Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Atlanta Dining: Antico

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Since I moved to Atlanta in April, I've been hearing about a pizza place called Antico. Located just north of downtown, Antico is part of a group of restaurants owned by Giovanni Di Palma. 

In 2009, Giovanni bought a bakery in a not-so-appealing neighborhood and has slowly been growing his eatery empire. Not only does he have the famous Antico, but he also has restaurants serving up chicken and gelato, a bodega, and a bar with small plates. 

I finally headed to Antico with my good friend Keiylene for lunch one day during exam week.  The restaurant opened at 11:30 and we got there just in time for the doors to open. Antico is not a sit down restaurant. Rather, you order at the counter and then take your seat. 

There's two main seating areas in the restaurant, the most popular being in the 'Dough Room' which is where the pizzas are made. Antico is super casual. Grab a seat at one of the many tables with benches and wait for your pie to be brought to you.

I'd been told that the pizza here was very similar to the slices they serve up in New York, so I was pretty psyched. The closest thing I had to NY pizza in DC was Wise Guys, and they were pretty spectacular. Keiylene and I shared a pie--they are huge! We went very traditional with the basic margherita pizza. With fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil, it was cooked to perfection. 

While the pizza was really delicious, I definitely missed out on some of the 'insider information'. I noticed as I was nearly done with my meal that most diners had a small container of sauce on the side. It's no surprise that I love a good dipping sauce, so I was bummed I had failed to notice this earlier. Additionally, there was an accouterments bar up at the counter where the pizzas were being made -- another fail on my part. This had things like red pepper flakes, marinated peppers, and fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. I think these additional items would have helped make the dining experience even better.

Next time, I'll definitely be trying a pizza a bit more exciting than the basic one I sampled this first time around. I brought home the San Gennaro for my boyfriend, Nick, to try and he thought it was exceptional. 

I've also heard that during dinner time the pizza chefs serenade the guests, so I'll absolutely be checking that out! I also think it's important to say that this pizza is NOT New York style. It's Neopolitan, and there's a big difference! It was much better than 2 Amy's in DC, which I think is highly overrated!