Arancini with a multicultural twist at Amici

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If you thought arancini only showcased the flavors of Italy, think again.

Amici restaurant, which opened recently at 3933 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, serves classic Italian arancini stuffed with meat sauce and prosciutto, plus a variety of other flavor profiles, including Mexican, African, Indian and Thai.

The eatery’s tagline is “five different cuisines in the palm of your hand.”

“A lot of people assume we’re an Italian place, but we’re not,” owner Alfio Sciacca told Block Club Chicago. “The idea came from Italy because the arancini are from Italy, but we stuff them with different cultures.”

The menu includes the jerkicino, stuffed with smoky jerk chicken, and the birriacino, filled with beef cooked in birria.

Everything is made in-house, Sciacca said. “To make an arancino, there’s a huge amount of work,” he added.

Sciacca said he’d grown tired of working in the corporate world, and was inspired to open Amici at the encouragement of his children. The restaurant is a “full-circle moment,” bringing him back to when he moved to Chicago from Sicily 35 years ago and worked in the neighborhood.

“That was the beginning of my life in this country, and it was beautiful,” he said. “This neighborhood taught me a lot and has the best clientele in the world. I’m so excited to be back here.”

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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