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2 Amys, Wisconsin Ave. and Macomb Street - Great Wine, Small Plates, Pizza, and Desserts

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13 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

And all this tasty goodness is the wine bar menu?  Is the wine bar upstairs? 

The physical bar is in the back of the first floor, but the wine bar menu is given to all the tables, so you don't have to sit at the actual bar to partake.    

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4 hours ago, jca76 said:

The physical bar is in the back of the first floor, but the wine bar menu is given to all the tables, so you don't have to sit at the actual bar to partake.    

But I find the atmosphere of the actual wine bar to be far superior to sitting in the restaurant (and in Siberia upstairs). 

You get to see the food sitting at the wine bar. And the bartenders/Jeffrey/Oliver are great.

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I've been thinking about this over the past 24 hours - I wonder if some people here simply don't know about 2 Amys because I've never ranked it in bold before (although I think it *was*, for a brief while when Edan MacQuaid was there, about 8-9 years ago). The reason is simple: 2 Amys will never be in Bold because it isn't trying to be - it's simple food, made with love and care, and has a great little wine list. In fact, I had ranked the wine list as being among the Best in the Washington, DC Area in this Washingtonian article (which is the most thorough article I ever wrote there). 

But just because it's not ranked in Bold means almost nothing - the food here isn't perfect, and it's not even consistent (the same dish can be slightly different between visits - sometimes being more oily than others, for example - the bartenders sometimes are a bit cavalier when it comes to adding finishing oil) - it's those variations that help to make the restaurant so great, because even though the dishes may not always be the same, or may not even always be "great," the restaurant as a whole *never* fails to be absolutely delightful.

2 Amys has always been rated in Italic, and barring any dramatic changes, always will be, and it has always been rated #1 in Glover Park, even when Heritage India was at its absolute peak about 10-11 years ago. It is at or near the top of the list when people from out-of-town come to DC and ask me for somewhere memorable.

Also, I think that if you request the pizza well-done (which is a "must"), the pizzas have always been in the Top 5 in the city. Even though Peter Pastan scoffs at the pepperoni (and I once read an article where he did), I happen to think their pepperoni is some of the best I've ever had. And I do love the Norcia, having ordered it probably more than any other pizza here - if you're with a group of 3-4 people, you should always get an order of pizza (or, if you insist on not getting pizza, at least make sure you order something that comes with their fantastic bread - and if not, then get an order of bread).

This is the type of restaurant that you might not go to for your 20th anniversary or 50th birthday, but it's one that you go to day-in and day-out, year after year.

I guess I should add that the bar isn't very comfortable, and that it gets full unless you go early, but I agree, it's the best place to be because you can just point at whatever looks good.

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I probably haven't dined at 2 AMYS as often as Don has, but I'm not far behind, either. I can't recall the last time I even looked at the regular menu. The daily specials (white, single page) menu is where it's at.

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I ate here again tonight for about the 50th time maybe.  In my opinion, 2 Amys is the perfect restaurant if your one and only goal is: excellent Italian-ish ingredients, very well prepared in relatively simple fashion, lots of olive oil.  And by that, I do not mean to mock.  But they manage to serve you that, at reasonable prices, by not including any of the other creature comforts that many people find enjoyable about dining.  And sometimes it's really lovely, when the toddler at the next table is adorable and when you don't mind leaving full of olive oil after a rushed dinner sitting in an uncomfortable chair.  (And when you don't mind olives with pits.)  Other times, it is not.  I have never experienced it by arriving at 830 pm and sitting at the bar - maybe that is a very different and comforting and warm and vibrant experience.  And yes, I am a bourgeois SOB who enjoys a pretty environment and enjoys being asked if I would like another drink, and sometimes even enjoys olives without pits in a cooked dish.  And yes, my friend Marty L may never speak to me again ...

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59 minutes ago, sheldman said:

I ate here again tonight for about the 50th time maybe.  In my opinion, 2 Amys is the perfect restaurant if your one and only goal is: excellent Italian-ish ingredients, very well prepared in relatively simple fashion, lots of olive oil.  And by that, I do not mean to mock.  But they manage to serve you that, at reasonable prices, by not including any of the other creature comforts that many people find enjoyable about dining.  And sometimes it's really lovely, when the toddler at the next table is adorable and when you don't mind leaving full of olive oil after a rushed dinner sitting in an uncomfortable chair.  (And when you don't mind olives with pits.)  Other times, it is not.  I have never experienced it by arriving at 830 pm and sitting at the bar - maybe that is a very different and comforting and warm and vibrant experience.  And yes, I am a bourgeois SOB who enjoys a pretty environment and enjoys being asked if I would like another drink, and sometimes even enjoys olives without pits in a cooked dish.  And yes, my friend Marty L may never speak to me again ...

