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2 Amys, Wisconsin Ave. and Macomb Street - Great Wine, Small Plates, Pizza, and Desserts - Reopening Mon, Sep 24 at 5 PM!

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Saturday evening dinner at 2 Amy's confirmed why I love this place, shortcomings and all. Heirloom tomatoes with sheep's milk ricotta - fantastic. The olive oil and salt they use here are superb - not sure where they source them but they almost make the dish. Mixed green salad was a bit underdressed, which was disappointing since I love the marriage of the subtle dressing and the sharp tang of the arugula. Followed up with the usual margherita pizza for me and marinara for my wife. Both fantastic, especially with Grotta del Sole, their fizzy red wine. I think it's funny that the word FIZZY is bolded on the wine list and that the server also cautioned that it was fizzy when i ordered. I guess maybe it catches some people off-guard but I like it, especially in the summer My daughter loved her polpettine too. Pacing was not an issue this night either and the service was prompt and courteous. Altogether a fantastic evening. I love this place.

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Spent Tuesday evening in a very uncrowded dining room (due to the small bit of snow we had that evening) which was probably a weeknight first for me.

This place continuously hits home runs...between the delicious pizza (Etna, extra crispy), good wine (Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano), great cheese (ricotta with chives and olive oil, gorgonzola with chestnut honey), and the numerous limoncellos I left completely happy. To date, I have yet to experience the "soupy" pizza that some complain about (granted, I always order mine extra crispy) and even when I've stopped in at the most busy of times, still come away satisfied.

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Spent Tuesday evening in a very uncrowded dining room (due to the small bit of snow we had that evening) which was probably a weeknight first for me.

This place continuously hits home runs...between the delicious pizza (Etna, extra crispy), good wine (Cataldi Madonna Montepulciano), great cheese (ricotta with chives and olive oil, gorgonzola with chestnut honey), and the numerous limoncellos I left completely happy. To date, I have yet to experience the "soupy" pizza that some complain about (granted, I always order mine extra crispy) and even when I've stopped in at the most busy of times, still come away satisfied.

We were there late after a movie Wednesday night. Sat at the bar and ordered from the small plates there. White beans, pickled sardines, fried cauliflower, beef tendon salad, duck prosciutto and sauerkraut and ended with ricotta with acacia honey and pine nuts. The pickled sardines and fried cauliflower are deeply deeply flavorful but everything was delicious. The sourdough bread is excellent.

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Quick dinner at 2 Amys tonight. Had the best rendition of eggplant Parmesean I have ever eaten. Soft, melting eggplant with basil, tomato sauce and a crisp layer of broiled Parmesan. Best Eva!

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So I think I've figured it out. 2 Amys is still the restaurant it once was, it's just much much much better if you go when the place is half full as opposed to bursting at the seams. Last night at 6:00, we strolled in and took our seats at the bar (the upstairs was completely empty and a little too quiet) and received the friendliest service we have ever gotten here from our sweetheart of a waitress. The Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Crostino could have been heavier on the salmon and lighter on the cheese, but the bread was outstanding and it was a nice little app to start. I have a weakness for Cannelini Beans, simply prepared in EVOO with some salt and pepper, and my wife loved the Eggplant Parm, which was a bit sweet for my taste.

The highlight of the meal, though, was shockingly the pizza. Pardon my language but HOLY SHIT where was this pie the last 10 times I was here?? Cooked (truly) well done with their delicious sausage, pancetta, and prosciutto, this pie was good enough to make me forget about some of the soggy, underdone messes I've gotten here in the past and start thinking about the next time I can get back here. Great char and still a little soggy in the very center, but that was understandable with all of the greasy pork I had them pile on. Most important for me was the outer 3 inches of the pie were the perfect balance of chewy and crunchy that I love to see in a great Neapolitan pizza.

With such a marked improvement over previous pies and service, I would have to asssume that it had something to do with the fact that the ovens and staff weren't overburdened by the typically huge crowd they have in the restaurant during peak hours. With this knowledge, I think our future visits to 2 Amys will probably not be on Thursday-Sunday nights and preferably earlier in service. The (quieter) version of this restaurant that I went to last night served up one of the best casual dining experiences I have had in DC.

ETA: Get the Spiced Caramel Ice Cream if they have it and you have room for dessert. Hot damn.

