June 8, 2009

Antonio's Restaurant

Located in Stamford's East Side on West Main Street, Antonio's Restaurant was a late entry on the Pizza Tour and unlike the other late entries, is an actual pizza restaurant. Considering the torrent of bar pies we've experienced lately, we were excited to take the Tour back to a true pizzeria for a change.

Establishment. Antonio's is exactly what you'd expect of a sit-down pizzeria with a few extra quirks that make it unique. After scoring a parking spot that wasn't chained up by the adjacent dry cleaner, we walked into the restaurant through a lattice tunnel reminiscent of the queuing area at It's a Small World to an instrumental rendition of The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin." When we weren't preoccupied playing Name that Tune with the ever changing pan flute Muzak offerings, we were very relaxed in a low-lit, clean, and comfortable dining room, eating basket upon basket of warm, free bread. An interesting, mysterious back room (party room?) also exists at Antonio's with fewer tables, plastic tablecloths, and what appears to be a dance floor accessible through a side door labeled "Steak Mix" (your guess is as good as ours). In any event, Antonio's menu consists of both Italian and Mexican specialties, thus providing a unique opportunity to order tacos with your pizza.

Pizza. Antonio's pizza is pretty good. The crust is relatively thick and very crunchy with a strong, yeasty flavor and a unique, slightly overpowering bite. The cheese was delightfully stringy in contrast with the crust's bold textures and was moderately flavorful without being very greasy at all as well. Unfortunately, the sauce did not complement the rest of the pie at all, as it was underflavored, underproportioned, and to be blunt, boring. Regardless, this scorching hot pie stayed as such throughout the meal and was rather filling (both clearly the results of the thick, crunchy crust slab). Our topping of choice, skimpily distributed sausage, was not one of the better ones we've had, exuding a considerable amount of grease and oil with very little flavor payoff. Overall, Antonio's pizza was rather good with some unique, not necessarily complementary texture components and a traditional flavor we haven't seen in a while.

The bottom line. Antonio's is a nice place to eat with a slightly quirky ambiance echoed by the mostly traditional but still unique pizza.

Establishment: 21/30
Pizza: 20/30
Hits the Spot: 6.5/10
Large Cheese: $9.95

Antonio's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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