Pizza originated in ancient circles of nobility, where popular toppings included caviar, gold-plated pepperoni, and dodo-bird feathers. Enjoy modern upper-crust slices with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $18 worth of gourmet pizza, salads, and sandwiches at Amici's Pizza in Birmingham.
Amici's kitchen artisans wield hand-grated cheese, fresh ingredients, and scratch-made sauce to assemble the menu’s slew of piping-hot pies, earning Best Gourmet Pizza accolades from Metro Times readers in 2010. Savor a specialty pizza ($15.79 for a 12"; $18.25 for a 14") such as the smoked salmon, which tops its eponymous fish with rivers of sour cream, scallions, and low-fat cheese, or the vegan pizza, whose fresh herb-tomato sauce and pesto play hide-and-seek with plum tomatoes, roasted garlic, and broccoli playmates in a dairy-free landscape. Chefs can also sprinkle custom pizza orders with traditional toppings such as pepperoni, olives, and italian sausage ($10.51 for a 12", $1.53/topping; $12.98 for a 14", $1.76/topping).
For all pie varieties, traditional, whole-wheat, thin, or gluten-free crusts are shaped to 12-inch or 14-inch sizes before being popped in the oven or installed as replacement wheels on the restaurant’s unicycle. The kitchen staff also slathers original sandwiches in homemade sauces such as cranberry-poppy-seed mayo ($5.74 each) and hire bandana-wearing guerrilla bunnies to raid local gardens for greens to make six varieties of salads ($6.30–$8.04).
A certified green restaurant, Amici’s Pizza combines environmentally sound practices with gourmet pizzas and martinis—an effort Jane Slaughter of Metrotimes calls, “virtuous […] without a hint of self-righteousness.” Slaughter is just one of many members of the press to praise Amici’s, which boasts a martini bar complete with recycled materials and non-toxic cleaning chemicals. The pizza is made with organic products whenever possible, arriving in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free varieties dotted with ingredients such as black beans, smoked corn, and scallions or artichoke, spinach, and walnuts. Traditional, whole-wheat, thin, or gluten-free crusts are topped with a bevy of cheeses, including soy cheese for those who follow a dairy-free diet or are fearful of mozzarella's association with the dark arts.
Amici's staff do more than pull pies from the oven, though—bartenders mix up more than 60 martinis ranging from old favorites such as the sidecar to new inventions such as the pina-tini with rum, vanilla vodka, and pineapple juice. Guests can enjoy libations at the martini bar or while savoring fresh air on the spacious patio.