Friday, August 18, 2017

[EXCLUSIVE] "Antico Laboratorio" to Debut at Little Italia This Fall

ToNeTo Atlanta has come a long way since I created it while a student in the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University in 2008.  

I recall vividly foodie friends of mine "kidnapping me" from class to head over to what was then the new Antico Pizza Napoletana, a rough, limited, but already wildly popular pizzeria that had opened near Georgia Tech in Home Park in 2009.  While few knew then the impact the pizzeria would have, there is no question that its opening sparked increased interest in the area.
Di Palma's "Little Italia"

In the years since, and with the tremendous popularity of Antico, Giovanni Di Palma created "Little Italia," modeled after the historic town centers found across Italy. Little Italia encompasses multiple buildings and includes Antico Pizza Napoletana, Gio’s Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni, Caffè Antico and Bar Amalfi.  

In early 2015, a second Antico opened in Alpharetta at Avalon. Late last year, Di Palma opened outposts of Antico Pizza Napoletana, Gio’s Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni and  Caffè Antico in Miami's South Beach. Earlier this year, a  third Antico opened at The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park.  Later this month, a satellite location is expected to open within Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Falcons and Atlanta United FC.  

Little Italia will once again grow, now to include a new pizza experience. "Antico Laboratorio" will open in the Donald Matter Photography space at 1099 Hemphill Avenue, adjacent to Gio’s ChickenFulton county property records indicate the building was constructed in 1960 and is about 8,500 square feet in total. Di Palma will now control the entire space.

"Giovanni Di Palma  will unveil Antico Laboratorio, a glass enclosed dough room, offering an elevated version of the classic Antico Pizza that is crafted by hand by the Maestro himself. He will work with a special flour that he blended in Italy with Gennaro Luciano of Port Alba, the oldest pizzeria in the world, and Stefano Porro of Accademia Polselli. A new Antico style of pizza will be offered but one that actually involves a much older process from Italy."

Giovanni is reportedly also considering offering delivery as an option at Antico for the first time.  The addition to Little Italia should open sometime in October.  

As some may be aware, Giovanni recently lost his mother, with whom he was very close.  I join with others in expressing my sympathy for Di Palma and his family at this time of mourning. 

Are you excited for this new addition to Little Italia?  Where is your favorite place for Neapolitan pizza in Atlanta?  Where should Di Palma open the next Antico or should he stop now to ensure the concept remains "special?"

Please share your thoughts below.  

4 comments:

Helen said...

It always bothers me that Giovanni Di Palma is written about and talked about in such glowing terms. People seem to forget about the over 300K in back wages he had to pay to his employees and how he intimidated and retaliated against employees he thought were cooperating with the department of labor.

Anonymous said...

Di Palma created "Little Italia," modeled after the historic town centers found across Italy.

This is a ridiculous assertion.

Steven Linton said...

Italian

Anonymous said...

So overrated. I moved to Atlanta a couple of years after first Antico opened and, since I'm an Italian-New Yorker, everyone couldn't wait to drag me there. Meh. It's loud, hot and expensive and the pizza is non-descript. Give me Varasano's or Varuni Napoli (yes, I know Lucca is former Antico) any day. Gio's chicken, however, is masterful.