Cheap Eats 2009: 2 Amys

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: After some ups and downs, the Neapolitan-style pies—thin crusts, buffalo’s-milk mozzarella, Italian plum tomatoes—at Peter Pastan’s noisy Cleveland Park restaurant are again worth standing in line for. Even better are the small-plate specials—little masterpieces far more ambitious than they cost—and desserts.

What to get: Classic Margherita pizza; sauceless Vongole pizza with chili flakes and cockles; Norcia, a pie topped with warm salami and grilled peppers; ricotta with crusty bread and honey; house-made bagels and doughnuts on weekends; cannoli with candied citrus; vanilla gelato.

Best for: Impromptu salumi-and-cheese grazing at the wine bar; dinner with loud kids (there’s never a shortage here); a late dinner date after the Blue’s Clues crowd has gone.

Insider tip: Reservations aren’t taken, so if you don’t want to wait an hour or so, come early or late. Can’t stand the racket in the main dining room? Request a table upstairs; it’s adults only.

Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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.