Bar Del Monte Opens in Mount Pleasant With Simple Italian Plates—and No Tipping

The new restaurant from the 2 Amys team also serves a couple pizzas.

Photograph of Bar Del Monte by Emma Spainhoward.

Bar Del Monte. 3054 Mount Pleasant St., NW.

Open Thursday through Monday from 5 to 10 PM. 

Beloved Neapolitan-style pizzeria 2 Amys has  a new sister restaurant: Bar Del Monte opens Friday, March 8, in Mount Pleasant. While there are a couple pizzas, the focus here is more on simple plates with great, seasonal ingredients. “We have fried things, salad-y things, anchovy things, some little sausages,” says 2 Amys owner Peter Pastan, whose son Oliver Pastan is heading the no-reservations restaurant. “It’s supposed to be simple, neighborhoody, low-key, friendly. Just have a normal meal, if this makes any sense in Washington, DC.”

The younger Pastan has worked at all of his father’s restaurants, including the popular wine bar at 2 Amys. But his career has also spanned beyond that, from stints at now-closed Prune and Del Posto in New York to famed Roscioli in Rome. Joining him in the kitchen are two alums of Etto: Alex Vedadi, who was chef de cuisine at Tuscan restaurant I Sodi in New York, and Tyson Barrett, formerly of Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia. “He lets me hang around as long as I don’t create too many problems,” says Peter of his own role, which ranges from filleting anchovies to talking to food reporters.

Peter describes the menu as “what we can find that seems nice,” whether it’s bitter greens and chickpeas braised in garlic and chilies or fried salt cod, artichokes, and lemon slices with a sauce mayonnaise. Oliver is particularly fond of arrosticini, grilled skewers made up of various cuts of lamb then drizzled with a housemade chili oil. “Originally, Oliver just wanted to open an arrosticini restaurant, but I don’t know that that would work in Washington, DC,” Peter says.

Bar Del Monte has also inherited the second pizza oven that 2 Amys stuck in its dining room during the pandemic, but the team is serving a slightly different style of pizza using different flour, hydration, fermentation schedule, and more. Peter describes Del Monte’s version as lighter and easier to digest—”more of a Japanese concept of what a Neapolitan pizza is.” The menu has only two pies (margherita and marinara) but with add-ons like prosciutto, anchovies, and olives.

Meanwhile, the wine list focuses on Italian varietals with three bottle choices for different regions, in addition to some French, Spanish, and domestic options. There will also be a small selection of beers and wines by the glass.

Oliver has been looking to open something for a long time, but he and his father wanted to actually own the real estate. Finding the right size commercial buildings in “fun neighborhoods” proved tricky until they stumbled on a former auto repair shop in Mount Pleasant. The final result is a 38-seat dining room full of windows, exposed brick, and polished concrete floors layered with little rocks for a terrazzo effect—plus fancy sound insulation in the ceilings. They’re growing herbs, strawberries, and more from the back garden.

Bar Del Monte joins 2 Amys as one of the few restaurants in DC with no tipping (and no fees). Peter has been a strong believer that the menu price should reflect the full cost of the meal, and that the pay of workers should be determined by their boss, not the strangers they’re serving. He says it “makes absolutely no sense to me” when other restaurant owners say customers won’t come if they just raise prices.

“My head explodes when I try and understand that way of thinking, because you’re spending what you’re spending. It’s no cheaper for the customer. It’s just an unwelcome surprise at the end of the meal,” Peter says. “Eating out is expensive, but moving the money around doesn’t make it any less expensive.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.