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First Bite: Pizza Antica in Danville

New restaurant—proven concept.


Published:

Nicholas Boer

Considered cutting edge when it opened in Lafayette more than a decade ago, Pizza Antica’s casual rustic fare is every bit as good at the new location in Danville.

The brussels sprout salad—on Lafayette’s opening menu—helped spark that homely vegetable’s rise to fame at the eatery. And at our visit yesterday to the new Danville location, it was the first dish recommended by a server—to her dad, with whom she was having lunch at the next table.

Loaded with bacon and egg (a likely reason it hit gold), the salad was already on our table when we overheard her, and we were demolishing it nearly as quickly as a much newer creation: rustic toast sprinkled with roasted chanterelles and accompanied by a hot crock of lush ricotta. So don’t be surprised if wild mushrooms and ricotta start trending.

Yes, there is pizza at Pizza Antica—crispy, thin crust pizza (we tried the gluten-free version for kicks, and it was great) topped with creative combinations of classic Italian ingredients, such as fontina and prosciutto. And there are also pastas, including our almost-too-rich rigatoni with duck ragu.

The Danville location is a little swankier than the one in Lafayette (the four-restaurant chain is now owned by Bacchus Management Group), and craft cocktails, beer, and wine have become a big part of the package. But if alcohol isn’t on tap for you, try one of the artisan pops; we lingered over our elderberry and sour cherry sodas—both citrusy enough to cut through the bacon in that savory brussels sprout salad.

111 West Prospect Ave., Danville, (925) 718-8991, pizzaantica.com. Lunch and dinner daily.


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