Marc Vetri on Amis

Marc Vetri writes about the inspiration for his forthcoming Amis and shares some details about the trattoria in his Osteria newsletter.

  • Amis is aiming for an early 2010 opening
  • Inspired by Roman trattorias
  • Simple small dishes
  • Vetri sous chef Brad Spence will head up the restaurant
  • Wine list will be chosen by Jeff Benjamin and Steve Wildy
  • About 12 reds and 12 whites
  • All wines will be available by glass or bottle
  • Fully stocked bar with “creative” beers and “interesting” cocktails.
  • Corkage will also be available.

Check out the full letter after the jump.

I’m very excited to announce the birth of our third restaurant opening in the winter of 2010. It will be called Amis, which means friends in the Bergamascan dialect for “amici”. This restaurant has been in the works for about 2 years now. The name has been the same since its inception, but the concept has been evolving for the entire two years, only to become fully realized on a recent trip to Rome with my wife.

I had never been to Rome, spending most of my time in the northern Italy. The concept began based on the Venetian cichetti bar concept with one taste on a plate, similar to the Spanish tapas bars. The Italian version has rarely been done with the same vigor as the Spanish tapas bar here in America. We studied the concept, spent time in Venice, and really defined what we wanted to do, but I still felt it was missing something. I would eat at trattorias in northern Italy and they would combine this small plate concept with a typical restaurant feel. It just wasn’t working for me. I kept thinking that a simple trattoria was definitively our next concept, but we struggled to keep it cohesive.

Then, it all came together on a trip to Rome. Our first meal was at a trattoria recommended by Mario Batali called Matriciana. When we landed, we couldn’t get into the hotel yet so we walked over to the restaurant. It was such an eye opener. We had tonnarelli with artichokes and pecorino, a salad and tonnareli all’amatriciana. We were floored by the simplicity of the dishes and the flavors. Everything was perfect! We decided to only eat at trattorias the rest of the trip and ate dish after dish after dish. Upon returning and sharing the experience with Jeff and Brad, we have all been hard at work recreating Roman classics for the restaurant. Simple small dishes, clean flavors, nothing hidden…old school cooking at it’s best. This is the stuff that makes people feel good and puts a smile on their face.

Brad will head up the restaurant with Jeff Michaud and me assisting with the menus. The wine list will be about twelve white and twelve red wines carefully chosen by Jeff Benjamin and Steve Wildy. We will also have fully stocked bar with creative beers on tap and interesting cocktails. All wines will be available by the glass and by the bottle. We will also offer corkage for those who choose to bring their own wine to the restaurant.

We are all taking a trip to Rome in October to finalize look, feel service and food. The restaurant will be lively, fun and inviting. It will be a great neighborhood hang for a plate of pasta and a glass of wine or beer; the perfect place for “amis” to get together and create a community. We hope that you will enjoy our new concept and we can’t wait to bring it to you.

As always, thanks to everyone for their support!

Buon Appetito!,