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Sat, Dec 13 2003 at 06:53 PM

2 Amys

Posted by Jason, Dec 13, 2003

I'm going to sum up this review in one sentence...

Two Amys is hands-down, the most wonderful place in DC to get gourmet pizza.

Go there now!

Now for my review.

Located near the corner of Wisconson and Macomb in NW, 2 Amys is the most kickass gourmet pizza in DC.  Notice that I said gourmet pizza, and not just pizza. There are sometimes that gourmet pizza just doesn't cut it. When I want a slice of plain old New York-style pizza, I go to Vace on Connecticut Ave., or one of those places on 18th St. in Adams Morgan with the oversized slices. (Best drinkin' food there is.)However, if I want to sit down for an excellent Italian meal, I go to 2 Amys.

2 Amys is loud, loud, loud and busy. If you are looking for ambiance and romance (and I can't stress this enough), don't go there. There is a small bar in the back where you can wait, but there is seldom space to sit or stand. If you go any night (even weekdays) between 7 and 8:30 you are looking at a 30 minute wait or more.

What 2 Amys does have though, is excellent food. Most of the menu is in Italian, but don't hesitate to ask the friendly servers...they're used to it.  To start with, the appetizers are some of the best I have had in the city. Suppli a Telefono is an unusual appetizer: risotto rolled into balls, stuffed with mozzarella cheese and then deep-fried. The app-sized meatballs (Polpettine) are perfect precursor to a pizza. They bake them in a shallow dish with homemade marinara sauce. We'll often get these and dip our pizza crusts in the leftover sauce. Mmmmm, tasty.

The pizza, as I said before, is the best in DC. 2 Amys is a member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), which is a pizza-makers' guild that enforces the authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe and process. As an AVPN member, 2 Amys must follow strict rules about everything used in the pizza -- from the types of flours and yeast used for the dough to the tomatoes and cheeses permitted as toppings.  The pizza is made in a giant wood-burning stove that you can see at the entrance. As the pizzas come out of the oven, the cooks throw a generous swirl of extra-virgin olive oil on them. Quiet, olive oil is good for you!

The crust tastes better than any other I have tasted -- seriously. That's says a lot from someone whose family comes from NY and has probably eaten more pizza than any of y'all growing up. The toppings are fresh and original. Where else can you get a pizza with cockels (clams) on it -- and in the shell no less? Anyway, most of the time we usually get the Norcia which has salami, sweet peppers, garlic and mozzarella.

My wife and I have been to two Amys so many times that we order off the specials menu more and more. It is rare that we get a special that we do not like. Antipasto with fresh cheeses, fruits and meats, or an excellent green bean and speck salad.

The special desserts are our favorite part. I highly recommend the homemade ice cream (especially the chocolate barley malt or chocolate chip pistachio, if they have it.) Also, if they have the baked apple pie, order it as soon as you sit down. The one time they had this, it sold out and I was the last person to get one. Your momma's apple pie deoesn't stand a chance against this (sorry mom.) My wife does not even like apple pie and she could not get enough of this.

(Unfortunately, this can be a common occurance -- 2 Amys often sells out of the specials, sometimes relatively early in the evening. So if you've had a long wait, or are just there late, save yourself the torture and don't look at the specials menu to see the amazing stuff you can't have.)

Another highlight is the wine list. 2 Amys has many Italian wines that aren't served anywhere else. If you order a glass, they don't serve it in a typical wine class. They serve it in a regular drink glass and fill it up generously. One glass at 2 Amys is usually about 2 normal glasses of wine elsewhere -- perfect for all you alcoholics out there.

I could go on and on about how wonderful the food is at 2 Amys, but you will have to go and try it yourself to believe me.  See you there!

2 Amys
3715 Macomb St. NW
Washington, DC
202-885-5700
Map

Hours:
Mon 5pm-10pm
Tues-Sun 11 am-11 pm

Dress Code: Casual
Reservations: Not Accepted

Categories: Cathedral/Glover Park, Gourmet Pizza, Restaurant Reviews
Link To This Post

Leo Scanlon

Hi,

I just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying it! One small glitch on your original review of 2 Amys: when you click the Map link, Mapquest looks up 5 Macomb St. NW, rather than 3715 Macomb St. NW. It doesn't find the former, of course.

