We once read in an article that people love recounting incredible dining experiences because it releases extra doses of dopamine (the “pleasure” chemical) not only in the person telling the story, but also in the person hearing it. Food is that powerful–and when you combine great food with authentic atmosphere and exceptional service, the dining experience becomes something you want to share with everyone. So we’d like to say: “you’re welcome” for the extra doses of dopamine you’re about to receive.

Ristorante Amici has been open for a mere six months and it is already completely booked every night of the week. We look around at the lunch-time rush and people are sitting elbow-to-elbow, speaking animatedly over their antipasti and prosecco. The crowd is a lively mix of corporate workers, friends, lovers, and even a couple next to us who came all the way from Geneva just to eat here for lunch. Francesco, the owner and creator of Ristorante Amici, greets you at the door as if you’re his long-lost high school sweetheart, and all of a sudden, you don’t feel like you’re in Lausanne anymore.
The food, the people, the feel, it all comes from Calabria–the deep south of Italy, just across from Sicily where food is a really big deal. The flavors are distinct and many of the dishes incorporate seafood. We tried the Duo di Carpaccio Brancino e Salmone marinated in herbs as well as the Insalata di Polpo e Seppie Aromatizzati al limone e menta. Both dishes were fresh, with every ingredient carefully chosen to bring together a perfect bouquet of flavors in each bite.

 

 

 

We were obviously big fans (as you can see from our clean plates!).

 

 

For our main courses, we tried the plat du jour which from our previous experiences is always a deliciously safe option (if you’re going on a date with someone who is willing to share, always get the suggestion du chef/plat du jour!). It was perfectly al dente linguini in a red sauce with black olives and fresh tuna–we added a pinch of the spicy red pepper from Calabria and it was heaven in our mouths. We also had the Casoncelli al burro, salvia e pancetta affumicata which were ravioli-type pasta packed with beef cooked in a red wine sauce, as well as pears and raisins, served in a butter sauce with fried sage and smoked bacon (are you salivating yet?!).

 

Domenico, Francesco, and Antonella. Francesco has employed waitstaff from his original hometown, some of whom he has known since childhood.

And of course, you have to have dessert. Francesco brought out a little sample (“with zero calories!” he joked) of their infamous tiramisu as well as their cannoli which is very specific to their region. At this point, calories were a non-issue and we enjoyed every last bite.

We capped off the lunch with a little bit of grappa–the perfect digestif after a long and rich meal.

 

 The dining area seats 38 people max, which creates a cozy and intimate atmosphere while increasing the lively nature of the crowd. A perfect combination for a dining experience!
 
At Ristorante Amici, it’s the authentic familiarity rooted in strong origins that sets them apart from the rest. It’s a restaurant where you’ll feel like a regular, even if it’s your first time and it’s not just a meal, but a trip to the south of Italy where Francesco and his team will bring you face to face with real Italian hospitality (and several ways to increase that dopamine!).
 Francesco, who studied hospitality back in Italy, poses outside of his restaurant, whose name pays homage to the previous restaurant, Café des Amis. 

Ristorante Amici
http://www.ristoranteamici.ch
Monday-Friday 10am-14h45 and 18h-midnight
Saturday 17h30-midnight
Reservations (strongly recommended at least a week in advance): 021 311 54 58

 

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