Jimmy Kamies in the lounge of Amici Milano, April 2012. (Video still by John Leaver.)
Jimmy Kamies in the lounge of Amici Milano, April 2012. (Video still by John Leaver.)

Amici Milano stands in Chambersburg as one of the last authentic Italian restaurants in an area once legendary for that cuisine.

Owner Jimmy Kamies moved to the Trenton area from Italy, purchasing Amici Milano in 1976, two years after he moved to the U.S. Regular customers often expect to see Kamies in the front end when they enter, but Kamies is a chef as well as a host. He says the restaurant’s specialty is Northern Italian cuisine, and a great many of the items on the dinner menu are Italian dishes.

But over the years, the menu has been diversified to suit the varied tastes of his customers. Steaks, chops, even frog legs are among the entrees on offer.

“It’s old school cooking. It’s very hard to find out old school today, to make everything from scratch,” Kamies said. “Everything done here [is] homemade — everything.”

Kamies said he figures nine out of every 10 people who dine at Amici Milano are loyal, repeat customers, and he credits them with helping keep his restaurant in Trenton, even as one by one other Chambersburg favorites have moved to the suburbs or closed.

The personal touch is important to Kamies, who knows many of his customers by name. He happily greets and converses with them whenever they arrive.

“Make him feel good, make him feel important and treat him the right way. Customer service is very important to me,” he said.

From the vintage bar to the traditional, semiformal dining room, the decor remains faithful to the Italian-American heyday of Chambersburg as well. Latin American food may be dominant in the neighborhood today, but a few of the old guard are still around, including Rossi’s Bar and Grill and DeLorenzo’s Pizza.

One of the things Kamies says has helped Amici Milano over the years is being competitive with pricing. City fixtures like Diamonds and Pete Lorenzo’s were once known not only for their good food but also for their high prices, and today they are gone.

But Amici Milano is still there, in part to concessions like the $10.95 filet mignon sandwich lunch entree.

“With the economy bad, you have to work with the people,” Kamies said.

Lunches range from $7.95 to $11.95. Dinner entrees may be as high as $24.95, but many are under $15, and the restaurant offers a $21.99 dinner special for two.

Amici Milano, a Zagat-rated restaurant, also offers banquet capabilities along with a catering service.

The restaurant is located at 600 Chestnut Ave. in Trenton. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 4-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4-11 p.m. and Sunday from 1-10 p.m. Lunch is served weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Go to amicimilano.com or call (609) 396-6300 for more information.