February 5, 2010

A m i s: Fresh Pasta, Bowie, and a rather nice Bar

I ate well last week. Really well. 
Tuesday was my first visit to Amis.  I was meeting a friend for dinner and he told me to pick the place.
I wasn't going to throw a Marc Vetri establishment at him- heck I would have been happy with a Royal Tavern Burger, but we decided on Vetri's new trattoria.  The Tagliata di Tonno (Tuna) remains as fresh in my mind as it was on the table.

Amis is actually meat heavy- perhaps a bit of a struggle for the vegetarian, but my host always looking on the sunny side- was more than fine with the Tonnarelli with pecorino and black pepper. Tonnarelli is sort of like spaghetti's square cuz.  It's about the same thickness but instead of being circular in the cross-section, it's well-square.

The service was excellent (I actually knew our server so I am biased).  Your server will guide you through the menu and make sure you don't over order or leave hungry.

We sat in the dining room for dinner, but upon running into my old pal Trevor- I moved to the bar following.  It was a well-thought out bottle list, and limited- yet welcome draft options.  All craft- the largest brewery being Sierra Nevada.  Yards Old Bart was on...but it wasn't an Old Bart night for me.  There was also Stoudts Pils which is always nice, and a Brooklyn Backbreaker, an English Strong Ale, which I haven't seen around too much, and didn't try that night.

Sitting at the beaut of a zinc (?) bar flanked by Chefs de cuisine from El Vez and Amada, I had a hunch that this is going to be a spot where the men/ladies head when they hang up their white coats for the night.

Vetri and Chef de Cuisine, Brad Spence, are currently serving the ENTIRE menu until 1 am.  They're testing it out to see how it goes-to see if the night owls will come.

Trevor Budny of El Vez is fist-pumping pumped.  He says this is unheard of in Philly.  Personally, I can think of some great food you can get up until 1am (once again- very lucky to be living right by Royal Tavern), but we're talking fresh made gnocchi with oxtail ragu after midnight??? Amazing!  Budny's hope is that enough industry people and late night diners show interest to keep it going.

The music was a nice surprise as well. A li'l David Bowie, some Stones and Beatles lent a more casual feel than perhaps Vetri's other restaurants.  The bartender, Brian, told me it was Vetri's Ipod.  But- I'm not certain.

I was fortunate enough to learn  a lot more about James Beard's 2005 Best -Chef in the Mid-Atlantic that night. I liked what I had heard. I like the way he runs his business. I like his philanthropic nature, but I really like how his sommelier, Steve Widley, can talk farmhouse ales in the type of restaurant that most people wouldn't expect to get past "Glass or bottle of Bardolino?"


Read more about Amis here and here.

I know my photo is awful. Sorry.

Next Up:
Vetri's Grand Tasting and Green Eggs Cafe

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