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Interviewee: Jeff Mathes, Owner and Michael Fairchild, Executive Chef
Location: 67 East Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Special: Mention “Best of the Menu” and receive 10% off through 11.25.15!
Pronunciation tip/Italian lesson: Due Amici is pronounced “do-ay uh-me-chee.”
Q | What are the most popular items on your menu? Why?
A | Our most popular items are varied! The sausage diavolo is a diavolo that’s unique from other places. We make an in-house pepper sauce made from Mexican dried chilies and finish the dish with cilantro. Our pork chop is 12oz and comes with farro, sausage, wilted radicchio, and house-preserved lemon. The two meats work very well together. Our portobello mushroom ravioli is served with cremini and shiitake mushrooms, house creme fresh, and finished with thyme and house-made honey. The roasted beet salad is served with fresh sheep’s milk ricotta, pistachios, raw julienned golden beets, cocoa powder, and a Cafe Brioso vinaigrette. This is also one of our more unique dishes.
Q | Are there any special items NOT on your menu that are staff favorites (that you’d be willing to serve up to any customer who asked)?
A | Our regulars ask for spicy ketchup with their fries at lunch. We do a 50/50 mix of ketchup and our pepper sauce.
Q | What’s modern Italian and how does it differ from traditional Italian?
A | Modern Italian is more traditional than American Italian. It is ingredient focused, meaning that we try to use only a few, yet flavorful ingredients that you can really taste in each bite.
Q| Is brunch influenced by Italian cuisine as well?
A | Not currently, but we’re looking forward to updating the menu soon!
Q | Who are the “two friends” and how did they decide to start a restaurant?
A | The two friends are Jeff Mathes and Don Ziliak. Jeff purchased the building in 2003 and renovated it for mixed use including a loft apartment on the third floor, office space on the second floor and retail/restaurant space on the second floor. After having no luck at attracting retail tenants for the first floor, Jeff called on his childhood friend Don Ziliak who owns and has operated Pastaria and Sarefino’s in the North Market for over 20 years. Jeff thought the traditional Italian food being produced at the fast casual Pastaria and Sarefino’s combined with the atmosphere created by the street and space at the Gay Street location would translate into a successful upscale casual business. The two friends of more than 30 years have created a thriving Restaurant spanning the last 11 years.
Ongoing/upcoming specials and events: Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4-7pm, offering half off all pizzas and appetizers, $3 craft beers (featuring Jackie 0’s from Athens), house wine and sangria for $5 per glass. Mondays feature half off bottles of wine and champagne all day and feature live music in the bar from 6-9pm. Upcoming events include a Halloween addition of the Ogee party, which is a dance party event featuring Old School Hip Hop. Due Amici’s signature event Drinks in the Dark will happen in November. This event originated 7 years ago for earth hour. They turn out all of the lights and fill the space up with candles so patrons can enjoy eating and drinking by candlelight.