Davide Della Pietra can tell his
espresso apart from its Starbucks
counterpart blindfolded. The difference is in the kick, says the Milan,
Italy, native and owner of Amami
Kitchen and Espresso Bar.
“My espresso here — I notice,” Della
Pietra says. “I drink a lot of coffee, but
I still have to be careful about how late
in the day I drink this coffee.”
The reason for the extra kick is that
Della Pietra buys his espresso from
Segafredo, one of the oldest roasters in
Italy, which uses a blend of Arabica and
the less expensive but higher caffeine
Robusta beans. While Robusta may
be shunned by most American coffee
roasters, Della Pietra says Italians have
long craved the extra caffeine jolt the
He brews his espresso with a ma-
chine and grinder by Nuova Simonelli,
I have an Italian accent,” he says.
Alongside traditional espressos, cappuccinos and a few nods to American
tastes like dirty chai, Della Pietra
serves a limited menu of panini, salads
and breakfast staples made fresh with
local ingredients, as well as a rotating
menu of drip coffees.
“It’s a portfolio of coffee that people
can try and eventually discover their
favorite,” he says.
For as fastidious as he is about his
product, Della Pietra didn’t want
Amami — which means “love me” in
Italian — to feel stuffy. He wants his
customers to linger, and designed the
cozy 800 square feet, including the
kitchen, with a “casual chic” motif that
Some walls are covered in reclaimed
barnwood, others with a sumptuous
black-on-black patterned wallpaper.
Above is a hammered tin ceiling that
was covered by a drop ceiling for
decades before Della Pietra poked
through and rediscovered it. The
“Even when it was new it felt like
it had been here a long time already,”
Della Pietra says. “Some places that
open feel too new, and it takes a couple
years for them to acquire their identity,
their character, whereas here I felt it
Della Pietra, who also owns the Kind
Café in Selinsgrove, says his first two
years in Lewisburg have been much
more successful than he’d anticipated.
On a sunny spring afternoon you’re
likely to find a crowd not only inside,
but — in true café fashion — idling
outside on the corner of Market Street
and the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. The
owner attributes much of his success to
the Bucknell community. Many Buck-
nell students come from more urban
areas, and the communal atmosphere
and swift service at Amami probably
feel like home to many, he says.
“I have the sensation that people
who come here feel familiar with the
food and style,” Della Pietra says.
“This could be in a city — I feel a lot
of the students have that impression
of this place.” — Matt Hughes
A HIT OF THE OLD COUNTRY — THAT’S AMAMI
Toast the bread, as prosciutto should never
be pressed in a panini press because it can
get hot and rubbery.
Once the bread is crisp, spread sundried
tomato pesto on the bottom half, then add
tomato slices and season with salt and
Fold the slices of Parma prosciutto on top
of the tomatoes, then top the prosciutto with
burrata cheese and fresh arugula.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and
season with more salt and pepper.
Top with the second slice of bread, serve
(Recipe from Davide Della Pietra)
1 hard crust ciabatta bread
2 oz. sundried tomato pesto
2 slices of vine ripe tomatoes
4 or 5 slices of imported Parma
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper