Classic Tables: 2 Amys

The pizzeria that launched a revolution

It seems that in this area, every pizza that's any pizza has a link to 2 Amys.

For 10 years, 2 Amys has baked blistered, unsliced Neapolitan pies that pack crowds into the Cleveland Park restaurant's tiled, merrily noisy space. And over the course of that decade, its pizzaiolos, line cooks and other staff have set out on their own to share their piece of the tomato pie.

But the secret to this restaurant's success lies outside its wood-burning oven. Some of the best items are small plates that have a depth of salt and oil, thanks to owner Peter Pastan's not-so-secret ingredient: anchovies.

Pastan (who also runs Obelisk) infuses the menu's dishes with the tiny cured fish. A plate of creamy, curry-spiced deviled eggs ($4) gets an acidic wallop from the accompanying salsa verde, which the kitchen whips into a chunky sauce using, among other ingredients, capers, parsley, chives, mustard and anchovies.

Whole anchovies top garlicky eggplant caponata on a crostino ($3) and are served simply, with bread and butter ($6), on the bar menu. In lieu of a standard Caesar, the fish form the dressing for a salad of oversize escarole leaves and hard-boiled eggs.

Even pizzas receive their share: It should come as no surprise that the popular Calabrese ($12) derives its intensity from onions and anchovies.

2 Amys, 3715 Macomb St. NW (at Wisconsin Ave. NW); 202-885-5700 or 2amyspizza.com