On a rainy evening, we decided to check out Antico Forno for dinner in the North End. It is right near Neptune Oyster and Boston Common coffee shop on Salem Street. We luckily arrived right before the dinner rush and we were seated immediately.
Involtini di Melanzane $13.00 Rolled eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese and basil, baked in brick oven with plum tomato sauce and parmigiano cheese
This dish was the star of our eating experience. The thin eggplant was tender, but not overly cooked and the herbed ricotta cheese was rich and delicious. The sauce was perfect, with a touch of sweetness that was balanced by the saltiness in the Parmesan cheese.
La Capricciosa pizza is $16.50 and has homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes hearts and fresh homemade mozzarella with a plum tomato sauce.
This particular pizza is one of the few on the menu that has a prominent red sauce. There were plenty of artichoke hearts and mushrooms, but very little sausage. The pizza crust was crisp on the out areas, but somewhat soggy towards the middle of the slice. It wasn’t too thin or thick. There was enough pizza to feed 2-3 people, so portions are generous. All of Antico Forno’s pizzas are baked in the brick oven. Was it the best brick oven pizza I’ve ever had? No. Was it the worst? No. Sadly, the pizza was very much mezza mezza and we would prefer pizza from elsewhere (Ernesto’s, Reginas, Il Panino).
Overall, this is a basic family-friendly restaurant in the North End. Prices were moderate, but for the quality of food, high. The atmosphere has lots of character and old world ambiance, but not a lot of bells and whistles. The dining room is rather noisy and it can be overwhelming if Antico Forno is busy.
The menu is self-explanatory and the waitstaff is not here to coddle you. The service is quick when you want to order, but slow to refill your water glasses or clear the table. We would return to eat the involtini again or try the freshly made pastas, but not the pizza.