Amico Mio is a cosy Italian restaurant located in the small town of Whalley. When Amico Mio opened in 2002, it had an excitingly intimate European atmosphere.
Often a musician would play quietly in the corner, strumming away to a relaxed audience. Charming waiting staff zipped through the narrow gaps between tables, whisking meals to hungry customers. An artist had painted faux cracks into the building, making the sandy orange walls look like the crumbling city walls of Rome. These are small details.
I turned up at Amico Mio’s early in the evening. It was ‘Happy Hour’, where the you can eat any pizza or pasta for £5.90 (not £4.90 like it says on the website). To qualify for this offer, buying a drink with each meal is mandatory. With drinks prices on the steep side, this is something to watch-out for. A half pint of Peroni is £3.90, making it quite possibly the most expensive pint of beer available in the Ribble Valley.
The menu is extensive. With around 20 starters, 17 pizzas, 17 pastas and over 20 other main dishes, the kitchen staff have their work cut out. I started with a tomato and chilli garlic bread. This was crisp and fresh, with just enough chilli kick mixed in with the light tomato puree.
For my main course I had a hearty portion of Spaghetti Bolognese, topped with a generous scoop of Parmesan cheese. This was basic but tasted great, although the portion size got the better of me.
My dining companions ate Tortellini con Spinaci e Ricotta , and Penne all’Arrabbiata. Both of which I am assured, not least by their vanishment, tasted great.
At Amico Mio the food is consistently good. For £5.90 you can’t knock Amico Mio. If I had chosen the £20 steak, I would be less likely to forgive feeling like I was sitting in a ‘cheap and cheerful’ pub, where the waiting on staff wanted me in and out as soon as possible. The musician and the cracks painted on to the walls, have both disappeared. Personally I would like to see them back, and would prefer to see ‘Happy Hour’ gone, and for Amico Mio to focus on the high standards and attention to detail that once served them so well.