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Quick dinner at 2 Amys tonight. Had the best rendition of eggplant Parmesean I have ever eaten. Soft, melting eggplant with basil, tomato sauce and a crisp layer of broiled Parmesan. Best Eva!

i have had this before, and totally agree, except the last two times it was heavily charred on the surface, not obliterated and surprisingly good despite the bitterness, but hardly the best ever, and not the best they can make it.

what was the best ever, for me, who had only had them once before, were the pig ears. the strands of fried ear were thick enough to provide some chomping through the cartilage, and the pork flavor, when it did appear, was reminiscent of bacon grease. the fries were powdered here and there with red pepper, not raising the temperature of the pig one bit, which cools down fairly fast, before you even have a chance to wipe the slick off your lips. although served as an appetizer, this dish really should be shared. i started losing some interest about halfway through but finished the plate nevertheless; this isn't something you can share with the sort of dining companion who doesn't like eating soft-shell crabs because they remind her too much of biting her nails.

mustard might have been nice with the ear, but it didn't show up at our meal until we finished things off with an open-faced pork loin panino, dressed with a sweet sauerkraut and red and green pepper diced small to resemble confetti. pork -- in the form of pancetta -- also appeared on a special pizza, but it imparted a saltiness that drowned out the subdued flavor of the artichoke in the topping. anyway, 2 amys was throwing a veritable pork feast the night we were there, comparable to what palena has been doing lately with veal all over its cafe and back dining room menus.

the predominant spice in the caramel ice cream is ginger.

the beer selection here is easily giving the tranfomed alliance tavern across the street a run for its money. (from just one visit but several walk-bys, it looks like the switch from wine to beer is an ingenious way to rev up business.) a draft chocarubbica ($12.50, I believe) went well with the food, with both the cocoa and coffee beans pleasantly subdued. it may sound exotic but is a fairly quiet beer and easy to finish. even expanded, the two amy's beer list doesn't run all that long, but it seems driven by the same high level of ambition behind the list at birch and barley, where a few of the offerings even go so far as to redefine beer. they aren't playing that game at alliance, which these days i guess you could call a sports bar.

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If you can get over to 2Amys to order the current batch of octopus salad, hurry thee! It is so meaty and firm. It is without any, any, any of the chewiness or bounciness octopus sometimes shows. Decorated with citrus and dill, you'll ignore the wonderful fresh herbs and flavors and dwell on how perfectly the octopus is cooked.

Other worthy and recent additions include the roasted artichokes with prosciutto and mint and the braised fennel with green olives and anchovy. The fennel dish was solid, but a bit lacking in true fennel/anise essence. But the green olives were salty and rich and this dish borrows the nuttiness the cauliflower with anchovy dish typically displays. Must be the shared anchovy ingredient.

The ice cream menu hasn't included the roasted pineapple flavor in a long, long time. It's back. Get this. Remember Gillian Clark's heavenly pineapple upside down cake at Colorado Kitchen? Take the buttery flavors, the nutty caramel flavors, the slight crunch, and the sweet pineapple and swathe it in 2Amys' decadent vanilla ice cream. Brilliant!

If tonight's display at the wine bar is any indication, things are about to go seasonal and revised at 2Amys. This is welcome news. A few new cocktails (I can't believe I just wrote that word, as I detest it) are on the blackboard. Should be a refreshing and tasty spring and summer at this neighborhood favorite.

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I would like to try 2 Amys but I am restricted to evenings and weekends. Is there any good time to beat the crowds? I hear that they function better when they aren't packed.

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I would like to try 2 Amys but I am restricted to evenings and weekends. Is there any good time to beat the crowds? I hear that they function better when they aren't packed.

Two of us got one of the tables by the bar pretty easily around 6:30pm. I've also gone close to 5:30 on weekdays and had no problems. I've gone in pretty late on Saturdays and had the place practically to myself.

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Breakfast pizza for dinner. No, really: grana, mozzarella, chives, sausage and an egg. Best pizza I've had at 2Amys in a long time.

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Do many people go to 2 Amy's who don't want their pizza cut into slices?

I ask because I am always bewildered when the pizza comes to the table as a unified whole - and when I ask if the server can cut it, the server looks somewhat put out, and has to walk away to get the slicer and then come back.

What is going on? Is this one of those embarrassing things where I've always assumed I was doing things the correct way but have really been totally off my rocker? Or is this one piece of the overall 2 Amy's experience, which seems to be designed to give delicious food in a completely uncomfortable environment so that you will go away more quickly? (One exception is that last night a waitress was very nice, which is not my normal experience there, either).

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Do many people go to 2 Amy's who don't want their pizza cut into slices?

I ask because I am always bewildered when the pizza comes to the table as a unified whole - and when I ask if the server can cut it, the server looks somewhat put out, and has to walk away to get the slicer and then come back.

What is going on? Is this one of those embarrassing things where I've always assumed I was doing things the correct way but have really been totally off my rocker? Or is this one piece of the overall 2 Amy's experience, which seems to be designed to give delicious food in a completely uncomfortable environment so that you will go away more quickly? (One exception is that last night a waitress was very nice, which is not my normal experience there, either).

