100 Best Restaurants 2009: Amici Miei

No. 91: Amici Miei

Cuisine: Trattoria cooking reminiscent of good neighborhood eateries in Italy. Chef and co-owner Davide Megna’s menu has gotten more daring since the place opened in 2004, so alongside signature pastas such as a textbook veal Bolognese and thin-crusted pizzas are lesser-known Italian preparations such as cockles in saffron broth.

Mood: This is a go-to spot for the neighborhood crowd, giving the dining room the feel of a house party at times. But co-owner Roberto Deias is gifted at making newcomers feel welcome.

Best for: Family dinners and celebrations.

Best dishes: Fritto misto of shrimp and squid; grilled baby octopus with borlotti beans; pappardelle with wine-soaked venison ragu; Sardinian malloreddus pasta with braised sausage ragu; specials of grilled sardines and whole grilled fish simply dressed with lemon and olive oil.

Insider tips: Daily specials showcase some of the most interesting cooking. The dessert cart might seem a bit retro, but the Capri-style chocolate-almond cake and poached pears are sure things.

Service: ••½

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner. Moderate.

>> See all 100 Best Restaurants

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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 Logan Circle.