I went to Antica Pizzeria for lunch today with a friend. We both ordered pizza: margherita DOC for me and bianca al prosciutto for him. We also split a misto Napoli nel coppo appetizer plate (fried finger foods).
I have to say, I was very pleased with my pizza. From the very first bite, I felt joy -- the sauce was tangy and bright, the cheese tasted, well, cheesy, and had great texture (soft, wet, slightly chewy), the basil was fragrant even in bites that didn't have the leaf itself. The best part was the crust: faintly charred and bitter, crispy on the outside, thin in the center, chewy towards the thicker outer edges.
The following statement probably sounds kinda dumb, but I have to point this out because I've had dough that was utterly flavorless (cf. Pavich's): This dough had flavor. My friend is one of those people who'll eat everything but the last inch of crust on his last two slices of pizza. We're good enough friends that I finished them off for him, not wanting these final inches of spectacular bread work to be wasted. So just munching on these two strips of sauce-less, topping-less crusts, I still enjoyed a full, bready flavor, along with the crispy surface and chewy interior.
After poring over the myriad of reviews on Chowhound, I was really apprehensive about eating here today; was I going to be hugely disappointed or was I going to taste a bit of pizza heaven? I'd go with the latter for sure. Not only was I not disappointed, I was extremely happy with my pizza. The complaints of past reviewers didn't exist today, not even the "bad service" issues. Maybe it's a lunch versus dinner thing, but everybody was ready to take our order, refill our water, the servers were very friendly and kind, timing was great, nobody bothered us but we never, ever felt ignored.
So I'm happy (and rather relieved) to say I am genuinely mystified by the negative reviews of Antica Pizzeria. I'd like to mention that I am also a total classic Chinese American glutton and guiltily admit to enjoying large portions of food -- and having said that, though I'd arrived without having eaten breakfast, my pizza (plus the small amount of appetizer) filled me up and hit that spot. The quality *and* quantity exceeded expectations. (I say this because I had also been apprehensive about the possibility of "pizza was really small" from reading past reviews on that other website).
I look forward to coming back for more.
Incidentally, I found out their lease will be up *this* Sunday, and they will be looking for another location.
edited to add: p.s. In our bill, there was a customer feedback card, which we didn't end up filling out (for no real reason), but I wonder when they started doing this, and if it ended up helping make things as good as the way I experienced them today.
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