The Uptown eatery Amici Ristorante & Bar (3218 Magazine St., 504-300-1250) has reopened following a change in ownership and a round of renovations.

First opened in 2013, Amici was developed by the Rizzuto family through their Rizzuto Management Group. In July, however, the restaurant was purchased by Felix’s Restaurant Group, the company behind the historic Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar in the French Quarter.

Many of the changes installed at Amici in the time since are behind the scenes, said manager Robbie Orgeron, though the menu has also been streamlined and some dishes reworked.

As before, the centerpiece is the pizza, produced in a glowing, coal-fired oven visible from the dining room. Cooking with coals gives the crust a distinctive crunch and crackle and imparts a mild smokiness (the pizza topped with bitter broccoli rabe and crumbled Italian sausage is my favorite here, and I was glad to see it return).


Advocate photo by Ian McNulty - The pizza at Amici Ristorante & Bar in New Orleans is produced in a coal-fired oven.

The new menu runs through are appetizers like arancini, calamari and antipasta platters; chicken or veal marsala, piccata or parmigiana; pastas and salads.

Amici's location, which was once home to Byblos restaurant, sits a stretch of Magazine Street lined with restaurants and bars. It's a large space with pressed tin ceilings high above, a banquette along the wall and big windows looking out to the sidewalk seating. 

Felix’s, which added a second location in Gulfport, Mississippi, has been in growth mode since local investor Danny Conwill took over the restaurant a few years back. A major expansion is now underway to more than double the size of its French Quarter seafood restaurant, connecting it to a Bourbon Street property where Felix's had expanded before for a time, beginning in the 1980s. This newly-expanded Felix’s is set to debut later in August.

Amici Ristorante & Bar

3218 Magazine St., 504-300-1250

Lunch and dinner daily

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.