Review: Antico Pizza Napoletana (1)

World-class pies come to Atlanta

It’d be possible to fall in love with Antico if the pizza was just OK. The feel of the place alone is enough to inspire instant infatuation long before a slice ever touches your lips: the sparse counter and the sassy Italian woman behind it; the rustic communal wooden table outfitted with bowls of salt, raw garlic and hot red peppers; the blaring opera music; the plate over the kitchen door with Jesus looking down at the diners. And that kitchen – with its cooks in kerchiefs, massive wood-burning ovens, orders shouted in Italian – hums with authenticity.

But luckily, the pizza isn’t merely OK. Just as it would be easy to love Antico for the atmosphere alone, it’d be possible to love this food if it were served in a filthy dive with plastic tables and terrible service. It’s the meeting of the two – the utterly charming restaurant and the outrageously delicious pizza – that makes Antico the subject of intense adoration by almost everyone who walks through the door. Including me.

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(Photo by Joeff Davis)