Tuesday, June 05, 2007

(Re)Introduction to Pizza: A Journalist, 2 Amy's, and Some Anchovies

My journalist friend, Lee, and I went to 2 Amy’s (in the Cathedral area on Macomb street) the other night. He had been away working freelance in the Middle East and had recently returned to DC after some years away. He also had not eaten pizza in twenty some years, apparently. A native of Manhattan, he took it for granted, I suppose. So I thought pizza at the alleged best pizza place in DC was in order. But 2 Amy’s is no New York Style Pizza. It’s better.

They specialize in a very serious Neopolitan style pizza (read about authenticity and codes here and here), cooked in a wood-fired oven, with a thin but yeasty crust. It was at once chewy, crispy, and tender. I could eat the crust alone. But then there were the toppings. NO, they don’t have pepperoni. Yes, the do have anchovies. Don’t cringe. Anchovies are delicious. They impart a salty earthiness to everything from Cesar salads to my pizza Puttanesca (rapini, fresh mozzarella, garlic, anchovy, hot pepper). Gawd, it was amazing. The flavors all married together so well. All ingredients fresh. Everything simple. Lee had a special pizza of bufala mozzarella, grilled shrimp, and arugala. Equally awesome.
But pizza isn't the only thing Amy's does well and with authenticity. I had been looking for some time for a sort of neighborhood Italian restaurant--like the ones in my sister's neighborhood in Manhattan--to get simple little dishes like fried rice balls and grilled vegetables. I found them here: arancini (risotto croquettes) were hot and crispy and not at all greasy. And then there were the asparagus spears, grilled and dressed lightly with the sweetest balsamic. Everything was wonderful. Especially fun was the Gragnano wine, a sparkling red that they served room temperature. They call it their “fizzy” wine. It went perfectly with the pizza and everything else for that matter. But especially the pizza. They used the same wine to soak strawberries for our yummy custard dessert.

Welcome back to Washington (and pizza), Lee.

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