I had dinner plans with my friends, 2 of which live in the North End, so we decided it was time we dine there! We wanted to try a restaurant that was new to all of us and we landed on Antico Forno on Salem Street. I hadn’t heard much about it, but the menu looked reasonable and it’s brick oven pizzas won me over.
Bread: Thick, soft and doughy. We were a party of 4 and were given at least 8 pieces in a metal basket. Accompanied by a small dish of EVOO with crushed red pepper and olives.
Menu: Antipasti consisting of salads and 1 soup, a variety of Pizzas, Primi Pastas, Secondi, and Contorni (sides). The website boasts they have “the most traditional Italian pizza” – I wasn’t going to argue, so I went with the Margherita with artichokes.
Food/Presentation: The pizzas are generous in size with 8 slices that could have easily fed 2 people. The artichokes were plentiful which is a major plus. The pizza was good, with a crust between a thin and thick Sicilian (I prefer thin crust). Nothing extraordinary or over the top fantastic.
Bathroom: Standard one room/stall restroom. I did like the Xelertor hand dryer. The door had the most character.
Wait Staff: I sat alone at our table for about 25 minutes waiting for the rest of my party (I was early), and a waitress and another lady (manager? owner?) each greeted me to see if I wanted a beverage. Our waitress I could barely hear or understand, not because it was loud, but because she was soft-spoken and kind of unfriendly. She wasn’t rude but she certainly wasn’t overly helpful or welcoming.
Overall: For the North End, the prices were moderate. For the quality of the food, the prices were a bit high. The atmosphere and décor had a lot of character – exposed brick ovens, brick walls throughout, with small fires burning within the brick columns. The food was not bad by any means – everyone pretty much finished their meals – but there are much better places to visit in the North End.
The Perfect Bite: This may be the first time I’ve ever said this… but I’m going with the BREAD! The pizza wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s deserving of the perfect bite.