Italian Wars: Amici vs a Veneto

Within the course of a week, I had the chance to dine at two old time favorites- Amici and a Veneto. Both are local Italian restaurants that have similar items on the menu so we’re doing a side by side review/feature. Despite the title, I’m not pitting one against the other (What? I like them both!). It’s not a competition (boo!).
Amici or a Veneto?
Back in the day, we would troop to the Amici branch at Don Bosco every so often to have lunch and then cap the meal off with a generous serving of premium gelato ice cream (this was before gelato hit mainstream). My (highschool) friends and I frequented the one at Glorietta 3 after cutting classes. a Veneto is a popular stop because of their helfty servings at (almost) fastfood prices with restaurant service.
Amici’s Pollo Arrostito (p245) / a Veneto’s Baked Ziti with Chicken (p315)
Staple nomz in Italian restaurants are chicken, pasta, and pizza. We’ll give you a little bit of each.
As an Amici main entree, Pollo Arrostito is one of the most popular for the price and safeness. You can’t go wrong with half a rosemary chicken that’s lightly seasoned with a side of vegetables. The chicken had less meat than expected but on the whole, it’s a good dish. Serving is good for one (two if neither of you are hungry).
a Veneto’s Baked Ziti with Chicken is one of the pricier ones on their menu, but the serving is good for sharing. Two or three can gorge on this basketful of baked ziti topped with (yummy) breaded chicken and then slathered with a generous amount of mozarella cheese. The order always comes straight from the oven (with a warning to not touch the hot plate) and a few forkfuls warms you up in a good way.
Amici’s Tutta Carne (p295) / a Veneto’s New England’s Best (p270 (10″))
Tutta Carne is Amici’s version of an all-meat pizza (perfect for those who don’t like veggies). Pepperoni, ham, and bits of meat are toppings on a thin and light pizza crust that’s oven baked to a fine crisp. The pie is enough to be shared by two (if you have other orders).
New England’s Best is also one of a Veneto’s best. Ham, mushroom, onions, green peppers and a whole lot of mozarella cheese are the toppings on a thin(ish) pizza crust. The ten inch pie is good for three to four.
Amici’s Caramia desserts: Nocciola Gateau (p75) / Pistachio Gelato (p55)

One thing that Amici has to offer on their menu that a Veneto doesn’t is a good number of tempting desserts. Because of their tie up with the wonderful Caramia Gelateria, gelato ice cream and cakes are readily available. 
Besides being deliciously sinful, the gelato scoops are fairly priced at only fifty five bucks a scoop on a wafer cup (considering the prices from other gelato shops). The Nocciola Gateau cake comes highly recommended by our server. It’s a cake made up of crunchy meringue layers held together by cream and chocolate, making it taste kind of like chocolatey sansrival. b(~_~)d
The atmosphere at a Veneto is very friendly, like a diner. It’s a place where you’d bring your family on a Sunday brunch or your friends for a quick Friday get together. Amici is a place where it would be good to bring a date on a Saturday night. The warm yellow lights inside the restaurant give off a romantic vibe, and you can order a glass of wine or two while you regale your date with stories to impress.

While you get more value for your money at a Venetto with their large servings, Amici levels up the playing field with well-prepared nomz, classy ambiance and fantastic desserts. Both remain to be two of my favorite pseudo-Italian restaurants in town.

Location: Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Avenue, Makati

Contact details: (02) 621-6128

Other info: Amici Facebook page

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a Veneto
Location: Lower Ground Floor, Bldg A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
Contact details: (02) 818-3090

Email: avenetopizzeria@yahoo.com

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