Author Topic: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga  (Read 3673 times)

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Offline Jet_deck

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Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« on: January 29, 2012, 09:27:34 AM »
I arrived an hour early, the website reported that they  opened at 11:30, but the sign on the door showed 12:00.  As it turns out, they just haven't started the earlier seating yet, but will soon.  The sign in the door says they are open until the dough runs out.

I would have starved to death had I not stopped up the street at Sublime Doughnuts  http://sublimedoughnuts.com/ and had a Cheddar Maple Bacon doughnut.

Just a few minutes before 12 the owner, Giovanni Di Palma, came to the front door and announced to the crowd of about 30 that the ovens were at 900 and he wanted another 30 degrees.  He threw out 2 rolls of paper towels and said "Italian breakfast for all."  Waitstaff brought out 3 or 4 pizzas cut in small pieces for everyone to snack on.

I ordered the Diavola.  Spicy Sopressata, pepperonata and bufala. There were about 4 communal tables in the dining room, seating about 15 people each.   The 3 Acunto ovens sat behind a hip height wall very close to the head of the tables. (The ovens had been blessed and named by a priest) The pizzas are served on parchment on restraurant size sheet pans. Some people knew that it was BYOB and had brought their own B. Between the heads of the tables and the ovens were the prep tables and the serve yourself "toppings" bar.  Parmesan, peppers and crushed garlic were available.  If there were ever an open kitchen this was it.  Italian tomatoes (cans), flour and veggies. Everywhere.  Guys washing veggies chopping them, making sauce, slicing meat.  My brain was on pizza overload and I didn't take many pictures.  Especially of the kitchen.

The sauce blew me away.  The pizza leaned toward more char, especially on the bottom.  The pizza was, as we know can be, slightly "wet". For the first time ever it wasn't offensive. Something magical had happed inside the oven in 60 - 70 seconds.  It was very light, although thicker than what most would think.  The restaurant is a member of the VPNA (read here:http://www.anticopizza.it/kitchen.html)  He uses San Felice flour because it is milled in his grandfathers village.

In the corner of my eye, twice I caught the owner watching me fold the pizza into a wallet, taking pictures of the crumb and doing pizza geek type stuff.  I finished half of the pizza and was in the process of finding a box, when the owner handed it to me over my shoulder.  We talked shop on the way to the door.  I asked about the sauce.  Fresh tomatoes from Italy.  I said no sugar, no salt?  He said sugar and salt were for tomatoes that are not fresh.  Mine are fresh he said. My vote is that this place is authentic, steeped in family, it is fresh and is very highly recommended.  By far the best pizza I have had to date.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 09:40:40 AM »
Damn we have another convert!  I'm for sure missing out.  ;D Nice write up Gene.  Thanks for sharing.  And you look very happy in that photo.

Chau
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:42:16 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline jeff v

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 10:34:34 AM »
Nice write up. I was down there a couple of years ago, and really loved the place too. The whole vibe, openness, and flow of the place was pretty cool. The pizza I had was really good as well-you can tell they really care about it.

Jeff

Offline norma427

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 10:39:12 AM »
Gene,

Great write-up!  Great photos and that pizza sure does look tempting.  ;D I agree with Chau that you do look very happy in the photo.

Thanks  :)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 12:19:14 PM »
Thanks Gene - that is very cool. I'd love to visit. That's some serious ovenage there.

Looks like whole Calabrian chilies on that pie?

Pete and I discussed serving pies on paper like that - we thought it would be a cool "Texas-style" thing to do - like so many places do with BBQ here. I'm surprised to see it, but it looks like it fits right in with the decor and atmosphere there.

Thanks again for the pictures and write up.

CL
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 08:21:20 PM »
Yes Craig, whole chilies.  I didn't know exactly what they were, but you are correct.  I rate them at medium warm.  You were the first person I thought of when I left.  It practically screamed Neopolitan Garage. :chef:

This link is to a set of pictures on flickr.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/chowdownatlanta/sets/72157622476893535/
No doubt, they are all pizza, all the time.  Even the young son was there, fixing the credit card machine glitch.
The two pictures are mine.  The waiting group gave a big applause as Giovanni approached the front door from the inside and changed the sign from closed to open (written in Italian).

Jeff V is right, there was a vibe and it was all positive.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 08:25:52 PM by Jet_deck »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 08:35:36 PM »
Yes, it is Antico not Antica. ::)
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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 06:48:33 AM »
Excellent write up. Those ovens are Gianni Acunto, the same one Anthony Mangieri installed at UPN in NYC before he left. It is quite amazing to see three side by side.

