“We have nine pizzas on the menu,” the woman at the counter says to us. “You can’t change the ingredients on any of them because they are all perfect.” That boast starts out Date Night as we hit Atlanta’s hottest pizzeria. The local paper loves this place and we have two glowing recommendations (thanks, Luis and Brooke!). Before we find out if the pizza is perfect, we must digress. Antico allows you to bring your own beverages, so that means a trip to nearby Hop City, the best beer store in Atlanta, for something to go with our meal.
Hop City has just expanded their growler area to 60 taps, so the choices are endless. We are in a “brown” mood, so we select the Brooklyn Brown Ale and for $10, we have 64-ounces of fresh, cold beer to take into Antico.
Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, we order the Margherita pizza, and they allow us to add funghi (mushrooms) to their perfect pizza. Antico uses three wood-fired ovens that are imported from Italy.
In fact, we are told that their pizza flour comes from Italy as well. These ovens are hot, and it takes only three minutes to make our pizza. I don’t even have the beer poured into our glasses when our pizza is delivered on a steel tray.
Eve is in the bathroom when our pizza arrives, and when she returns to the table, she is surprised that it sitting on our table. It is good and tastes like the gen-u-ine pizza that we ate in Italy in 2010. The pizza lasts only a few minutes longer than it took to cook. As we eat, the place starts to quickly fill up with a mixture of Georgia Tech professors, families with kids, and people (like us) who just got done with work. You have to get to Antico early, because they run out of table space and then you must eat standing up. Even when they are crowded, they were still churning out the pizzas, so it will take you longer to order than it will for them to cook it. One more reason to get there early: they only make pizza until they run out of dough, which is around 9PM every night.
Antico has plastic wine cups for those who bring their own wine, but if you bring beer, bring your own glasses. They have a limited selection of beer and wine that you can buy, but we like how you can bring your own beverage of choice and not have to pay inflated restaurant prices. Our growler gets some attention from our fellow diners as some had never seen beer packaged in this manner. We look about and notice that most people are drinking their own wine. The family next to us brings Sierra Nevada beer (and root beer for the child) and their pizza is delivered before they can even sit down.
Date Night is done in record time, and if we left when our pizza was finished, we would have to sit in Friday traffic on our way home. If you are looking for a romantic, leisurely dinner, this is definitely NOT the place to go. We usually like to linger over date night and savor the moment when the work week ends and the weekend begins! Good thing we have room for dessert. Antico has six different cannolis that they make for you after you order.
Eve picks the Tres Chocolato (3 chocolate), which is supposed to have chocolate filling with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate drizzled on top. Ours comes with chocolate chips instead, but it looks so good that we don’t really mind the substitution. We also get a small Italian cookie with Nutella inside.
A cute touch is celebrity-signed pizza paddles in the lobby area. As we leave, every seat in the place is full, and there are ten people standing in line waiting to order. Outside, cars are circling, eagerly eyeing our parking spot. Antico has hit it big in a nondescript area near the Georgia Tech campus. Chris Rock’s signed pizza paddle may have said it best: “This pizza is better than crack.” We can’t wait to go back!