Philadelphia-based Vetri Family of Restaurants opened their award winning Roman trattoria, Amis, in Westport, Connecticut, on Friday. The opening marks the second location of the concept, bringing a menu of fresh and seasonally driven small plates, handcrafted pastas, local seafood and antipasti to the area. Helmed by longtime Vetri Family Executive Chef Brad Spence, Amis Westport is the ninth restaurant in the Vetri Family’s portfolio, which also includes Alla Spina, Amis, Lo Spiedo, and Osteria in Philadelphia, along with Pizzeria Vetri, which has two locations in Philadelphia and one in Washington, D.C.
“We grew up preparing these authentic family recipes, and, at Amis, we reimagine them using simple and time-tested techniques, always striving for creativity,” says Spence. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Westport community to Amis, a restaurant where, no matter what the occasion, neighbors will always feel welcome.”
Amis captures the art of Italian home cooking, offering a refreshed vision on tradition with both classic and contemporary dishes. The menu is broken down into sections of antipasti, including bruschetta, salumi e formaggi, and seasonal small plates, while the entrées feature housemade pastas and larger portions of meat and local seafood. Providing guests with a cuisine that is at once bright, well-balanced and robust, signature dishes from Spence’s kitchen include Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta, Swordfish Meatballs with creamy polenta, Farro Vignarolla with pecorino, Bucatini with jalapeno and almond pesto, Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, and Scallop Pizzaiola. Desserts include updated Italian confections like Brad Spence’s Mom Mom’s Rice Pudding and a classic Spumoni Sundae.
To complement the fare, Amis’s beverage program, led by Vetri Family Beverage Director Steve Wildy, boasts an eclectic and far-reaching wine list featuring small-production wineries, both domestic and international, available by the bottle or on tap. The well-versed menu of cocktails include creative twists on the more conventional Italian libations, such as an Aperol Sour , along with inventive granita-based cocktails, like theKaffir Lime Granita with prosecco, tequila and basil. In addition, the menu includes both draft and bottled beers that take full advantage of the booming local brewery landscape, with extensive selections from upstate New York and New England. The restaurant also showcases a traditional Italian barista program.
Located in former Westport Firehouse, Amis’ design is a flawless balance between the traditional old world exterior and its renovated, vibrant interior. The historic building maintains its visual presence in the heart of town, but now contains intimate seating, including the semi-private bar tucked into the building’s front corner; and the chefs counter overlooking the open kitchen. The mix of old, which includes exposed brick, steel I-beams and traditional windows, is combined with new elements including panel moldings, ambient smoked glass pendants and black and white patterned hex tiles. Butcher block tables and work tops are mixed with the marble countertop and zinc bar top for a more sophisticated touch. Amis is part of the larger Bedford Square development, which is anchored by the newest location of Anthropologie & Co., also owned and operated by URBN.