Antico Pizza, the famed Westside spot that beat New York pizzerias for Zagat's "Best Pizza in 23 U.S. Cities is expanding—to Nashville this month and L.A later this year. But more important to Atlantans, Antico founder, owner and Maestro Pizzaiolo Giovanni Di Palma is opening Bar Antico—a 2,000 square-foot gelateria, coffee shop, and limoncello bar across the street—come October, and Piazza San Gennaro—an old world-style Italian neighborhood—next year. During a visit to Antico's Dough Room (the only sound-proof spot in the restaurant), Di Palma provided some insight into what Bar Antico is all about.
Bar Antico will feature eight original, hand-crafted gelato concoctions and maybe some daily specials, but there will not be the clear glass gelato display and free tastes common in American ice cream shops. Instead, there will be one size and a choice of a cup or cone. Flavors may include vanilla, chocolate, lavender, and pistachio; however, the treats will be served in a predetermined package, such as with lemon sauce and whipped cream or a cookie and Belgian chocolate shavings. The ingredients will be Italian and the items made in-house—right down to the caramel and sea salt, should Di Palma decide to offer the popular flavor.
Di Palma partnered with Batdorf & Bronson to create a Neapolitan coffee. He'll make espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, but there won't be a sugar and cream table like in Starbucks. Instead, Bar Antico will prepare the coffees the way they are drunk in Italy. There will also be affogato, Italian gelato drizzled with espresso and sprinkled with chocolate shavings, and a specialty cocktail called Sogno di Sorrento that includes prosecco and limoncello sorbet. Di Palma hopes a lack of bar seating will force people to walk around outside as they sip their drinks and people-watch, the way Italians do.
The street food.
Outside Bar Antico, Di Palma will have two food carts serving traditional Neapolitan street food like wood-grilled Italian sausage sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, and fried pizza, which he describes as similar to a baby calzone with sauce on the side.
Piazza San Gennaro.
Check back next week for the details!