I had the good fortune of being introduced to Marc Vetri’s Italian restaurant Amis, a gift to me from friends who were undecided what to give. It’s located right off Broad Street, on 13th between Pine & Lombard. Boy I’m happy for the introduction. I can see this restaurant becoming a regular haunt for me. Delicious food and unencumbered service. The entire staff could not have been more accommodating — from the people at coat check, to the two managers who stopped by to make sure we were being treated well.
Since there were four of us, two had never been before, we decided to just order multiple dishes from each category. Let me just say that there was not one disappointing dish ordered. There were dishes that stood out, but all were enjoyable. I should mention that most of the dishes are tapas (small plates), perfect for sharing, and then there are entrée-sized dishes that can certainly be shared (assuming your dinner partner doesn’t mind). Sometimes if a dish is really good, I get greedy and am of the mind “get your own”.
On to the food: we started with a bunch of tapas dishes. Whipped chicken liver with onion mostarda (mustard). I love chicken liver pate from my local deli, but this was so light and flavorful that I’ll have a hard time going back to the deli style. We had the pork liver terrine which was a wonderful spread for little crustinis. I don’t know what spices they used in making it, but it’s full, not bland at all. The baked pecorino (goat cheese) with almond honey was exactly what you would expect. The creamy organic flavor of the cheese blended well with the sweet nutty taste of the honey soaked almonds.
Next up were the antipasti dishes. The shrimp that had been marinated in fennel, which has a light licorice taste, and the sweetness of persimmon was zesty. This is a great summer dish because it is so light and fresh — a nice contrast to the previous meat-based dishes. We also had fried cauliflower with pecorino cheese again, this time with a salsa. Both of these antipasti plates were tasty.
We rounded dinner out with our entrees. Again, because there were a couple of Amis virgins in the group, we decided to pass the plates around which turned out to be a great idea. I ordered the oxtail cannelloni with roasted mushrooms that I enjoyed so much I was tempted to hoard. YUM!! Also ordered was the chicken leg saltimbocca, braised lamb shank with root veggies, and whole wheat rigatoni with pork shoulder Bolognese. To accompany these dishes, we chose a couple orders of the fried Brussels sprouts.
The one thing conspicuously not included is what we enjoyed to wash down all of this wonderful food — lots of wine!! Because my friends did the wine picks for the evening, I don’t know which we had, just that there was plenty. I can say from my brief look at the wine list that the selection is extensive enough for everyone’s taste and pocket.
Unfortunately, at this point we were all so sated that we opted to bypass dessert. It was not a major disappointment, just motivation to get back there as soon as possible! Now I guess you’re wondering, is there anything I’m omitting…yes. It is very noisy and I would have preferred more room in the table spacing. It’s a great place for friends and groups to gather. Not a romantic date night venue.