It is known that Annie’s Italian is pretty much synonymous with not only convenience, as you can get that tasty Italian grub delivered to your door within minutes at just about every corner in the city, but also quality and it is getting better and even more comprehensively Italian as time goes on. We decided to bring Kathie Kennedy and her twin three-year-olds, Robert and Mary Frances, to experience this absolutely necessarily casual dining experience first-hand because when you have two three-year-olds to entertain nothing can quite top the spread that Annie’s has on lockdown.
The Kennedy family hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan in the US. A college town on the outskirts of Detroit, which is a place known for being America’s birthplace of automobile production and Motown. The family was brought to China because of work, like many an expat, but have been embracing every aspect of life in Beijing with two little ones in tow.
When we arrived, the crew was present and undoubtedly hungry. Climbing on chairs and crawling under tables it was quite clear that a pizza would be the most suitable dish to calm and pacify this cute, rambunctious bunch.
So, we ordered up a Margherita pizza (RMB 38) for the two to share and a Rustic Antipasti platter of cured meats and cheeses (RMB 128) for us adults. Both were out and ready to be devoured in record time. From Annie’s we wouldn’t expect anything less than this sort of punctual but satisfying eats.
The pizza was met with a cheery response from Robert and Mary Frances, as when it comes to pizza and three-year-old taste buds we couldn’t imagine much resistance. So it was quickly devoured in the way that only these young kids can do. Not necessarily graceful, as they had a fair amount of tomato sauce on the periphery of their little mouths, which is usually a key indicator of deliciousness in our opinion.
Since they finished all of their pizza, we decided a little reward was in order in the shape of a chocolate brownie covered in salted caramel, ice cream, and dark chocolate ganache (RMB 49). The excitement on its arrival was palpable. Mouths and eyes open wide and ready to take it all in. These young ones were excited, to say the least. With a sweet and savory combo like this, there wasn’t a single complaint; just clumsy chocolate covered faces focused on devouring their dessert.
Like all families living in Beijing for the short or long term, Annie’s is an essential spot for dining in or delivery. It was a pleasant time, re-experiencing this classic venue and checking out how it has evolved as of late. We also recommend that antipasti plate. It struck the perfect balance of being kid-friendly with its assortment of cured meats and cheeses while also showcasing some serious Italian food chops that you would normally find at a more high-end Italian joint.
Photos: Kipp Whittaker
This article appeared on p20-21 beijingkids November 2017 issue.
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