Thursday, December 29, 2011
Amici Italian in Carrollton re-opens after devastating fire
Newly renovated, same great Italian food.
"Tonight is our first official night open," said chef-owner Bartolino Cocuzza. "We're doing as soft an opening as possible. We haven't cooked in here, we have a new POS system, so there'll be some things for us to get used to."
The source of the fire was electrical, and it started in the attic. The roof caught on fire, part of the floor collapsed, and an A/C unit fell through the ceiling.
"The really neat part is that they saved all of the original floor -- it was pine, over an inch and a half thick," Cocuzza said. "The builder said he was going to put it back in. It has two scorched spots. They put it back in and used the rest for shutters for the windows. It looks neat -- it's a completely different design."
Amici had been open for 19 years and had a small staff, like family. One employee has worked there since he was 16; he's now 33. All of the employees came back, except for one bus boy.
Opening night is already filling up, as is New Year's Eve. Cocuzza is re-opening with the same menu -- lasagna, veal scallopini -- to make the opening as smooth as possible. But he has ideas for new items and he did add a handful of pizzas, including one he saw in Italy with an unlikely topping: pistachios.
"I went to Italy and saw this pizza topped with pistachios in four different restaurants," he said. "It didn't sound that appealing. But then I went to Sicily and spent three days with one of my mother's cousins. She sent out a pizza that had pistachios, anchovies, tomato, and mozzarella. I loved it. I said, 'That's going to be my featured pizza.'"
Shannon Sutlief contributed to this story.
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