First off, my apologies for this late report on the pizza activity on the Florida Panhandle. It seems that I’ve gotten to where I’ve been visiting places far faster than I can write them up. But, it’s January and many of my music friends are heading south for the annual 30A Songwriters Festival, so this one’s for you!
An annual trip to 30A has long been an event for Mrs. Pie and me. A few years back while riding bikes, we noticed that there was actually another beach between Rosemary Beach and the end of 30A. Called Inlet Beach, we were quite surprised to see how quietly beautiful this seemingly secret place was. In fact, when I asked the lifeguard on duty why there was nobody here, he replied “Shhh!”
This past year, we noticed a new strip center had opened in Inlet Beach at the spot where 30A ends and curves into Highway 98. Catching our eye in this sparkly-white complex of mostly realty and decorating businesses was Amici 30A Italian Kitchen. This led to Mrs. Pie and I planning for an Italian dinner night out.
Not strictly a pizza place, I chose to bend my rules a little bit in covering Amici since I saw that they took great pride in their pizza, and as I would find, deservedly so. Under their menu banner of “Signature Neapolitan Pizza Pies,” I went for the $18 Margherita (only $10 during “Happy Hour”) that would serve as an appetizer before my main fare of their Chicken Parm.
Amici is a big joint with a rather lively and noisy main dining room of community tables that also features a large bar and an open pizza oven area. We got lucky and were seated in a quiet open-aired covered section just outside the front door. There is also some uncovered seating out front.
Our pizza came out quick. I did a double-take at first glance since this was perhaps the first time I have ever seen where each small slice of an N-pie had its own individual full basil leaf. In the end though, this was more look than taste since it was hard for those leaves to do much to the great-tasting tomato sauce and Mozzarella on this pizza.
Amici’s pie also had a thick end crust that was more akin to a New York slice. It was quite tasty and delightfully chewy though I must say. There also seemed to be a heavy squirt of olive oil added at the finish of its creation which likewise was tastefully a plus. Surprisingly, it didn’t make things mushy like I feared might happen.
If you know my pet peeves about pizza, then you understand how “thin is in,” This pie was just that with both the bottom crust, cheese and sauce not overdone. I don’t like my pizza to be filling and Amici’s scored strong in this department. While not necessarily something to set the pizza world abuzz, Amici’s pizza covered all the basics quite good.
I quickly enjoyed every bite of our pizza starter, allowing Mrs. Pie time for only a single slice. We both found the other offerings we ate to be fabulous as well. If you are vacationing at 30A or singing songs that you wrote there next week, a night at Amici 30A Italian Kitchen deserves to be on your list of things to do. I know that I will be back next season for sure. This place is a winner!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****Near Perfection
Amici 30A Italian Kitchen
Inlet Beach, FL 32461