I live in Montgomery Village (Gaithersburg) and rarely eat in the vicinity of 2 Amys, so we haven't been there yet. But next time we go to the National Cathedral, I'll make sure we eat lunch at 2 Amys.

Keep up the good work!
Leo

Jason

I updated the map link. Thanks for pointing it out!

Bryan

I loved 2 Amys, and could not agree with you more about the quality of their food (especially their deviled eggs - my GOD! so good), but my past two visits have been marred by negative service experiences. Most recently, my friends and I were completely ignored once we had been served. Sure the place was full on a Friday night, but the extent of our invisibility to our server was a bit extreme. I tried my best to get our waiter's attention discreetly to get another beverage, but to no avail. After about 15 minutes of this, I walked over to the bar and politely asked for another diet coke. You would have thought I had just yelled "fire!" or something. My waiter came over immediately, visibly annoyed, and begrudgingly brought another beverage. After that, back to Siberia we went....When we settled our bill, we left a 10% tip for what was really non-existent service. The manager of the place came over to us and confronted us. I explained that we felt ignored and thus, felt 10% was reasonable. She told us that we should expect a busy restaurant to be this way and in a condescending tone remarked that she was sorry we didn't understand. I thought about explaining how often I eat out and how aware I am of restaurant service norms in Washington, but felt it would be lost on her. She had just missed an opportunity to smooth over a negative customer experience - it is really easy - a simple apology with a little "we appreciate your patronage and hope to see you soon" would not have caused her to burst into flames.... Too bad, I fear this place is so used to having praise heaped upon it, that it is losing sight of the importance good service as well as good product! Better restaurants have tipped negatively this way - restaurants that are no more...With so much competition for good food in Washington, I now take my business elsewhere.

Juliet

Thank you for finally adding 2 Amys to your archive! My boyfriend and I lived in DC for five years, and I only wish we'd discovered it sooner. After some very good pizza experiences at Pizzeria Paradiso, we decided to give 2 Amys a try. We never went anywhere else after that. I'm salivating now, just thinking about it.

One other must-have is their appetizer of roasted olives. They are to die for, served sizzling from the oven in a terra cotta bowl. The roasting mellows the olives' bite and brings out their smoky sweetness. The pool of oil that they're roasted in also serves as the perfect dipping sauce for crusty bread or pizza crusts.

I feel badly that Bryan had a bad experience there. I admit, I haven't had the chance to go back since I moved away in 2004. But I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. We never had less than satisfactory service and I'll definitely go back the next time I'm in DC. The pizza is that fantastic.

Detroit Red

I'm from detroit, and i consider myself a "pizza connoisseur". Its my first time here in DC, so after reading a few reviews about 2 amys i made sure to check it out. i also plan to goto Ella's before i go back home...
Don't get me wrong, the pizza was delicious! my favorite part was the crust. I ordered a cheese pizza so maybe im missing the gratification that you meat eaters are getting. the point im getting at is "the best pizza in DC"??? maybe my pallet hasn't exactly acquired the taste for "high quality pizza" but i've totally gotten more satification from eating pizza at a hole in the wall pizza joint in detroit. Not saying the pizza was a disapointment, i just feel like i could of sat in the comfort my home and had pizza hut delivered to me.

Big T

I'm from Michigan too so I feel like I might know a little bit more of what you're looking for. I would check out kavanagh's a little bit further down Wisconsin from 2 Amy's (near wisconsin and calvert, near JPs and Good Guys if that helps). Kavanaugh's is not quite as foofy as 2 Amy's and it's probably much more up your alley being from the D. You can skip Ella's, it's a style similar to 2 Amy's and not nearly as good.

Emily

I just went there yesturday (they over cooked my fist pizza and under cooked the 2nd), the food took FOREVER to get there, the was not enought wait staff, no utencles at the table, dirty water glasses... I cant say enough bad things about my experience last night which is sad because I used to love that place!

Jess

The pizza is very, very good, but the place is almost always packed with families who pay no attention to their screaming children.

Jason

Ask to sit upstairs. The downstairs is mostly families now, especially during lunch time on the weekends.

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