Out of habit, I find myself staying from time to time at the Hampton Inn in west suburban Addison when I go into Chicago for meetings. It's sort of far out of the city, but it's easy to get to and away from. It's sort of centrally located for the dealers that I have around the Chicagoland area, plus there's a number of restaurants in the vicinity. For the past number of years, I usually head east into Addison or Elmhurst to get something to eat when I'm staying there. On a recent overnight there, I decided to look toward the west to the Bloomingdale area to see what they have to offer. I found a little Italian/pizza place called Pizzeria Antica.
Pizzeria Antica is a small family-owned restaurant that opened in the fall of 2007. Gaetano Ancona is the principal owner/chef at the restaurant, but other family members are involved in the restaurant. Pizzeria Antica is located in a small building on W. Lake St., just past Bloomingdale Rd (or Roselle Rd north of Lake). (see map) There is only one way in to Pizzeria Antica from the westbound lane on W. Lake. And you can only go west out of the place when you leave.
It had been a long day of meetings and driving around the Chicago area when I decided to head west on Lake to Pizzeria Antica. It is, indeed, a very small place seating only 26 people. There were two other people in the place finishing up their meal when I got in after 8 p.m. I was greeted at the front counter by a young lady and I thought that you actually ordered your food there. But it turns out that they do have sit down service at Pizzeria Antica.
I took a seat at a table and took a look through the menu. Pizzeria Antica specializes in thin crust pizza and they have a number of specialty pizzas such as the Antico - a pizza topped with Italian tuna, capers, mushrooms and onions; the Frutti de mare - octopus, shrimp, calamari and crab meat are on that one; and the Wurstel - it has hot dogs, mushroom, basil and extra virgin olive oil on it. None of those sounded appealing to me in the least.
Since Pizzeria Antica opens at 11 a.m. for lunch, they also have a number of sandwiches, salads and appetizers. But I was there for the pizza that evening.
My regular reference pizza of sausage, mushroom and pepperoni was what I was looking for. And that's exactly what I ordered when my server came over to take my order - a small (10"). (They also have a 12" medium, a 14" large and a 16" extra-large.) I also noticed that they had Peroni beer on the menu. I ordered up a bottle of Peroni to drink while I wanted on my pizza.
It took less than 20 minutes from the time I ordered to the time the pizza made it to the table. The pizza featured ample amounts of pepperoni, chopped fresh mushrooms and chunks of sweet Italian sausage on the top mixed in with caramelized mozzarella cheese. It was cut into triangles.
The crust was crispy and a little crunchy. It easily held the toppings without drooping. Parmesan cheese, ground oregano and red pepper flakes were available on the table to put onto the pizza. However, I tried the first piece without any additives. The flavor was very good. The sausage was a little bland, but the pepperoni slices had a nice spicy and salty bite. The mushrooms were also very good on the pizza. It passed my "Does it taste good with a beer?" test that I have for every new pizza that I try.
Because the toppings and cheese were so plentiful on the pizza, I was able to eat five of the eight slices of the pizza. I asked the young lady for a to-go box as I had a fridge and a microwave in my room back at the Hampton Inn. Pizza for breakfast is always a treat.
When I was getting ready to leave, the server asked me how my pizza was and I told her that it was very good. It wasn't the best I've had in the Chicago area, but it was still very good. She gave me a printed menu to take with me and I didn't notice until I got back home that it said on the front, "Moving soon!" Honestly, I don't know if the menu was printed up two months ago or two years ago. I'll keep checking back with them to see if they finally moved and I'll be sure to update this entry.
While I do like finding these small gems of a restaurant in my travels, I can see why they probably would like to move. The place is small and you can't get into the place if you're coming from the west on Lake St. I'm hoping that wherever Pizzeria Antica moves to, they'll keep the same pizza ovens that are obviously seasoned with thousands of pizzas they've cooked in them over the past five plus years. I'll definitely follow them, as long as they're close to the hotel when I stay there. I'll be sure to let you know when they move and where.