Business Travelers: Do you recommend Amis for
Amis is one of my favorite restaurants in Philly. I frequently sit at the bar for dinner, maybe a little too much. While some consider it pricey, I go there when I want to treat myself to an reliably excellent dinner. I probably have been averaging once every 1 ½ weeks. Friends barked that they are not going there for a while because “I’ve eaten everything on the menu several times”. The menu changes frequently enough, and I have my favorites, so I keep going back.
This is a review of two different trips to Amis.
Monday 2/20/2012 at the middle of the bar about 8:00 PM. Not a busy night, about 5 people at the bar. Easy to find a seat with lots of room and the bar area was calm. I order a glass of house red wine, swordfish meatballs with creamy polenta and pinenuts and the creste de gallo with sausage and cabbage. This is the only time when I did not have a great experience at Amis. The meatballs came first. This is a classic Amis dish having been on the menu forever and I order it frequently. Usually very yummy. It came quickly but the meatballs were barely warm and worse, the polenta was not as creamy as usual, rather it was cold and seemed to have been sitting out for a while developing a slight crust. It was a disappointing start to my meal. The bartender seemed distracted and not engaging at all. It certainly was not the busyness of the restaurant that slow Monday night that kept her attention. When the pasta came I was happy again. It was fresh, hot and tasted terrific. After a rocky start to the evening I left happy.
Tuesday 2/28/2012 at the end of the bar near the door around 8:15 PM. Busier than the previous visit. More people sitting at the bar and others having a drink while they waited for their dinner partners to arrive, still plenty of seats. Now this bartender is very friendly and engaging. I’ve spoken to him several times and he is enjoyable and interesting, a really nice guy. I ordered a glass of wine and the same meal I ordered on my previous visit, swordfish meatballs with creamy polenta and pinenuts and the creste de gallo with sausage and cabbage. I was not disappointed, the meatballs were perfect, fresh and warm with nice creamy polenta, still a favorite. The pasta was terrific as well. I was treated to a complimentary appetizer of lamb neck croquettes with salsa rossa. Not sure if I would have ordered them on my own but they were wonderful, I highly recommend. Thank you Amis.
The bar has standard barstools with about 2/3 of the seats facing the wall. The remaining seats on either end give you a view of the restaurant scene and the open kitchen, pick those first. The bar starts getting crowded later in the week but I’ve never waited for more than a few minutes to get a bar seat, even on a Friday, as people come and go and sit down for dinner. There is also the bar seating at the open kitchen for a real chef’s experience. Check it out on a Sunday, lots of bar seats and try the Sunday Gravy at Amis. This South Philly inspired three course meal is a terrific way to end the weekend.
412 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147