Review #5 – Gateway Review


3 star marks

III Amici Restorante – Gateway Region

Take your friends to III Amici

From the warm, Old World style dining room to the tempting classic Italian dishes, dining at III Amici is like coming home to all your favorites. The building, is a stand-alone structure with ample parking, offers a main dining room on the first floor, separated from a private dining room by a row of French doors, and a bigger room downstairs for larger parties with a full bar and sound system.

On the main floor the décor is luxurious. Full crystal chandeliers and wall sconces accent the oil paintings, which hang on terra cotta stucco walls. The potted plants that dot the floor and light Italian music over the speakers only add to the feeling that one is at an outdoor café in Italy. The room is wonderfully situated for both, a business lunch or an intimate dinner. The main floor bar area is also separate from the main dining room and has several tables which work well for more casual dining. One is often likely to see owner Giovanni Lavorato at one of these tables, chatting with customers or having a bite to eat.

Our waiter was prompt and friendly, refilling glasses without being asked and taking his time with us. Bread arrived right away and it was warm and thickly crusted, accompanied with butter and olive oil. We started with a Bruschetta ($4.95), which arrived with a handful of delicious Kalamata olives. The chunks of tomato, onion, garlic and herbs flooded the senses as we chewed, trying to take it all in at once. The bread was toasted but served with the perfect amount of oil so that it was extremely easy to eat. Sometimes Bruschetta is served on bread so hard that you can’t chew it = not so at III Amici. The Linguine al Pesto ($10.50) came with lots of fresh basil, pignoli nuts, cheese and herbs. Fresh grated Parmesan arrived at our table with our meals and our waiter was generous with it. The Linguine was cooked perfectly with just the right amount of body to it. The Ravioli Bolognese (also $10.50) arrived as six full pillows of ricotta cheese, again perfectly cooked and piping hot, served with very thick, but light, and a little sweet, meat sauce.

The portions were manageable, but with enough left over to take home and enjoy again, and the pace was leisurely, with no one rushing us from appetizer to dessert. We enjoyed each bite thoroughly and when it was time for dessert had a tough time choosing from all the possibilities. In the end, the slice of seasonal pumpkin cheesecake and the plate of vanilla ice cream pie with pecans and caramel glaze were just right. Light and refreshing and washed down with a cup of strong, hot coffee or cappuccino (which arrived in a tall, clear glass mug with foam on top and sprinkled with cinnamon). Dessert at III Amici was absolutely decadent, but also absolutely not-to-be-missed.

III Amici Ristorante is a family-owned and operated business situated on Elizabeth Avenue in Linden, New Jersey. Excellent for both business and pleasure, III Amici has long been a staple for Linden residents and business-owners. Simply put, in Linden III Amici’s is the place to eat.

III Amici Restorante, 1700 W. Elizabeth Avenue, Linden, NJ 07036, 908-862-0020.