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Monday, July 2, 2007

Thing 47: 2Amys

Pepperoni

Remember back when I kept moaning about the lack of good, unpretentious, inexpensive Italian restaurants?

Thank goodness for 2Amys. I had never been there, but prompted by a comment from a reader, not to mention about one million recommendations from Sietsema et. al., the Boyfriend and I made a point of finally dining there. Oh 2Amys, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. The hostess told us it would be a half hour to 40 minute wait. It was a 35 minute wait. Which means it's busy, but not unmanageable, and they are honest.

2. I wore jeans. The Boyfriend wore jeans. The Boyfriend was even wearing a bright blue WAKA kickball tee shirt. In other words, no need to dress up.

3. Except for a slight hiccup in service at the beginning, when our waitress abruptly walked away and took awhile to come back, the service was very attentive. When we asked for our appetizer quickly, it came quickly. When we dropped cutlery, it was replaced right away. When I ordered the pizza on special, our waitress recommended a slight addition to it which enhanced the flavor (more cheese).

4. The lively atmosphere of a welcoming neighborhood joint. There were lots of families, lots of young children excited for pizza, and a mix of college students and old friends catching up. Indoors was a noisy rush, with noise bouncing off the tiled floors and a lively wine bar tucked into the back. We sat on the outdoor deck, which wasn't as loud, but had the added bustle of car alarms and air conditioners from the apartment building next door.

5. The food. In the end, I want good food. And the food was simple, flavorful Italian food. It highlighted fresh, quality ingredients, and simple, central flavors. I saw appetizer plates of thinly sliced prosciutto served with thick slices of peasant bread. Salads composed only of arugula and a large round fresh mozzarella. Garlic bread toasts with only olive oil and garlic brush on, and singed on the grill.

Potato prosciutto fritters
For an appetizer, we'd ordered potato and prosciutto fritters, which were breaded with a peppery, large-crumb coating, deep fried with a creamy potato filling flecked with parsley and thick slivers prosciutto.

The menu consists almost exclusively of pizzas, with some salads and paninis thrown in. The toppings are good - they have some interesting combinations, plus the basics, or you can create your own. I ordered the special, which had chanterelle mushrooms, grilled onions and squash blossoms. The Boyfriend went a bit overboard and created one with pepperoni and Gorgonzola -- both very strong flavors that made the pizza very rich. But the toppings aren't even the point. The crust...oh the crust! It's thin in the middle and the sides bubble up and are chewy and yeasty and crispy, and slightly charred from the pizza oven. So this is what everyone was raving about! It was completely satisfying (and made me very glad I didn't go when I wasn't eating gluten). We each got about two-thirds of the way through our pizzas, before stopping to have enough for lunch the next and to save room for dessert!

Pizza special: Chanterelles, squah blossoms and grilled onions
Dessert was a bowl of house made cinnamon chocolate chip ice cream. Now, ever since I bought my ice cream maker, I have been churning up a storm. Fresh mint with cocoa nibs, strawberry champagne sorbet, blueberry frozen yogurt, French vanilla...My freezer overflows with homemade ice cream. I tell you this so that you understand, I'm now a pretty serious ice cream snob. I sneer at Ben & Jerry's - mix ins do not a quality ice cream make. Haagen Dazs? I can do better. Breyers? Don't waste my time. But 2Amys' ice cream held its own. Was it as good as mine? Not quite. But it didn't keep us from scraping the last drops out of the bowl. And I already have my plan of attack for how to recreate the flavors in my own kitchen.

Cinnamon chocolate chip ice cream
6. It was cheap! We each had a drink with our meal, split a starter and a dessert and each had a pizza, and only paid $30 a person, including tax and tip. Affordable, friendly and delicious Italian? Finally. 2Amys has moved into our permanent rotation.

All gone!

5 comments:

Golden Silence said...

In Cleveland Park? I have to check this place out...it looks and sounds very tempting!

Thanks for the suggestion.

dc365 said...

My pleasure, Golden. Enjoy some of the best pizza in the city!

DC Sarah said...

HI! I am so glad that you went to 2Amys, and that I had a hand in it! And more importantly.....I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Went there for dinner last Friday night and I think a pal and I are grabbing take out from there tomorrow =) It is my staple!

And btw-I did make it to the market! Both last weekend and the one before. And it was lovely and charming and last weekend I had some of the best peaches of my life, and treated myself to some homemade soap!I also have some ginormous sun flowers brightening up my kitchen.

Cheers!

dc365 said...

So glad you went to the market! Last weekend was so hot though it almost wasn't fun. Nearly melted on my way back to the apartment.

The peaches are so good, and if they're still there next week buy yourself a quart of the sour cherries and make a crumble out of it a la Smitten Kitchen. You will not regret it!!

DC Sarah said...

ohmyGOD that sounds amazing, and like the PERFECT desert for a 1st anniversary dinner!!!