Sunday, August 10, 2008

Due Amici - Finally.

A wonderful friend passed along a gift card they were not going to be able to use, so we finally made it to Due Amici this weekend. Initially we had hoped to get there earlier in the day for brunch, but didn't make until late afternoon. The online menu & menu posted at the door said we had another 40 minutes to order off the brunch menu, but our served said it was dinner only. I was ok with that considering the time of day, but the husband had really been looking forward to the hamburger with fried egg, so he was a little disappointed. Since it was a beautiful day, we sat outside and were able to enjoy the scenery and fantastic weather. I really like the area (Gay Street, between High & 3rd) and one of my favorites is located right next door. Our server was wonderful and I wish I could say the same things about the overall quality of the food. We ordered four things, two were pretty good and two were not so good. Had we not had the gift card I would have probably been more upset with quality of food. I'll give Due Amici two more chances, trying brunch and a dinner entree. I've heard such great things from a lot of people about the food, so I'm hoping this was just a fluke.

The view from my seat was nice.

The husband started out with a Caesar salad ($6). He ate most of the salad, which is more than I could have done. There were a lot of things we didn't like about this salad: the lettuce was too cold, the flavors of the Romaine and dressing should have blended together better - they tasted like two very separate components, which I think had to do with the salad already being made well in advance, instead of tossing the Romaine with the dressing just before serving. Plus are we the only ones who are bothered by salads that are $6?

I started out with the tomato basil soup soup ($5), which should have been more accurately called cream of tomato soup. The only presence of basil was the limp 'fried' piece on top. I think crisp fried chiffnade basil would have been a more formal version. And while I'm thinking of ways to better the flavors & presentation, a swirl of creme fraiche sprinkled with chopped basil would have added a lot to the presentation of the dish. Despite my constructive criticism, I actually liked the soup a lot. It needed more salt and pepper, but once I added that it was almost perfect. Working on the flavors & presentation a little bit, would kick this dish from pretty good to awesome.

We decided to share two smaller dishes instead of ordering an entree each, spinach artichoke dip ($8). The dip was very good! I liked the presentation of the dish with the toasted bread sticking up and out of the dip, the bread was as the menu advertised, crisp & held up well to dipping. The spinach & artichokes were chopped into uniform pieces which was a nice change of pace from the typical larger chunks of artichoke. The portion was large enough to share with several people, we took most of ours home.

Our second shared dish was margherita pizza ($11). I'll be honest, there was nothing I liked about this pizza and I think it's incredibly hard to mess up something as basic as pizza. The husband thought it was ok, but I don't seem him ever wanting to go back specifically for the pizza. The crust lacked any flavor and wasn't all that thin or crisp, there needed to be a lot more basil and way less cheese, and some simple seasoning in the form of salt & pepper would have been nice. It was a cheese pizza, not a margherita pizza, which is categorized by very thin & crispy crusts and sparse toppings.


That Girl said...

That pizza is rather disappointing looking. I love cheese, but even I would prefer more tomato and less cheese!

Kristy said...

My one Due Amici experience was fairly crappy also. I chalked it up to a meal before prom, so it was an odd and not NORMAL night at Due Amici. (I was not in high school; I was a teacher chaperone and we all went there before chaperoning).

The service was the worst part of the evening. And I didn't eat as many things as you, and that pizza looks like you pulled it out of a frozen pizza box and baked it in your home oven. Yuck!!