Restaurant: Antika Pizzeria – 36-08 30th Avenue, Astoria, New York
This is my second time eating at Antika and while I was initially not a huge fan, Antika has won me over as a solid Italian restaurant and pizza place in Astoria.
Antika calls itself a pizzeria but I think that gives off the connotation that it’s a quick place to pick up a slice. Quite the opposite is true. The interior of Antika can best be described as industrial chic. Exposed brick lines both sides of the restaurant with a bar lining the right hand side as well. The area behind the bar is covered in white subway tiles which contrast the dark red colors and brick throughout the rest of the place. Mirrors line the wall opposite the bar which help make the space look bigger. There are also a few TVs scattered throughout for anyone looking to catch a game.
The menu at Antika has a number of options ranging from pizza to pasta to salads – much of your usually Italian menu fare. To start things off, you get a basket of free bread. This bread is delicious. It comes out warm and oily with a crispy top covered in pieces of burnt garlic. For the meal, I had:
- Eggplant and Zucchini Fritti: roasted garlic yogurt sauce
- Old Fashioned Grandma Style Square Pizza: sausage and mushrooms
The eggplant and zucchini appetizer consisted of lightly fried, very salty thin slices of eggplant and zucchini accompanied by a side of yogurt sauce. The slices of eggplant immediately caught my attention. They were enormous! I wasn’t a huge fan of the yogurt sauce but it did have some chunks of garlic in it that made it a little more appealing.
The grandma style pizza was up next. This rectangular shaped pizza came out in a metal tray and was covered in toppings. The toppings were all over the place, equally scattered across the entire pizza. The sausage was in huge chunks and was slightly burnt on the top which gave it a nice crunch – SO good. Overall, this pizza has a tremendous amount of flavor. From the toppings to the cheese to the sauce to the crust, all the ingredients were in perfect proportion and bursting with flavor. Last time I was at Antika the big thing I didn’t like was that the crust wasn’t crunchy enough. It seems like they’ve changed that since this crust was very crispy and had a nice crunch in every bite.
The service at Antika was great. Our waitress casually with us about the restaurant, the food on the menu and a guy that recently came in a tried to eat a family size portion of pasta. (He nearly succeeded, by the way.) The food came out quickly and we were consistently checked on to make sure everything was up to par.
The grandma style pizza at Antika goes for $18 plus $2 for each additional topping. This ends up being $20+ for a pizza but it’s well worth it. You get more pizza than you can eat in one sitting and for around $20 you’ll have pizza for a few meals.
Antika has won me over. After an average first time there, they rose to the occasion on my second visit and delivered a damn good pizza. The pizza was so good that on the walk home I was craving the leftovers. So much so, when I got home I immediately opened up the bag and devoured a few more slices of pizza. So much for being full! Go to Antika and get the grandma style pizza. You’ll be sneaking leftover pieces of pizza in the kitchen too.