Friday, May 11, 2012

Pizza Antica

Last night we decided to try Pizza Antica's Santana Row location. I first heard about Pizza Antica from my local bay area celiac board with comments like "best gluten free pizza I've ever had". But armed with no expectations we made our way to Santana Row just before 5 on a weekday. The restaurant was almost empty and service was excellent. We were seated just across from the kitchen so we could look into the wood fired ovens. We ordered 2 gluten free pizzas - one just a standard cheese for the Giggler and one with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The verdict? Just ok - we probably won't be back.

Positives:
- the wood fired oven made for a great cracker kind of crust
- the sauce was tasty
- no gluten reaction now 12 hours later

Areas for improvement:
- the crust was very "corny" - a bit too chewy for us. DH thought there could be bean flour in there but I did not notice any sort of bean aftertaste
- definitely not enough sauce or cheese. This is more like a "California pizza" where sauce and cheese are add on's versus what we native NY + native Chicago-er's see as key components of pizza

We also ordered the bittersweet chocolate torte for dessert which is flour-less. It was served with fresh whipped cream, peanuts and caramel. We liked the cream but the tart was not very chocolaty and very meringue-like whereas we're more suckers for true fudgy-ness.

We spoke to the manager to learn about their procedures. While the manager and their menu state that they cannot guarantee a gluten free product due to flour in the air, they do only cook gluten free in the right oven and use special pans, cutters, etc for the gluten free food.

Pizza Antica also offers a number of salads, pasta dishes and entrees on their gluten free menu as well as some appetizers so it's definitely somewhere to check out if you're looking for variety. As I said the service was excellent and we really liked the ambiance although some cushions on the booth seats would be a big improvement comfort-wise.



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