Washington is still enjoying a long-term love affair with Cleveland Park’s 2 Amys, which opened in 2001. The restaurant has made both our 100 Best Restaurants and Cheap Eats lists for several years running. So it’s only right we had registered dietitian Diane Welland check out the menu to see if 2 Amys is as good for our bodies as it is for our taste buds.
“The menu is pretty good, it has lots of interesting choices and toppings,” she says. “I’m glad to see greenery like arugula and rapini. They don’t load on toppings the way we usually do; they take an Italian approach, which keeps calories low.”
Read on for her breakdown of the straightforward menu.
• Worst—Norcia and stuffed pizzes: Welland’s main complaint with this pizza is the salami, which comes in slices. “Salami is a high-fat, high-calorie, and high-sodium meat, so it’s not good that it comes in whole slices. Plus there are two types of cheese, which adds lots of saturated fat and calories.” The tomato and grilled peppers can’t save this. And you should generally stay away from the stuffed pizze—just one slice of the Ripieno extra delivers more cheese and processed meats than you should eat at once.
• Better—Vongole: This clam-topped pizza offers bold flavor with garlic, capers, parsley, and hot pepper on grana cheese, but the clams are the real star. “They chose a lean protein, so that keeps calories low, and clams have vitamin B12 and selenium [and] are rich in iron and omega-3s,” Welland explains. “This is the one I’d probably get, but I’d add fresh tomatoes or rapini.”
• Best—Margherita extra: The most classic pizza is your best bet. It offers light sauce, which cuts down on sodium, and the mozzarella di bufala comes in slices rather than blanketing the crust. Plus, “with both sauce and fresh tomato you get lycopene, vitamins A and C, and great fiber,” says Welland.
According to our Food & Drink team, “the kitchen’s small-plate specials . . . have come to overshadow the pies.” We asked Welland to take a look; she recommends the bruschetta and the potato frittatas as the healthiest options.
“Potatoes are high in vitamin C and potassium. Eggs are a great source of protein, are low in saturated fat, are only about 70 calories, and have recently been found to be a lot lower in cholesterol than previously thought. The frittatas are a well-balanced option,” she explains.
If your pizza isn’t as veggie-ful as you’d like, getting a side salad might be the way to go. Welland recommends the option with orange, red onion, olives, and chives. Or try the simple bowl of greens drizzled with lemon, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
“With the orange salad you’ll get vitamin C, and the onions are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. It’s a nice light option,” our expert says. “And a lot of people don’t like to eat vegetables, so olive oil is a good way to get people to eat them.”
Welland says 2 Amys does a good job of portion control and keeps the options wholesome, especially when it comes to the well-rounded Margherita pizza. But she does offer a few tips to keep in mind when perusing the menu.
“Go with the veggies first—try to add them in, or if you see it, go with green,” she recommends. “Avoid heavy meats, and beware of too much cheese.” Two slices should be your maximum in one sitting—use healthy sides to fill the rest of your appetite.
You can connect with Diane Welland on Twitter @eatcleanguru.