ATTENTION ATLANTA PIZZA LOVERS One of the most common questions I get from my clients at Single Atlanta is: "Can you recommend a great date restaurant?" The answer of course if yes. On the top of my list these days is Antico Pizza Napoletana. ...pizza?
Typically pizza is not my idea of a first date idea to make a good first impression...but in this case (and this place), I think it is a fantastic place for a memorable (and delicious) first date experience. Going back in time... Leisha and I grew up eating pizza with our Dad on Sunday nights. We always looked forward to this weekly family tradition for two reasons, one, we LOVE pizza and two, Mom didn't really like it that much, so it was our special bond that only we shared with Dad!
As the years have gone by, we have had a good time building on our mutual love of pizza, surprising Dad with a fun pizza experience on special occasions like Father's Day and birthdays. It's simply "our thing" with Dad-- Ahhhh pizza pie it's the dough that binds us. This year he has a real treat in store for him, Antico Pizza Napoletana. Antico Pizza is my favorite pizza in Atlanta, but as owner Giovanni Di Palma says: "It's not just a pizza. It's an experience." This was Giovanni's response to someone who asked him how can you justify charging $20 bucks for a pizza.
Turns out he was right on target. Within weeks of opening in the fall of 2009 the popularity of this restaurant exploded and has yet to die down. So, what's the buzz about? Well to start with the seating is communal, so you sit elbow to elbow with fellow diners. There are two rooms at Antico, the largest in the back has the three wood burning ovens that cook the pizza's in two or three minutes. It's a loud and boisterous room, that has Frank Sinatra or Italian classics blaring. The chefs preparing the pies, are like elves in Santa's workshop...busying themselves turning out the delicious creations that are loaded with primo ingredients.
One of the fascinating things about the place is that they turn these pizzas out literally as fast as they possibly can all night, doing it until guess what? The dough runs out! The restaurant is B.Y.O.B. --feel free to bring whatever you want to drink to accompany your pizza without incurring a corkage fee. Guests open bottles of their own wine and beer drinking out of the small cheap plastic cups provided. We have shared our wine with the people seated next to us on many occasions and it's such a unique and fun way to get to know those sitting around you. The pizza is served on a commercial baking sheet, just plopped right in front of you on the table. No plates, just rolls of brown paper towel. As low brow as this may seem, it's not...it's has a very hip, cool vibe...probably in part because of the crowd, is a mix of stylish Atlantan's of all ages. See you there on Father's Day, if I can even wait that long!
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