Antico Pizza NapoletanaJessica | November 9, 2009
I’m finally jumping on the Antico Pizza Napoletana bandwagon, though at this point it probably wouldn’t matter what I say since the ATL blogger community has already fallen head-over-heels for the place. With that said, 1) the pizza is as good as everyone says, and 2) I hope to approach this post from a slightly different angle–customer service. I’ve been the recipient of some bad restaurant service lately, and Antico is unfortunately on that list, but they did work quickly to rectify the situation.
Antico is located in the Home Park neighborhood near Georgia Tech. They have recently expanded their hours to include lunch and close “when the dough runs out” (my guess is somewhere around 9pm). Initially intended to be take-out only, they have also recently added a community dine-in table to allow customers to enjoy their pies on the spot. I think this was change was mainly blogger-fueled, since ATLiens are getting to be very picky about their crusts with the onset of the “ATL Pizza Wars” (Google that for some interesting commentary) and it tends to get soggy when carried home. I visited one Saturday evening to take my pizza to go since I live nearby and hoped it wouldn’t be soggy by the time I got home. I ordered the Capricciosa (mushroom, artichoke, prosciutto cotto, bufala) and a cannoli:
And now for my customer service angle:
At Antico, pizzas are made to order and quickly fired, which should typically take only about 5 minutes. When I ordered my pizza, I waited…and waited…10-15 minutes. When I saw people who had come in and ordered after me leaving with their pizzas, I went to the counter and let them know I still hadn’t gotten mine. After another few minutes of confusion, they decided they must have accidentally given my order away and another ticket was put in. The woman who took my order offered me a giant box of sweets to apologize (how did she know that was the way to my heart?) and took me to the back to meet the owner and watch my pizza being made.
I let them know I was a blogger (which inspired more profuse apologies from the woman showing me around–and I am so sorry I can’t remember her name, but I believe she is Giovanni’s girlfriend) and the owner/chef Giovanni informed me I should go ahead and hop on the blogger bandwagon because his pizza was indeed that good. My tour guide also offered to let me stay and eat at the “family table” in the kitchen, which I had to decline (this pizza was for consumption during the study session I had going), but she insisted that the next time I come in I bring my family for a nice dine-in dinner in back.
I like that Antico handled their mix-up quickly. Free stuff and a behind-the-scenes tour don’t hurt either They seem to be pushing high volumes of pizza, and for good reason: the stuff is delicious. I’ve since been back with Mario to try a Margherita Pepperoni, which may have been even tastier than the first pizza. They use really high quality ingredients, some of which are shipped directly from Italy (they weren’t serving one pizza on my first visit because their peppers from Italy hadn’t arrived). Since it is physically impossible for me to consume one of these by myself in one sitting, I used Eat It Atlanta’s Antico reheating technique to crisp up my pizza the next day. And, if possible, it tasted even better the next day once the flavors had mingled and mellowed some. Since Mario often makes the pizza decisions for us, and he thinks Antico may be his new favorite, I definitely see us visiting again soon–in fact, we had a pie Thursday, and Sunday, he was ready to go pick up another.