“ Forest Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 8AQ. Tel : 01912151115 „
Amici's is a family run Italian restaurant. The restaurant is a reasonable size and there are a number of tables of various sizes. The restaurant has a number of different sections to it and a raised level. Because the restaurant is a decent size you don't need to make a reservation usually, however I would advise if you are coming in a larger group to pre book. There is a small lounge area with a sofa and small table and a bar area as you come into the restaurant if you do want to have a drink before you sit at your table.
The restaurant has a strong Italian atmosphere. All of the staff are Italian and there is Italian/ Mediterranean music playing. The décor is also very Mediterranean bright coloured walls, artwork and light wooden tables and chairs. This gives a very relaxed family feel as opposed to formal like in some restaurants.
***Location and Opening Times***
Amici's is located in Forest Hall, in a suburban area of Newcastle. The restaurant is a 10 minute car drive from the City Centre. The restaurant is a five minute walk from Benton Metro Station. Benton Metro Station is approximately a 15 minute journey from Newcastle City Centre.
Parking is a slight issue as there are limited parking spaces outside of the restaurant therefore you have to park in the surrounding streets. As this is a residential area there are quite a few cars around however every time I have visited the restaurant we have had less than a minute walk from the car.
Mon- Thurs 12.00-14.30 17.30- 22.00
Fri & Sat 12.00 14.30 17.00-22.30
Sun & Bank Holidays 12.30-21.00
The Amici's menu is a very basic Italian menu. It contains traditional Italian favourites however there is not a lot of variety or any dishes which are slightly unusual. A very "safe" menu choice; somewhere you could take a variety of people even those who are quite fussy eaters.
There are around 8 starters on the menu, including soup, garlic mushrooms, potato skins and prawns with sweet chilli.
The main menu has more choice and there are a variety of pizza and pastas. There are around 10 different pasta dishes; none particularly adventurous but you can choose the type of pasta that you would like the dish cooked with. There are also a lot of choices in terms of pizzas however nothing unusual or that I have not seen before, but there is the option to have different bases, or even half a pizza and chips rather than just a full pizza.
The menu also has a variety of Italian salads and around 8 meat and fish dishes.
The food is very tasty also quality wise is very average. The quality is not outstanding although it is not poor quality either. There is an emphasis on quantity and I feel those with larger appetites would not be disappointed with the size of the portions.
The starters are much larger than average. When I have ordered potato skins they were cooked well however I left half of the starters as there was enough to serve 2 people. I have also ordered a mozzarella salad on a separate visit which was probably double the size that you receive in other restaurants.
The pasta dishes are also very large and you get a large portion. The sauces are tasty and varied and the balance between pasta and sauce is just right to ensure a good covering of sauce but not so much that it drowns the pasta. My only criticism of the pasta dishes are that the pasta is cooked too soft for my tastes.
Pizzas are also very tasty just too large in size for my appetite. Even a half pizza half chips combination is too much for me to finish/
The meat dishes are very pleasant but not outstanding. I have ordered a chicken in a cream and white wine sauce and although I enjoyed the dish the chicken was slightly dry. The steak Mr Lools ordered was also tasty and cooked how he asked however the quality was not the best which meant the meat was slightly touch. But for the price of dishes on the menu I do not think you can expect fine dining standard ingredients.
Desserts are quite basic. Although tasty the cheese cake and the chocolate torte I have ordered off the menu tasted very much like a shop bought frozen dessert.
Amici's is probably offers the best value for money from any restaurant I have visited. The food is not the best quality I have eaten but it is certainly acceptable and the sizes of the portions are suitable for even larger appetites. The prices of dishes on the menu are very reasonable. Starters cost from £3- £4.50, pasta £5.95 - 7.95 and desserts cost £3.00- £4.00. Meat dishes including chicken and steak cost around £8.95 - £12.95 (for steak).
Even though the prices are very reasonable normally the restaurant offers a lunch and happy hour (5-7.30pm) offer. For £4.95 you can have a starter, main course (pizza/pasta) and ice cream or coffee
The waiters and service in general is very friendly and there is very much a family feel and a friendly ambience within the restaurant. Service is very quick and if you visit the restaurant for lunch you could dine within an hour. This is great for those with limited time but if you are visiting the restaurant for an evening meal the service can be a little too efficient. For example after ordering starters come within 10 minutes of placing the order. Then almost as soon as I had put my cutlery down from my starter, the main course had arrived. This is great for those that are hungry and do not like to wait for their food. But if like myself if you do need some time to allow food to settle between courses then the service is definitely too efficient!
bar stocks a variety of beers and lagers on draught in addition to bottled, beers. Lagers, ciders and alcopops. The bar also stocks a variety of spirits. There is a reasonable wine list with a number of red, white, rose and sparkling wines on offer. These are priced lower than many restaurants and a bottle of house wine costs around £8.95. Prices for other drinks are also very reasonable with a pint costing around £2.20 and spirits and a mixture costing in the region of £2.80.
