Editors' pick

Amici Miei

$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

2005 Dining Guide

2005 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, October 16, 2005

Don't let its location in a shopping center or the cliche photograph of Sophia Loren at the front door scare you off. Any cheesiness at Amici Miei ("My Friends") is limited to fresh mozzarella in the tomato salad and creamy ricotta inside delectable spinach ravioli. Brought to life last winter by Davide Megna, a former chef of Washington's Arucola, and Roberto Deias, a one-time waiter at that establishment, the restaurant dishes up real Italian cooking with gusto and finesse: smoky baby octopus arranged on soft cubes of potato with herb sauce; a classic vitello tonnato (sheer slices of veal topped with a creamy tuna-caper sauce); and pizza that leaves its wood-burning oven with a thin charred crust and a fresh-tasting tomato sauce. The details here add up. Most of the pastas are made in-house, as are the breads, and the chicken is free-range. If the dining room reminds you of one in a generic hotel, you'll find that host Deias makes a most affable concierge.