100 Best Restaurants 2008: Amici Miei

No. 85: Amici Miei

Cuisine: Antipasti, pastas, grilled fish, and meats sidestep the clichés found at most neighborhood Italian eateries—chef/owner Davide Megna spent his formative cooking years in Piedmont. Wood-oven pizzas are some of the best around.

Mood: Black-and-white photos of Italian celebs such as Sophia Loren set the scene in the boisterous dining room, where owner/manager Roberto Deias greets guests and keeps an eye on things.

Best for: Dinner with extended family and celebrations on a budget.

Best dishes: Crunchy calamari fritti; thin-crusted Margherita pizza; grilled whole fish of the day with olive oil, lemon, and herbs; linguine with baby clams; fettuccine with veal ragu; Capri-style chocolate-and-nut cake.

Insider tips: Deias is from Sardinia, and there are several fine, reasonably priced Sardinian wines on the list. In summer, outdoor tables are a respite from the high volume inside.

Service: ••½

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.