Water is also provided with the meal if requested which is complimentary.
In terms of food, ambience and service Amici's is a very average family owned Italian restaurant. The menu is pretty basic; nothing too fancy or memorable but contains all of the basic Italian dishes that you would expect on the menu of an Italian restaurant. The atmosphere is very relaxed and has a family run feel to it which makes it a good choice as a restaurant to visit with your own family.
Because the service is so quick and efficient, this is a great place to go for lunch or those who are limited for time (or very hungry). On a few occasions I found the service a little too "efficient" and that the food was almost on a conveyor belt,; the main arriving at the table almost as soon as I had put my knife and fork down from my starter. So if you are looking for a more slow paced meal or coming here on a date then I would probably not recommend choosing Amici's.
Amici's is definitely a winner in terms of value for money, portion sizes are large and items on the menu priced very reasonably. If you come at Happy Hour you will definitely not be disappointed and it is possible to have a 3 course meal for £4.95! Bargain!!
Amici, situated in Benton is a lovely restaurant with good food and great prices.
Travel: Amici is just set back of a relatively busy road, so it's easy to find, but you dont get all the noise flying through the door. It's also a 10 minute walk from Benton Metro station and has a bus stop outside the door. So it's easily reachable. However when it comes to parking, it's not the best, there's around 10 spaces outside, which simply isn't enough on a busy Saturday night.
Food: The food from Amici is delicious and a wide choice is offered on the menu. Hot and cold starters are offered. Mains have something for everyone, steak, chicken, pasta, pizza... It's all there! A beautful fridge packed full of fresh cakes and pastries is a good enough reason to make me have a walk to the toilet (via the fridge in question)
Drinks: Although not priced the best, a wide selection of drink are on offer, and as long as you dont go asking for a rediculously complicated cocktail, you'll get what you want.
Prices: Amici's food is very reasonably priced, and nothing on the menu stands out as extortionate. The drinks aren't a bargain; and that is where they hit you somewhat, but it's still cheaper than most bars in the town. Amici offers a happy hour until 7pm; during which one can get a starter (Soup of the day or Potato skins), main course (Any pizza or pasta), and Ice cream or coffee.
Staff: The staff are all friendly and many of them are actually Italian, adding to the authentic feeling of the restaurant, despite this; thier English is always extremely good and the language barrier is non-existent. The staff always go out of thier way to help you, and you always feel welcome when eating in Amici.
Layout: The restaurant is well lit (enough so you can see what your eating, but dull enough to give the place some atmosphere). Authentic Italian music is played, making the place seem italian. There is a main floor with a smaller floor a few steps up.
Other: The toilets are always clean and the kitchens look so too! Amici also holds Greek nights occasionally which I've never attended; however a family member who went recently said she had a fabulous time, particularly enjoying the plate smashing!
Amici's is a family owned Italian restaraunt located in Forest Hall, about a ten minute car journey from the centre of Newcastle which makes it fairly hard to get to as there's no bus/metro stops nearby, and also there are only a few parking spaces next to the restaraunt which means that you might have a short walk from the car.
There is an option of making a reservation which is advisable at peak times, but normally you don't really need to. It has many tables and can seat over 250 people. The restaraunt itself is set into a few different sections, with raised parts and the main bit of the restaraunt on the floor. There is a quite Italian atmosphere, with Italian waiters and Italian music in the background and Italian artwork, it is very nice and a great place for a night out.
The food is excellent although the menu may be a bit limited. There is probaly something for everyone, as well as a few vegetarian options. The starters range from antipasti to salad. There is a wide selection of main courses, you have all sorts of pizza and pasta with many different toppings and sauces and then traditional Italian salads, chicken dishes and other things. One of the best things is the happy hour special which is available at lunch time and from 5-7pm for an amazing £4.95, this doesn't include drinks. It is a starter, main course and then either ice cream or coffee. The starter is either soup of the day or a very delicious plate of potato skins with two dips. The main course is any pizza or any pasta and as all of these are over £5 you're saving money and getting a free starter and ice cream!
Overall, it's a great place for a relaxed meal out if you're on a budget, some great quality Italian food!