed with terrific restaurant-made tagliatelle noodles.  I was a happy camper for sure but Dawn and I agreed that a little crushed red pepper would have upped this taste treat even more…

Laurie decided to construct a Custom Pizza.  She ordered Georgia Garlic Olive Oil as the base and added house-made Mozzarella Stracciatella, pepperoni and Italian Sausage. ($19.00) It was excellent!  Love the thin crust, the mozzarella and the top notch Italian sausage.  “Sadly” Laurie couldn’t eat it all so we had to bring some home for a follow-up ‘tasting’!

As happened during our last visit, one of Amici’s managers stopped by our table looking for some feedback.  We told him about the overly salty Chicken Alfredo.  We also talked about possibly ramping up the spice/heat level in some dishes, acknowledging that less is probably better with his clientele.  He mentioned that we could request addition of red pepper flakes with our food orders the next time and it would be done.  We had ordered gelato for dessert and he had them taken off the bill as an offset for Dawn’s salty entrée.

Amici is a good restaurant with an interesting menu that’s unlike any others in the greater Knoxville area.  The staff is attentive and friendly.  We will return again soon!  Amici is located at 1420 East Broadway in Maryville Tennessee.  They are open for lunch Wednesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 3 PM and for dinner from 5 PM until 10 PM.  Phone: 865-724-1710.  Website:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Even in E. TN I would expect crushed red pepper on the table of an Italian restaurant. Hopefully they would have brought you some though.

  2. Laurie's custom pizza looks good, friend David. In my kitchen I would substitute the bread pizza crust with cauliflower pizza crust. I'm surprised no one ordered salad or veggies on the side … Love, cat.

  3. The food all looks good to me and it sounds like a good restaurant too with its eye-catching interior, Italian restaurants are my fave. Have a good rest of the week, Dave!