While I am away on my honeymoon, guest bloggers will be filling in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I walk in the door and immediately swoon. It happens every single time, without fail. My sensibility leaves me and I lose all self-control. What is it about the heady combination of garlic and tomato that makes me so giddy? I don’t know, but Antico has the secret.
The first time I went to the newest pizza place in town, I gasped in delight as I walked in the door and inhaled the goodness. I knew I was in for a treat. This is the real deal – not since my semester abroad in Rome have I had pizza like this. And I love, love, love pizza; you don’t want to know how many times a week I avail myself of the pie.
What sets Antico apart in Atlanta’s pizza wars? A few things:
We've heard about their famous ovens – the real deal, brought over from Italy, and fired up at 1000 degrees to cook the pizzas just right. It works. The crust is about as perfect as I've ever had – the amount of char is right, the thickness is right, there’s no bitterness (ick), and it’s even good at room temp or reheated the next day (I recommend five minutes at 425). The San Marzano tomatoes they use – these are just the best kind. The ratio of cheese to sauce – this is crucial, and they get it right. The fact that they only offer four kinds of pizzas; they don’t try to offer all kinds of toppings (other places can specialize in that, they’re OK with it!) but they do theirs with care and deliberation. Add a couple calzones (I haven’t gotten up the guts to order one yet as they are absolutely ginormous) and a small pasta selection, and that’s the menu. Finishing it all off are homemade desserts – does it get better than cannolis filled when you order them?
Personally, I like the communal table. I think standing around it is cool (though they've added bar stools since opening so you might be able to grab a seat), and like something I might have done while in Italy. Then again, I have no problem whatsoever talking to strangers – and I think that’s kind of the point of them having that huge table in the cool glass-enclosed room. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get a seat at the “kitchen table” and get to visit with the gracious owner, Giovanni.
I also get a kick out of their inside-out to-go boxes, and the fact that they only make a certain amount of dough, and when it’s gone . . . that’s it for the day. This is a step up for pizza in Atlanta, the next round of battle in our ongoing “pizza wars” and one that this lover of the pie is so deliriously, garlic-lovingly glad has arrived. In fact, it’s Friday, which as a child meant my parents were going out and we’d order Little Caesar’s or Domino’s . . . I think it’s time for a drive down to Hemphill Ave!
Guest Blogger: Carrie Neal Walden, http://www.carrienealland.com/