In my opinion, 2 Amys is the perfect restaurant if it entices bourgeois SOBs who enjoy a pretty environment and enjoy being asked if they would like another drink, and sometimes even enjoy olives without pits in a cooked dish  . . .  to return 50 or so times!  ;-)   Fear not, Sam, I'll speak to you again soon -- let's make a date for the bar at 2 Amys!

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15 hours ago, sheldman said:

I ate here again tonight for about the 50th time maybe.

you had me wondering how often i've eaten at 2 amys, so i searched my calendar (where i track pretty much all my restaurant meals).  it turns out we've dined in or done take-out/delivery from 2 amys thirty-three times in 2016.  the bf and i may have an addiction simply, well prepared ingredients with a lot of olive oil. :)

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My friend and I made a return trip to 2 Amy's last night.  Another great meal sitting in the back bar area.  Everything we ordered was good to great, with no misses.

Eggplant Caponata & Smoked Ricotta Crostino x2

Smoked Mackerel Rillette Crostino x2

Sicilian Anchovies with Bread and Butter

Fennel Braised with Saffron and Orange with Tarragon Aioli and Breadcrumbs (this dish was beautiful, with a golden piece of fennel and the green aioli)

New Zealand Bluenose Bass en Saor (this could have used a touch more acid as it leaned sweet, but still a very good dish)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Prosciutto, Vincotto and Sheep Ricotta (perhaps the one dish that was merely ok)

Porchetta with Braised Carrots and Mustardy Salad (just fabulous, served with a nice fat piece of cracklin)

We also had 4 1/4 liter pours of wine and a round of post-dinner grappa, and still snuck in under $80.00/ person with tax and tip.

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2 hours ago, Tweaked said:

My friend and I made a return trip to 2 Amy's last night.  Another great meal sitting in the back bar area.  Everything we ordered was good to great, with no misses.

Just keep doing it over the years - you'll get the occasional miss, but it misses for the right reasons, and everything is always "good to great."

Given the previous track record of Obelisk, Peter Pastan should have won a Beard Award the first year that 2 Amys opened.

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Eggplant Caponata and anchovy crostino ($3); Smoky arctic char rillette crostino ($3); grilled octopus salad crostino ($4)...all awesome.

Baby fava beans with sheep's milk ricotta ($9) was merely ok, not a lot of flavor going on.

Breakfast radishes with ramp butter ($8) was tasty but a bit awkward.  The radishes were tiny, making it hard to really coat with butter.

The porchetta ($14) was its normal thing of beauty.  We ordered one plate and then decided to order a second.  

And a big slice of ricotta cake with chocolate and orange ($6.45) wrapped up the meal nicely.  

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This place used to be packed all the time and on our way to the Cactus Cantina two weeks ago it was literally a ghost town at 5:30 PM on a Monday evening.  Ok, so Monday nite is a tough nite, but CC was ramping up and pretty busy when we left.  2 Amys still had many tables available.  Not sure if something has changed recently or just the time we were there.  We have enjoyed 2A many times in the past, but it always required a lot of planning or waiting in line to get a table.  Food has always been great.

 

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On 4/27/2017 at 7:03 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

This place used to be packed all the time and on our way to the Cactus Cantina two weeks ago it was literally a ghost town at 5:30 PM on a Monday evening.  Ok, so Monday nite is a tough nite, but CC was ramping up and pretty busy when we left.  2 Amys still had many tables available.  Not sure if something has changed recently or just the time we were there.  We have enjoyed 2A many times in the past, but it always required a lot of planning or waiting in line to get a table.  Food has always been great.

2 Amys has been crowded for nearly twenty-five years. Let the new kids have their day - although I haven't been to 2 Amys in perhaps six months, as far as I know, nothing has changed at this legendary restaurant, which deserves a James Beard Award for Peter Pastan. Obelisk was, along with Makoto, the most interesting restaurant in DC in the 1980s, but at some point, 2 Amys surpassed it, and has been a temple of great eating (not dining; eating) since the 1990s.

It is criminal that Pastan doesn't have a Beard Award of some sort.

