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We went on opening night. The prices are lower than Osteria but still significantly above and beyond the 'roman trattoria' concept that the restaurant portrays.

The food was good, but it could've been so much better if it actually let the flavours come out instead of toning them down desperately, something that also happens at Osteria. It's as if one took the volume knob on the food and turned it to 5%, which is precisely opposite of what BOTH an osteria AND a trattoria should be. But it seems to work for them, so I'll continue to go here http://www.giggetto.it/ when I want the real thing. It is, however, a bit of a shame.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a very nice experience and meal there last night. A couple dishes hit true high points that took me immediately back to my time in Italy, especially the marinated sardines (perfectly executed--though more Venetian than Roman, I think...), coppa with honey, and veal cannelloni with porcini bechamel sauce. Desserts were outstanding as well, and the wine list reasonable with great bottles that worked well with a variety of dishes. (We had a lovely red from Puglia for $37.)

Only real miss was the Roman Artichokes (couldn't live up to what I'd eaten in the Jewish Ghetto just a few months ago...greasy and too heavy in comparison). We'd definitely go back again, even if it was expensive enough not to be something on our "regular" rotation ($170 before tip for 4 small plates, 2 pastas, 1 main, 1 bottle of wine, 2 desserts and 2 specialty after-dinner drinks.)

I have pictures up here for anyone who wants to see...not the best ever but with the lighting it was hard to get great shots:




| South Jersey Foodie |

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Oops, I forgot to report on my trip a couple weeks back...

Started with some tasty cocktails. Can't remember the specifics (and can't find the cocktail list online) but mine was a vodka drink with a lemon-lime semifreddo. Frothy and delicious. Friend got a champagne cocktail with ginger.

Complimentary focaccia was pleasantly oil with sweet peppers and onions. We also got a dish of olives as friend is a fan. They were nothing special, but I enjoyed dipping my bread in the pool of olive oil they sat in.

Bruschetta--eggplant caponata--was tasty and sweet with pine nuts and plump golden raisins. Served with nicely charred bread.

Arancini--tied for my favorite dish of the evening. Crunchy rice balls enclosing a meaty ragu. I could have eaten them all night long. Seriously.

Polenta with brown butter--great texture. Would have liked more of a punch. Maybe it needed salt?

Gnocchi with oxtail ragu--this was amazing. Two large, pillowy gnocchi topped with a generous portion of the rich ragu. This was tied with the aranici for my favorite dish.

Guinea hen saltimbocca--this was fine. I've never eaten guinea hen before and the texture was chewy with great saltiness. I didn't love it but I think it's because of personal taste.

Waffles Amis--one small belgian waffle topped with nutella and semifreddo. I'm not normally a dessert person but this was pretty tasty, albeit small. The crunchy warmth of the waffle melded perfectly with the creamy nutella and cold sweetness of the semifreddo.

Amis also offers half and full carafes of house wine which are a bit more reasonably priced. We split one of them with dessert. I also had a limoncello and friend had a cappuccino.

Overall, I really enjoyed the food, although it was a bit pricier than I would have hoped. The portions are small, so be prepared and order accordingly. Also, I had a view of the open kitchen from my table, but would have loved to sit at the counter facing the kitchen. Snag one of those seats if possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just ate at Amis for the first time. I do love Vetri and Osteria for the attentive service and creative dishes. So, I have to say that I came away from Amis with mixed feelings. I thought the small bite starters that I chose (marinated sardines and fried lambs tongue) were quite tasty and went well with the glasses of wine (a sauvignon blanc and a gewürztraminer). However, the strozzapreti with clams was so over-salted as to mask the flavors of the pasta (which was nicely al dente) and the clams. Such a shame when the chef is heavy-handed with the salt shaker! The gnocchi alla romana with oxtail ragu was and interesting take on gnocchi - two giant gnocchis in the dish, and all the flavors melted well together - so I liked it better than the strozzapreti. The pork and fennel pollen sausage with peperonata was quite flavorful, but rather simple; it could have been a smaller dish or could have been served with some pasta. The desserts that I chose - the olive oil torta and the chocolate torte with pistachio - were superb; I am tempted to go back just for the desserts! The other negative aspect was the rushed service - I arrived around 5 PM when the place had just opened - with no plans to be anywere else soon - but I had the sense that they needed to clear me out and have that table free again quickly. Perhaps Amis is not really a place intended for the foodie who wants to linger over the flavors and admire the food; it seems more a place for the suburbanite (like those at the table next to me, who were in a rush to get to a show) who comes into Philly to sample the simpler, more rapid version of Vetri food.

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