From perfect pizzas to succulent steaks, Ami's Italian Restaurant aims to please

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Whether it's a deep dish pizza, fresh homemade rolls or chicken parmigiano, Ami's Italian Restaurant can satisfy the pickiest palate.

The family-owned and operated restaurant offers huge entrée portions made with the freshest, quality ingredients. Just minutes from Hwy. 94 and Mid Rivers Mall Drive, Ami's Italian Restaurant is located at the intersection of O'Fallon Road and Hwy. K in Monticello Plaza.

The restaurant is well known for its mouth-watering, fresh-from-the-brick-oven pizza. Customers can choose from four different styles - thin St. Louis style, hand-tossed New York style, deep dish Chicago or semi-thick, hand tossed, family-sized Manhattan style.

"Everything we make is made from scratch, from the pizza dough to the bread crumbs," said Ami Danti, owner and founder of Ami's Italian Restaurant.

Once the homemade crust has been chosen, diners can pick from a multitude of fresh ingredients. Options range from eggplant and pineapple to the more traditional pepperoni, sausage, black olives and anchovies. And the options diners choose don't even have to be on the menu. Ami's aims to please, so if an ingredient is not on hand in the restaurant, it's no problem. The manager has been known to pick up ingredients next door at the Shop n' Save to ensure the customer has the perfect meal.

"Ami's will do anything for anyone," said Shabtai Moria, who runs the O'Fallon location.

Damti opened the first Ami's Italian Restaurant in 1982 in St. Louis County. The second location in O'Fallon opened its doors in 2002 with just a handful of tables. Moria, Damti's best friend from childhood, runs the O'Fallon location which expanded in 2009 to include 110 seats within the newly renovated 3,700 square-foot-space. The O'Fallon location recently merged with the Bryan Road location and Damti is currently looking for a third location.

The restaurant needed the extra space, because customers keep coming back for more. Many of Ami's clients are regulars. In fact, Moria said there is one family that has eaten at Ami's as a family tradition over the holidays for the last 20 years. When the St. Louis family traveled to California for the holiday, Ami's shipped their food across the country. The restaurant also has been known to ship pizzas across the country for out-of-town customers.

Not in the mood for pizza? Customers can try a New York strip steak, charboiled salmon, veal parmigiano or chicken spiedini. The family-friendly restaurant also offers an extensive menu of pasta items from fettucine to rigatoni to lasagna. Customers can complete a meal with an Ami's salad topped with the restaurant's made-from-scratch creamy Italian dressing.

"We make our own salad dressing and it's the best in town," said Moria. "Nine out of 10 customers who taste it tell us we should sell it in the supermarket."

First time visitors to Ami's should try the crispy garlic bread baked in the brick oven and topped with both parmesan and provel cheeses and a touch of parsley.

"We use 'real' Italian bread and a special recipe," Damti said.

Weekday express lunch specials allow businesspeople to grab a hot, delicious lunch in less time than it takes to drive through a fast food restaurant. Customers can choose from a special menu that includes items like chicken parmesan, toasted ravioli and a variety of pastas.

"It's fast and affordable and done in 10 minutes tops," Damti said.

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