Cafe Amici opened it's doors in February, 2007. We started this restaurant as a place for all of our friends to come and enjoy. We relied on word of mouth to spread the news about the newest place on Whitney Avenue- the place where friends meet- old and new alike. We hope you enjoy what has become Café Amici. The management and staff at Café Amici are here to help meet your every need. If you have any special requests please do not hesitate to ask your server.
We are pleased to accommodate your catering and banquets for all occasions on and Off premises.
Full Time Party Planning
Formal or Informal Occasions
Trays and Platters
Social or Corporate Events
Seasonal Outdoor Dining
We are always available to help plan and cook for your next party or event!
Executive Chef Bio
Michael began cooking at an early age. At ten years old he stood at his grandfather’s side learning the basic techniques of cooking. In the 1930’s his Great-Grandfather had opened Vito’s Restaurant. Michael’s Grandfather soon after took over the business, eventually having three locations, one on Wooster & Hamilton streets in New Haven, & one in Madison. His Grandfather ran the restaurant into the 1960’s when Michael’s Father & Uncle showed little interest in the restaurant business. Hence, the restaurant was sold but his grandfather continued to work in the industry at such establishments as Papa Coppola’s & Delmonaco’s located in New Haven’s famed Wooster Street Neighborhood.
When Michael was ten, his grandparents opened a small ten table restaurant, which Michael wanted to be at everyday. This is when Michael’s love for the Restaurant business became more evident. After his Grandmother’s passing, the restaurant was closed but Michael continued on in the industry, eventually spending quite some time at the long established Leon’s Restaurant (of New Haven). Here Michael met Edward Varipapa. This is where Michael’s true love for the restaurant business blossomed. Spending countless hours with Varipapa, this is where Michael learned how to run, manage & work every facet of the business. During this time Michael won a scholarship for Connecticut’s best recipe in a contest run by Johnson & Wales University. After passing the required tests to become an Advanced Standing Student, Michael attended Johnson & Wales University until he graduated in 1998 with an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts. He decided not to study abroad, wanting to learn more about the intricate running of a restaurant; he stayed at Leon’s until 1999 when he decided to learn the more corporate side of the industry by going to manage corporate facilities for Host America Corporation.
In 2000, truly missing the customer interaction he had always had; with longtime friends Stephen Barraco, Edward Varipapa & the Ferraro brothers of New Haven’s Ferraro’s Market decided to open Amici. At twenty-one years old, Michael ran one of New Haven’s most popular restaurants. Customers would frequent the restaurant two to three times a week. (They were closed Sundays & Mondays) Michael became known for his versatility in menu degustation. This is where & when Michael honed his skills in this industry. The Group also opened two other establishments during this time, Whitney Grille & Citrus of Branford.
By 2004, all the restaurants were sold & Michael joined the team at Mayor Mike’s. Mayor Mike had eaten at Amici Restaurant, and this is how the introductions were made. Michael became Executive Chef of Mayor Mike’s, receiving three stars from the Hartford Courant, Best new Restaurant from both Connecticut Magazine & Hartford Magazine.
In the summer of 2006, Michael rejoined forces with longtime business partner Stephen Barraco as Executive Chef of Colonial Tymes Restaurant located in an historic building in the heart of Hamden, Connecticut. In February of 2007, Michael and Stephen decided to bring back the great feel of the original Amici in its great new location on Whitney Avenue in Hamden. They felt the Spring Glen location was great for the traditions that Amici was built on. As Stephen and Michael continue the ongoing Business relationship together the story continues to unfold.