Opened in 2010 by Pasquale Amico, owner and head chef, Amico Bio specialises in Italian vegetarian cooking. It prides itself on organic ingredients sourced from a family farm in Italy. With fruit and vegetable deliveries twice a week, the food is fresh and always seasonal.
Although the menu changes daily, expect to find elements of a traditional Italian meal. Stuzzichini (light starters: olives, croquettes, bruschetta), antipasti (heavy starters: vegetable insalata, spelt and pumpkin timbale, pan-fried goat’s cheese), followed by first and second courses.
Some pastas are simple favourites like gnocchi with gorgonzola and spinach, and ravioli with smoked cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Others are unique interpretations: a vegan spinach spaghetti with rice milk mozzarella, for example. The mains are varied and might include a seitan and vegetable kebab, mushroom burger, strudel, or pumpkin schnitzel. Finish with one of the delicious dolci — a vegan cheese board, a piece of carrot and walnut cake, or an ice cream perhaps.
The majority of the dishes are either vegan or have a vegan option, and a surprising number are gluten-free. While set courses are offered, the menu items can be ordered à la carte. All of the wines are organic. In the back of the restaurant, a small shop sells pulses, flour, biscuits and chocolates, alongside seitan, tofu and packaged pasta.
The decor is natural, low-lit and warm, and the ample space between tables encourages personal conversation. Staff are very friendly. Hidden away on the medieval street of Cloth Fair, faced by the grand Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great, it’s easy to lose yourself in Amico Bio’s quiet, intimate setting.