I can't speak for Naples, but I've seen many Europeans eating pizzas such as these with a knife and fork, from the outside in (yes, your first bite is 100% crust). Sometimes I do it that way, and sometimes I get it sliced - there is no right or wrong answer.

If I order from the Italian Store, I'll always pick the slice up, and fold it in half before I start attacking it (in terms of etiquette, I do try and keep my elbow elevated so the grease doesn't run down my forearm) - I wouldn't do that at a Paris café, but sheet mon, you're next door to Cactus Cantina drinking wines out of tumblers, so do what you want.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Do many people go to 2 Amy's who don't want their pizza cut into slices?

I ask because I am always bewildered when the pizza comes to the table as a unified whole - and when I ask if the server can cut it, the server looks somewhat put out, and has to walk away to get the slicer and then come back.

What is going on? Is this one of those embarrassing things where I've always assumed I was doing things the correct way but have really been totally off my rocker? Or is this one piece of the overall 2 Amy's experience, which seems to be designed to give delicious food in a completely uncomfortable environment so that you will go away more quickly? (One exception is that last night a waitress was very nice, which is not my normal experience there, either).

We spent a week in Rome with a couple of kids, so we saw a lot of pizza. Not once did it come sliced. Then again, 2 Amys is not in Italy.

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Do many people go to 2 Amy's who don't want their pizza cut into slices?

I ask because I am always bewildered when the pizza comes to the table as a unified whole - and when I ask if the server can cut it, the server looks somewhat put out, and has to walk away to get the slicer and then come back.

What is going on? Is this one of those embarrassing things where I've always assumed I was doing things the correct way but have really been totally off my rocker? Or is this one piece of the overall 2 Amy's experience, which seems to be designed to give delicious food in a completely uncomfortable environment so that you will go away more quickly? (One exception is that last night a waitress was very nice, which is not my normal experience there, either).

I generally ask for mine to be cut (in addition to being "extra crispy" or "well done") when I place my order. It's never been an issue.

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I have a little insight into this. Cutting the pizza is not done in Naples, everyone cuts their own pizza, and then either picks it up, folds it, and then eat it, or they simply spear it on the fork and eat it that way. In the past pizza was served by street vendors, and eaten while walking, (folded libretto style), or it was served directly on the marble table of the pizzeria. The dough essentially serving as the "plate".

I feel that if you are making a particularly nice looking pizza, slicing it ruins the presentation in addition to adding to the "soggy" center effect-all the hot juice running down between the slices and pooling in the center of plate.

At the very least, if the customer does not ask for their pizza sliced at the time of ordering, it should be presented to them whole, in it's intended state, and then it can be sliced upon request.

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We spent a week in Rome with a couple of kids, so we saw a lot of pizza. Not once did it come sliced. Then again, 2 Amys is not in Italy.

Yes, I suppose it's partly because "when in Rome . . .," but I imagine it's also because the Romans do it for a reason, and Peter Pastan has concluded that the reason is a good one. Just guessing here as to what that reason might be, but I think it's that the pizza loses its heat much quicker once it's sliced. I never get my pizza cut when it's to go, because if it's sliced then by the time it gets home it has lost all its luster.

Sam, I'm sorry you've experienced surly waitstaff -- a complaint I hear often. Odd thing that is, because I find the staff at 2 Amys to be uniformly the friendliest and most helpful of any restaurant I know. Perhaps it's because we're there about ten times a month, but we always receive stellar and gracious service. That's why I think of it as the very best sort of neighborhood restaurant. Latest revelations: pancetta on the margherita; eggplant parm; pork loin panini; fava bean crostini; walnut-caramel and pineapple ice creams. Can't wait to try the octopus salad and the fennel dish. Oh, and the rotating draft beers are great, too.

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This is the longest period of time I've ever gone between visits at 2 Amys - I had carryout six months ago, but it has probably been almost a year since I've been in. Mistake.

Like Sushi-Ko, you can get a pretty good idea of the quality of 2 Amys by the people you see eating here on Sunday nights, i.e., don't be surprised if you run into some of the best chefs in the city. At almost 9 PM, this place remained packed, and deservedly so. The lights at the bar are so bright that it feels like you're dining inside an operating room, but it's worth it for what you'll get - I've never found anything but rock-solid service here from some of the best food bartenders I've ever come across (in particular, I'm thinking of the incredibly efficient girl (with a couple tattoos), and one of the great unheralded figures in DC dining, "the guy on the menu.")

The wine list remains perhaps the best bargain list in the entire DC area, with the vast majority of bottles under $40, and probably half of them priced in the $20s. I got a bottle of 2006 Cantina di Venosa "Terre di Orazio" ($27 (A dry Moscato)) that went with every course, and then some.

Six small plates ordered (all served at room temperature), listed in ascending order of preference:

6. Cauliflower with anchovy, garlic, and hot pepper ($6) - Dominated by savage, cuttingly overt garlic, the only major failure of the evening. One bite of this, and you're vampire-free for a week.

