Amici - Serious Italian in Sugar Land

January 26, 2009

I love this new trend of serious restaurants opening up in the suburbs, and Sugarland benefits from this with Amici, the brainchild of Jeff Vallone and Bruce McMillian.

(For those who don't know the names, Jeff is the son of Tony Vallone, and Bruce was the Executive Chef at Tony's for many years. Both were instrumental in creating the Grotto.)

Amici is an example of how to do a restaurant right. First, the decor: It's a gorgeous space, with doors that open out on to the town square when the weather's nice. It's modern and elegant, but still manages to be inviting; it's not stuffy at all.

But the reason you come is the food. Jeff and Bruce know as much about Italian food as anyone in Texas, and it shows. The menu has wonderful balance -- traditional dishes like chicken parmigiana are there (and among the best in town) but the real magic lies with the more creative offerings, many of which you won't see anywhere else. The menu changes often, and the focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients is refreshing.

Little touches demonstrate the attention to detail: The bread basket has a variety of housemade breads, and they're delicious. A custom blended flavored iced tea is offered, and it's excellent.

Service is casual, friendly, and professional. And their recommendations are spot on.

We live in the Woodlands, but we make the trek down to Sugarland on a regular basis. It's worth it... at least until they open a Woodlands location.

Amici: 16089 City Walk, Town Square, Sugar Land, 77479, 281-242-2800

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