Rockville’s Restaurant Week kicks off next week (September 10-18) and the list seems to have grown from the previous year. Last year I ventured all the way down I-270 for an “ok” experience, this year I decided to keep it closer to the District border. Rockville’s Restaurant Week always gets me excited because it gives me a good reason to step outside my boundaries and try something new. Since Italian is in my top three favorite foods, I decided on Amici Miei Ristorante located off of Seven Locks Road in Potomac.
Tucked neatly in a small strip mall/shopping center, Amici Miei offers a dim, casual ambiance with a semi-open kitchen and spacious dining room. Though I visited during the lunch hour, both the dinner and lunch menus contain similar pasta dining options. The lunch menu, however, does not offer pizza. What a bummer?? I was actually looking forward to stuffing my face with pizza and then pasta…lucky for my waistline. I decided to try the Piatto Unico Vegetariano, which is basically the equivalent of the bento box concept (*four small portions served on one tray). The tray was filled with a caprese salad, buffalo ricotta and spinach ravioli, eggplant parmesan and panna cotta.
I took a chance at trying two things I had never tried before: the eggplant parmesan and the panna cotta.
The eggplant parmesan tasted like yesterdays leftovers with little heat and a lack of fresh flavors.
The caprese salad was a caprese salad, simply what it suggests: mozzarella, basil and tomato.
The buffalo ricotta and spinach ricotta was paired with a butter and sage sauce making the perfect combination. The restaurant had upgraded the dish with raisins and topped off with a nutty flavor. I could have taken a plate of this home, but I decided to resist my temptation of ordering a dinner size portion of the ravioli to go.
The panna cotta was the perfect ending and a pleasant surprise: thick vanilla cream in the form of gelatin with a chocolate coating. Since I’m not a sweets fan, I would have never tried this dessert under normal circumstances but it came with the lunch deal.
The prices are extremely reasonable for this Potomac restaurant ranging from $9-$15 for lunch and $6.50-$26 for dinner. The upcoming restaurant week, however, offers an even better deal with $8/$15 (2-course) and $15/$30 (3-course) lunches/dinners. Besides providing discount dining, restaurant week is an excellent reason to step out of your comfort zone…who knew Panna Cotta would have been such a sweet deal??