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INDIAN LAND – The name of Indian Land’s first brick-oven pizza restaurant means “friends” in Italian, which is fitting since its owners are childhood pals.
Rob Ross and Jimmy Warner opened Amici Italian Lovin’ Oven in September to offer the area something unique.
The restaurant is located next to Carolina Bistro, which is also run by the pair. The restaurants share kitchen space and staff to reduce overhead costs.
“It’s a friendly, fun, family place,” said Gloria Ross, Rob’s wife and daytime manager.
The restaurant’s brick oven came from Florida. To install the 4,800-pound machine, the owners had to remove a portion of the back wall of the restaurant, Warner said.
The oven is about 6 feet across and can hold 10-12 large pizzas, which it cooks at about 600 degrees.
In addition to pizzas, the brick oven is also used to cook bruschetta, salmon, sandwiches and Amici’s wings. Amici also serves Italian favorites
such as chicken carbonara, rolled lasagna and baked spaghetti.
Amici also serves Italian wines to go with the Italian food.
Pizza chef Steve Rose developed the restaurant’s signature pies and custom dough.
He attended culinary school and had been in the business for 15 years before being hand-selected by Ross and Warner.
Warner said he visited restaurants all over the world to find the taste and pizza style he wanted to offer at the Italian eatery, which he described as having a thin crust and made from the freshest ingredients.
Amici’s pizza dough, marinara and other ingredients are made fresh daily onsite.
The restaurant’s decor includes several water features and custom paintings.
Warner created the paintings for the restaurant, although he had never painted previously, he said.
Amici offers lunch and dinner specials daily.