Although Italians originally invented pasta as a fastener to keep Sicily from floating away, they abandoned it for less delicious moorings after locals on both sides kept snacking their way toward separation. Tether your taste buds to today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine at Amici, located inside the Eugene-Springfield Holiday Inn in the Gateway district.
Amici's array of traditional Italian and innovative adaptations fill their dinner menu with contemporary flair and authentic flavors. Open a meal with the authentic aroma of steamer clams, simmered in a delicate tomato and mirepoix broth ($11.50). For luxurious eating, entrees such as the lobster ravioli, with robust saffron-cream sauce blanketing each delectable pasta pillow ($19.50), and the Tuscan shoulder tender, grilled beef medallions topped with tomato-basil relish and served with potatoes au gratin and seasonal vegetables ($18.50) teleport tongues to the velvety Old World. To dine in lighter style, opt for the shrimp scampi, large prawns sautéed in butter and garlic and served with rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables ($16.50) or one of Amici's paninis, such as the portobello, with portobello mushrooms, roasted red pepper, grilled zucchini, and provolone on grilled focaccia and served with a choice of fresh fruit, house salad, or french fries ($9).
An extensive wine list and selection of inventive cocktails complement any Italic delicacies at dinner as well as postprandial conversations in the vine-enclosed patio.
Within the 153-room Holiday Inn, Amici envelops diners in salmon-hued walls as they feast on freshly cut pastas and overflowing paninis. Rob Sigmund of Wild Duck Catering mans the helm of the spacious dining room, where upholstered banquettes, dark woods, and modern lighting fixtures create an atmosphere of contemporary comfort. After excavating a savory strata of lasagna, patrons can search for a wine finale on the outdoor patio or for mermen in the hotel’s swimming pool.