January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants: 2 Amys

THE SCENE. Families with babies, stressed-out yuppies, and empty-nesters pour in at all hours of the day, making a seat in this spare, white-tiled dining room in Cleveland Park tough to come by even during off hours–and one of the most coveted spots in town on a weekend night (no reservations accepted).

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. Think of 2 Amys as a pizzeria only and you miss its real appeal–though many of its pizzas are the best in their class. The place turns out terrific small plates, tosses off some of the best desserts in town, and outdoes many a wine bar with its well-chosen rustic selections.

WHAT YOU WON'T. The more toppings on the pie, the greater the runoff, and the kitchen is occasionally guilty of turning out crusts that are both underdone and blistered. Depending on your tolerance, the noisy tables of children are either charming or annoying, and you're apt to feel cramped no matter where you sit.

BEST DISHES. Whole anchovies drizzled with olive oil; a dish of warm roasted olives; aroncini, the wonderfully cheesy risotto cakes; the margherita, the simplest and still the best of the pizzas; superlative vanilla ice cream teeming with butterfat richness; delicate almond cake; the cheese plate.

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