And, I scroll up and see that I wrote essentially the same thing just a few months ago. :mellow:

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2 hours ago, Ferris Bueller said:

This place used to be packed all the time and on our way to the Cactus Cantina two weeks ago it was literally a ghost town at 5:30 PM on a Monday evening.  Ok, so Monday nite is a tough nite, but CC was ramping up and pretty busy when we left.  2 Amys still had many tables available.  Not sure if something has changed recently or just the time we were there.  We have enjoyed 2A many times in the past, but it always required a lot of planning or waiting in line to get a table.  Food has always been great.

On Sunday they were packed solid from noon onward until at least 8:00.  Many items 86'd very early on.  Go figure.

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We generally go on a Wednesday night, around 7 pm and its usually 3/4 full in the main dining room.  The back wine bar area is usually full or one or two little tables are free.  We have only once had to wait for a two top to open up.  The two people working the bar area are always hustling and last night four items were 86ed while we were there.

The patio at Cactus was also hopping, but it was a lovely night out so that was expected. 

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the fava bean crostini are back! 

the suppli we had yesterday were better than they've been in a while--really flavorful and well seasoned. 

My margharita was great as always, and husband really liked the special sausage and artichoke pie they had. 

And the ice cream yesterday was awesome--delicious orange campari sorbet, and a chocolate hazelnut ice cream which was lighter on the hazelnut flavor than i would have liked (as i find many chocolate hazelnut things are, maybe it's a hard flavor to infuse?) but had an amazing texture and the chocolate went nicely with the orange sorbet. 

 

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1 hour ago, sandynva said:

the fava bean crostini are back! 

I love those crostini.  The bf accidentally ordered two orders when we did Postmates delivery a few weeks ago, not realizing that unlike most of their crostini, these come two pieces to an order -- best ordering mistake ever.  They've had a number of delightfully springy dishes recently: a pizza with ramps and an egg; roasted eggplant with ramps and ricotta; grilled scallions with romesco; shaved artichoke salad with cheese, olive oil, and lemon; minted favas and radishes as a meat accompaniment; a dessert of ice cream, wonderfully sweet strawberries, and gragnano poured over top.  (Now I'm making myself hungry.  We've averaged going there twice a week over the last month, and I would happily go back tonight!)  

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I haven't been in a few months, but I live close by and have gone about 1-2 times every month or 2 for the past decade - it is still the same deliciousness. And I too am a big fan of the crostini - especially the eggplant caponata/anchovie one. Reminds me to it is soon time for a return visit.  Only change in these times is the added upstairs space and new waiter uniforms.

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Just ate at 2Amys for the first time ever (it's never been remotely close to where I've lived, and I've never owned a car).  It's loud (children like to scream!), but pretty awesome.  The wine list is super-interesting, and the marinara pizza was excellent.  It doesn't supplant Etto or Ghibellina (yes, I know the provenance) for my favorite marinara in the city, but it's excellent nonetheless.  I love love love the crust.

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On 5/12/2017 at 3:25 PM, Gadarene said:

 I love love love the crust.

We ate there last night too (must have been several hours after you) - still lots of screaming children there at 8pm, in part to our own family's contribution.  But, I recall thinking the pizza crust was especially good yesterday, very pillowy and bubbly.  Of course we ordered it well-done, too.

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On 5/12/2017 at 3:25 PM, Gadarene said:

I love love love the crust.

Hey, I was there Friday night too!

I had one of the pizzas on their specials list-- sausage, fava bean puree, and... and... dammit, I can't remember. Anyway, it was excellent as usual.

It's amazing how quickly that joint fills up. We were one of perhaps 10 tables when we arrived. An hour later it was jammed.

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Back for our monthly bacchanal at 2 Amy's.  Highlights included a fairly small but lovely and plump soft shell crab, the eggplant caponata crostino (always great), big fat salt cod fritters, and of course the porchetta served with braised baby carrots and lentils.  Wrapped things up with a good strawberry shortcake.  And too much wine, per usual.     

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Had a fantastic lunch at 2 Amy's on Tuesday. The special pizza (morels, garlic tomato purée, parsley and grams) was incredible. Well worth an order if it's still on the menu.

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About 2 weeks ago, went to 2 Amys for lunch. Very nice Calabrese pizza, and Margherita was good as always and finally got the kids to enjoy a cheese pizza there (they are bigger fans of NY style by way of Vace). Always good suppli and salt cod croquettes. They really have a way with their fryer there.

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