- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2002

Some days you just don't want to entertain your client at a white linen restaurant.
Some days the thought of spending an afternoon sitting around another stuffy restaurant, surrounded by snooty waiters and a hum drum maitre d', bores you beyond belief.
It's days like these that you're thankful for 2 Amys, a Cleveland Park gem that is the perfect place to mix business and pleasure. It's that rare restaurant that manages to be classy but not pretentious, whimsical but not unprofessional.
2 Amys specializes in Neapolitan pizza, a rare delicacy in Washington, which, like so many American cities, is overrun with the more traditional Italian-American pizzerias. The pies that originate in Naples are more subtle, mingling cheeses, meats and vegetables with distinct flavors.
Neapolitan pizza is lightly sauced. Don't expect to find pies smothered in tomato sauce and a heap of toppings here. These delicacies are not about quantity, they're about flavor.
On our first trip to 2 Amys, we had the Two Amys pizza, a simple pie topped with tomato and fresh mozzarella. It turned out to be exactly what it sounds like: an understated pie for the unadventerous.
We took a bigger chance on our second trip, and the gamble paid off. We tried the Abruzzese pie, which turned out to be the kind of treat that twirls your toes and makes you roll your eyes back in your head when you first bite into it.
The Abruzzese is topped with polpettini, a kind of a herbal-crusted meatball that leaves a slightly spicy aftertaste. It also features garlic, parsley and pecorino, an Italian cheese made from sheep's milk. The toppings form a heavenly blend that should not be missed.
The Norcia pie also gets high marks. It is topped with tomato, salami, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and, of course, garlic.
Other pies on the menu are topped with sheep ricotta, grana, pesto and eggplant.
All of the crusts are brushed with a thick olive oil, but they're never messy. 2 Amys should be congratulated for avoiding the soggy crusts that weigh down pies at other upscale pizzerias, such as Bertucci's and Pizza Paradiso, both in Dupont Circle.
The salads at 2 Amys are small but unusual. One features escarole hearts with hard-boiled eggs and anchovy dressing; another has oven-roasted peppers and anchovies.
The appetizers, or "little things," as they are labeled in the menu, include salt cod croquettes, deviled eggs with green sauce and oven-roasted olives.
And don't miss the dessert list, which includes cannoli, marsala custard and almond cake.
All of the food is prepared in a large, open kitchen that dominates the main dining room. The centerpiece of the kitchen is the big wood-fired oven where the pies are baked.
The dining room itself is quaint. The main room features black-and-white tiled floors and walls painted in a pale yellow. Some of the seats are built into the walls, and can be a little back-breaking if you spend any length of time sitting in them.
If you bring a client to 2 Amys, you may want to request to be seated in the rear dining room, which has wooden floors and more comfortable seating. There's also a small bar, and the walls are lined with wine, mostly from the Naples region of southern Italy. Also, since the room is semisecluded, you may find it easier to conduct business there.
2 Amys, which is named for the wives of its two owners, deserves to be a familiar stop for any executive who likes to conduct business over a good meal. The clients you bring here will appreciate the originality of your dining choice, but mostly, they will appreciate those unique Neapolitan pies.

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