Marc Vetri had us at the wild boar ragu. But he continues to top himself with each new venture in Philly (err.. each new Vetri place we eat at...).
Amis was on my Best of Philly to-do list, so when friends who read the post promtly suggest we try it the following Friday night, we didn't think twice. I was glad my friend Erin asked the host how you actually pronounce the restaurant name, as my boss (another big Vetri fan) and I have debated over it for a few weeks. Truth is - its "ah-meece." Not like the french word for "friends" - "ah-mee." This one is Italian for friends.
I liked the ambiance of Amis immediately. Relatively small, wooden tables and chairs close together, and an inviting bar with a few 8-person high top tables nearby for sharing. There's also a little 4-person shelf-ish thing in front of the 13th Street window with stools that looks like it would be fun to grab a quick meal/drink at. There were a handful of tables outside, but it was a now-typical 97 degree Friday night so inside was much more desirable.
granita (flavored, sugary, shaved ice). What was fun is that the waiter brings you a glass of prosecco and then a little bowl of the granita, explaining that some people like it sweeter than others, so you can put the granita in yourself. I know some people would complain that they didn't pay $11 to mix their own drink, but I thought it was fun. And of course we took and action shot.
Everyone else liked their drinks too, there was a smattering of Amis Punch, Limontello, and I don't remember what else.
The food at Amis was downright fantastic. It's Marc Vetri - what else would you expect?
Between four people we got one bruschetta (bufala ricotta, good), one salumi (salami), one antipasti di pesce (octopus, my least favorite), and two antipasti di carne (charred prosciutto wrapped figs with ricotta, great, and Sal's old school meatballs with tomato potato, also great). That was plenty to start. Then we each got one main pasta or meat dish, except hungry Bradd who ordered one extra pasta.
And thank god he did. I got a bite or two of the tonnarelli "cacio e pepe" with pecorino and black pepper, but definitely could have housed the plate myself. Erin and I both got the fettuccine with pork ragu and stone fruit, which was also great, but the tonnarelli was the star. Bradd already looked up a recipe to try and make it himself. Yesssss. He also ordered the abbacchio con patate (roasted lamb with potatoes) which was also absolutely amazing. Again, I only had a bite but it literally melted in my mouth. If I go back, I'd order the lamb for myself.
Oh! I almost forgot dessert. A close rival to Daniel Stern's Breakfast at the now-closed Gayle, Amis' belgian style waffles with nutella, vanilla semifreddo and toasted hazelnuts was completely to-die-for. You must save room for this. One is enough to share among 3-4 people.
Amis was definitely awesome all around. If you want to have a couple drinks and eat a good-sized meal, it is going to cost you, but that's what happens at Vetri spots. However, I could also see us stopping in another time for a small meal and glass of wine, which wouldn't run up the tab too much.
The Vetri Trifecta is now complete!