It all started out with a bad back, and ended up with a renewed, sure-to-be long-lasting gastronomic relationship.

After whining and complaining a bit too much for my friends Harper and Addison’s liking, they gently threw me into their car and drove me over to the Mattress USA store on 111.  Within minutes I had found my “baby-bear-just-right” mattress, and we were out the door.  But that was just the beginning of the blast we had.  Spying Amici Italian Trattoria right next door, Harp and Addy insisted we celebrate the end of my sleepless nights with a nice midday meal out.

We were surprised by the Friday crowd.  A mixed bag of business people, lunching ladies, and a couple with kids were all chowing down on some of the best Italian food I’ve had in ages.  Truth be told, I’d been here a couple of times before, and always enjoyed it, but for some reason it just hadn’t been on my radar recently.  That quickly changed after this noontime combo of Classic Caesar and Sausage and Pepper Penne.

The owners—Jack, Joe, Wayne, and Scott—are the four amici…amigos…friends.  With disparate second careers that include that of flight attendant, TV personality, and retired accountant, they collaborate on the operation that serves Joe’s mother’s recipes to an adoring crowd for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.

A great wine list accompanies ever-changing menus that highlight freshness, flavor, and fun combinations.   Harper’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Beets and Asparagus over Greens was inspired.  And Addison’s Pollo Arrosto (a humongous roasted half-chicken) was to die.  Most of it went home for the next day’s breakfast omelet.

So now I have a new/old favorite place to go when I’m famished but too lazy to cook.  I’ve had to hit the gym a bit more after all that pasta, but it’s well worth it.  Oh, and as for my back?  Much better, thanks for asking.  I swear by my new pillow-top memory-foam king size!

For more fine dining ideas in Rancho Mirage visit, Dine In Rancho Mirage