John

Offline thezaman

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 08:05:09 PM »
Thanks for the write up. Questions are the pizzas larger than 11 inches? Do they put a cheese down then sauce on top? Were the tomatoes seasoned ? Antico is one of the places I want to visit . The resturant set up looks really different

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 10:20:45 PM »
Your welcome Larry.  Yes, the sheet pans I believe are 18 x 26.  I put these pizzas at 14".  Sauce, cheese and toppings in that order, pretty sure.  He said nothing was added to the tomatoes.  It was different.  The flickr pictures are from '09 I believe.  He has rearranged since then.  The ovens are in the same place, but some of the prep are had been moved around.  I know you would really enjoy it.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 10:58:26 PM »
Gene, just curious if you happened to time the bakes?  I know you mentioned he was waiting for the oven to hit 930F before opening the doors. 

Chau

Offline Matthew

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 05:45:03 AM »
Nice write up Gene.  Did you see what brand tomatoes they use? 

Matt

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 06:03:18 PM »
Matt, I did see them, but did not take a picture.  I looked the pictures on the internet over, but non of them were what I saw there.  There was a picture from some time in 2011 that showed these at Antico.  The cans I saw had blue labels.
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Offline Matthew

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 06:44:57 PM »
Matt, I did see them, but did not take a picture.  I looked the pictures on the internet over, but non of them were what I saw there.  There was a picture from some time in 2011 that showed these at Antico.  The cans I saw had blue labels.

Thanks Gene,
I've never seen or heard of these before.  They appear to be from the same cop-op as the tomatoes that I use.

Matt

Offline scott123

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 07:00:40 PM »
Really nice job, Gene.

So where are the photos of the crumb you talked about taking?  ;D

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 07:29:55 PM »
Really nice job, Gene.

So where are the photos of the crumb you talked about taking?  ;D

The photo was not representative of the crumb.

Remember, I'm in a room with three ovens, 80 sacks of flour, and all the prep going on.  Tomato cans by the pallet, the hustle and bustle of 100 people in 800 square feet.  3 oven guys, 2 pre-open the dough ball guys, and one front man doing the topping.  Trying to get the story of the 3 Saint names on the ovens and the 3 cities on the ovens.  One of the pre-open the dough ball guys, who I call the owners brother, saying "Your a pizza guy, I can tell by how you watch".  Not withstanding the fact I left my credit card at the register because the machine needed to be reset.  Also, I am about the 10th person in, but have pizza number five.  It is BYOB and I don't got no B.


But just for you....
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 07:32:23 PM »
Gene, just curious if you happened to time the bakes?  I know you mentioned he was waiting for the oven to hit 930F before opening the doors. 

Chau

Sorry Chau, I did not intend to ignore you.  I did not time the bakes.  I think the 930F statement was show, as was the taster bites of pizza, and the turning of the sign.  I love pizza drama. :-D :chef: :pizza:
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 07:50:32 PM »
Sorry Chau, I did not intend to ignore you.  I did not time the bakes.  I think the 930F statement was show, as was the taster bites of pizza, and the turning of the sign.  I love pizza drama. :-D :chef: :pizza:

Ahh,  no worries.  A bake time or a description of the crust and crumb would tell me a lot about their pizza, short of me going their myself.  Any crisp or thin veneer to the pizza out of the oven while it was hot?  How about after it cooled?  Was the crispness still there or did the crust soften up and have abit more chew?  

BTW, their dough and how it opens looks very similar to Varasano's dough, either a wet dough or one that isn't super strong.  Is it possible to compare to the 2 pies?

Thanks,
Chau
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 08:28:44 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 10:32:36 PM »
... their dough and how it opens looks very similar to Varasano's dough, either a wet dough or one that isn't super strong.  Is it possible to compare to the 2 pies?

Thanks,
Chau

Yes Chau I could compare them, but it would be unfair because of one years difference in time, and also comparing an electric cook with starter -vs- a wood fired cook without.  The Antico crust was above the char level of the V. crust (top, and especially the bottom)

Varasano was a 10" nearly paper thin.
AP was a 12-14" nearly 3/16" thick.

Nobody right, nobody wrong.  Apples / Oranges .  The AP sauce was above the V. sauce.  ( Just a personal opinion, not VPN or AVPN registered ) :-D

-- Jet  :)
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Offline GlennC.

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Re: Antica Pizza Napoletana Atlanta, Ga
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2012, 07:38:16 AM »
If any of you ever come to Atlanta, shoot me a message.  Would be happy to meet to eat and talk pizza at Antico, Varasanos and/or Frittis.  IMO the three best in Atlanta with Antico the clear winner.
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