5. Asparagus with Roasted Peppers and Egg ($6) - A rather boring dish, looking almost like a three-bean salad but having a very neutral, dull flavor that even an egg couldn't save.

4. White Bean and Mussel Salad ($6) - These were probably smoked mussels from a jar (which I enjoy), and they worked surprisingly well with the cool, mild, well-cooked white beans.

3. Rabbit Stuffed with Rapini and Pecorino Cheese ($7.5) - Cut from a tired-looking loaf, this was anything but tired, delicious, moist, and whatever it was wrapped in was great too.

2. Ember-Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Ricotta and Mint ($6) - Laughably phallic, this was an unbelievable combination of flavors, incredibly high-quality ingredients.

1. Burrata di Bufala ($7.50) - the best Burrata I've ever eaten, period. Drizzled with good olive oil, sprinkled with just the right amount of salts, and (importantly) served with fantastic, fresh-cut bread. This is as good as food gets.

So how good was the Burrata? Well, I got a second bottle of the wine to go (they had to open it and pour a sip, by law, then stick the cork back in and bag it). But there's also a second order of Burrata sitting in my fridge, right now. And I can't wait to have at it.

Cheers,

Rocks

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The wine list remains the best bargain list in the entire DC area, with the vast majority of bottles under $40, and probably half of them priced in the $20s. I got a bottle of 2006 Cantina di Venosa "Terre di Orazio" ($27 (A dry Moscato)) that went with every course, and then some.

I have not had the wine, but they use the pomace from it to make my favorite grappa.

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5. Asparagus with Roasted Peppers and Egg ($6) - A rather boring dish, looking almost like a three-bean salad but having a very neutral, dull flavor that even an egg couldn't save.

Try the fried asparagus on the "small plates" list -- my family fights over the stalks this time of year. The fava bean crostini have also been great lately. And the ice cream, of course . . . .

And yes, all four (?) of the regular staff at the bar are just about the perfect neighborhood hosts, and enthusiasts for all the great food and drink there.

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1. Burrata di Bufala ($7.50) - the best Burrata I've ever eaten, period. Drizzled with good olive oil, sprinkled with just the right amount of salts, and (importantly) served with fantastic, fresh-cut bread. This is as good as food gets.

So how good was the Burrata? Well, I got a second bottle of the wine to go (they had to open it and pour a sip, by law, then stick the cork back in and bag it). But there's also a second order of Burrata sitting in my fridge, right now. And I can't wait to have at it.

Wholeheartedly agree on the burrata. I was daydreaming about it the other day.

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it has probably been almost a year since I've been in. Mistake.

Same circumstances, same sentiment, after the dinner I had at 2 Amys' bar last night.

Burrata di Bufala ($7.50) - the best Burrata I've ever eaten, period. Drizzled with good olive oil, sprinkled with just the right amount of salts, and (importantly) served with fantastic, fresh-cut bread. This is as good as food gets.

Agreed on all counts, with one addition: the pepper freshly ground over-top is another extremely important component. The profile of good olive oil, good quality salt that brought both flavor and texture, and that black pepper, perfectly complements the insanely delicious burrata. And that bread really is fantastic.

Rapini with garlic, vincotto and hot pepper ($5.75) was good, though overdressed. The vincotto brought a great sweetness to the bitter rapini, but even the hot pepper couldn't balance the amount they poured on there. And the garlic wasn't really at all present (or maybe its flavor was lost in the vincotto).

Based on the Suppli a Telefono ($4.95 for 5) a friend shared last night, the quality of this dish has continued to slide: they're smaller than ever, round like arancini, fried for too long (dark, dark brown), and lacking in moisture and tomato flavor within. They truly pale in comparison to real suppli in Rome.

Oddly enough though, the most disappointing component of my meal last night was the pizza. The Two Amys ($8.95), which I loved last time, was extremely bland this go around. It wasn't undercooked -- which seems to be a pretty frequent complaint with 2 Amys' pies -- it was just bland and overly wet. The tomato sauce lacked pop, the cheese brought more liquid and flavor, and the crust actually seemed thinner than usual (if that's even possible).

Given that it's within walking distance of American University, I'll definitely be working 2 Amys into my dinner rotation more frequently. The great service at the bar, the quality of the non-pizza items, and the awesome beer selection (so many of the admittedly expensive Italian beers they've got there, including my Al-Iksir, I've never seen other than at Birch & Barley/Churchkey), all make me want to go back immediately. I'll just be shying away from the pizza in the future, and sticking with the bar menu -- especially the burrata.

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Had my first 2 Amys pizza in more than five years today. Nearly cried. Then asked where Tim was and actually did cry. Fuck. :lol:

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