Decided to pop into Santana Row after flying into "the Norm" Saturday night and wow what a shocker! The place was packed with shoppers and diners (mostly the latter). Forget about dropping into the five or so open sit down eating places..they were packed to the rafters. We looked into Straits(lovely open dining room and kitchen with ample heat lamp warmed bench seating outside), the Village Cafe (a really elegant Vienna coffee house looking room -also huge), Yankee Pier, and Maggiano's Little Italy(3 hour wait at this magnificent looking concept chain restaurant--huge Sicilian plates that looked and smelled really good--nothing like the fake-o Bucca di Beppo crud).
So we dropped in on the smallest place that was open, Gordon Drysdale's Pizza Antica. There was Gordo himself, rushing around trying to get the place to function after being open only a week and a half.
The room is bare with litte to no decorative touches as of yet (black and white photos are coming). The waitstaff was stressed but performed with grace and style. The menu has appetizers, salads, pizza and pastas all reasonably priced.
The breadsticks with olives were beautifully authentic--lean and crunchy and pencil thick.
The Caeser salad was tasty--whole leaf with ample dressing--very nice but not yet a classic.
The Pizzas are Neopolitan style ($6 for small, $8 for large combos -or do it yourself for $1 a topping), super thin soft crust that folds easily. I thought the pizza was terrific: flavor intense without being filling, the closest thing I have had to what you get in the Campagna.
I also tried their homemade Italian soda--lime-aid and bloodorange over crushed ice--delicious.
Total bill $27 for two!
The restaurant scene at Santana Row seems to be really buzzing, and I feel that it will change the Peninsula and South Bay dining dynamic in a profound way, leeching great gobs of business away from current destinations of Los Gatos and Palo Alto. It is really something to see and when the shole place is finally done, it may be an unbeatable destination.
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