Top Ten Italian Restaurants Around the World: 9. Antico Forno Boston, MA
Antico Forno is billed as “The Most Authentic Italian Restaurant,” and we’re hard pressed to argue. This mainstay in Boston’s North End manages a cozy mom-and-pop atmosphere with world-class traditional cuisine. Entrees like Saltimbocca di Pollo and Linguine al Frutti di Mare hearken back to the old country, but Antico Forno is best known for its brick-oven pizzas piled high with house-made Italian sausages and mozzarella.
Antico Forno featured in Around the World! Watch Free Video
Celtics spouse Shannon Allen, wife of Ray, showing off her pizza oven skills at Antico Forno’s CityFeast event to raise money for the Joslin High Hopes Fund... Picture: Boston Celtics babe Shannon Allen shows off her pizza peel prowess to Carla Gomes at Antico Forno at a fund-raiser for the Joslin Diabetes Center.
Rosario Dawson, an exotically stunning actress, who has a built in resourcefulness to her, has been primarily a film player and recently has she been opening herself up more to doing TV and animated voiceovers. PICTURED OWNER OF ANTICO FORNO, CARLA AGRIPPINO GOMES WITH ROSARIA DAWSONWHO STOPPED IN AT THE BAR AT ANTICO FORNO FOR A MARTINI AND APPETIZERS WITH A COUPLE OF FRIENDS!
Antico Forno Letter
I'm a Captain in the Army stationed in Hawaii. In November 2007, I was in Boston visiting family for the last time before I would deploy to Iraq in December. My mother and step-father frequent Antico Forno and we all went to your restaurant during my last night in town. It seems as though special arrangements had been made by my mother for a cheesecake to be served for dessert. When our server, Cara, brought out the cheesecake, she initiated some conversation with me about what I did in the Army, told me that she had a brother or relative in the Marines, and thanked me for my service. A little while later, as we prepared to leave, Cara approached me and gave me a rosary that had been blessed in Međugorje. She then gave me a hug and wished me a safe deployment. I was touched by Cara's kindness.
My deployment to Iraq lasted from December 2007 to March 2009. For the first half of the deployment, I was a Cavalry Scout platoon leader and conducted daily patrols in Northwestern Baghdad. Everyday on patrol I carried with me the Međugorje rosary that Cara gave me as sort of a good luck charm. I like to think that it somehow helped me to stay safe and survive some difficult situations
I write today because I'd like to send a hand written thank you note, along with pictures, to Cara. Does she still work at Antico Forno? If so, is it ok for me to send my note to the restaurant's address with Cara's name on it? If so, what is her last name. If not, can you provide another address where she would be able to receive the note?
Thanks for your help with this. I'll be sure to make it into Antico Forno when I'm back in Boston around Christmas.
Hi Carla, I was going to send a written note,but after hitting send on a started email
Yesterday I thought I would just send another email.
Antico Forno was fabulous, the service was perfect and that was for a pretty
Big crowd!!! The food was incredible as always, all the people from out
Of town were in awe:)
I thank you so much,it was just the beginning of what was a beautiful
The Amorello family
Hello, My son and I ate at your restaurant last night. I like to use them to find new places to dine. I have yet to be disappointed and last night was no exception. The food was OUTSTANDING and the service was TOP SHELF. My college age son and myself could not have had a better time. The two apps that we had were outstanding. I have this thing where I like to have fried calamari at every restaurant that has it on the menu as a GUIDE as to how the rest of the meal is going to go. After tasting yours, I had NO DOUBT that the meals was going to be up there with my ALL TIME GREAT DINING EXPERIENCES and I was right. We also had pizza as an app. For our main courses my son went with the Linguini and mixed seafood. He is 6'3" and about 200lbs and could not finish the HUGE portion. I went with the fresh rigatoni and sausage with ricotta. Boy what a night. I am sure to return with my other son who is also a college student in Boston and was reason I was in Boston in the first place, as he was playing ball in a college night last night. Again, thanks for a great dinner and service. Regards Paul Campagna
Reasonably priced gourmet Italian cuisine, prepared in traditional brick-oven style.
Owner Carla Gomes has found a great balance between down-home and downtown southern Italian food. The result? A restaurant serving top-notch food at prices that even students and families can afford. Antico Forno is loud, but still a charmer--this country mouse has all the right moves.
Most everything is cooked in a burning brick oven, as the restaurant's name implies (antico forno means "old oven"). The salsiccia e broccoletti pizza is a marvel of fresh dough, bitter broccoli rabe, homemade sausage and buffalo mozzarella. And they're not kidding about the brick-oven thing; lamb, chicken dishes, even the mashed potatoes, have that caramelized, crispy crust that comes from searing with intense heat.
A well-prepared selection of rustic dishes: brick-oven pizzas, roasted vegetables, entrees in terra cotta pots, and good bread and olives. Good place for a date and a bottle of red.
Falling for an Italian lunch at Antico Forno:
Most people would rather stave off the inevitable end of summer than revel in it, but there are reasons to look forward to fall. One of them is lunch at Antico Forno.
On restaurant-cluttered Salem Street, Antico Forno is distinguished from its neighbors by the big brick oven that dominates the back wall. Dishes are sent to this oven to be "finished" -- gnocchi , for instance, is covered with a basil-laden plum-tomato sauce and topped with slabs of smoked mozzarella, then relegated for its final minutes to the high heat of the oven. The mozzarella gets slightly browned, and the red clay pot the dish is served in radiates enough heat to warm you from a foot away. Another great entrée is the ribollita , a hearty Tuscan bread soup made with vegetables, cannellini beans, and parmesan cheese. The soup is too heavy for sundress-and-sandals season, but it's perfect for autumn and will probably be even better come winter.
Naples, Florence, and Milan, all in one North End restaurant : Antico Forno
Ribollita: it's a Tuscan soup that's "reboiled." Can advertising your dish as leftovers hook customers? Believe me, this concoction of white beans, red cabbage, red onion, leeks, garlic, celery or fennel, carrots, tomato, and ham, all soaked up with generous slices of unsalted bread, will gladden the heart of any Florentine. Like most stews, it just gets better with reheating.
When I walked into Antico Forno, I though that it must be a Tuscan restaurant. It has a homey, rustic atmosphere characteristic of central Italy: brick-brown square-tiled floor, terra-cotta walls, simple wooden tables and chairs, hanging lights and ceiling fans, dried flowers in vases on the wall. On one side, a hutch with bottles of the house red and loaves of country bread; on the other, a wood-fired brick oven with a statue of St. Rocco in its alcove, and a huge standing vase in what looks from a distance like one of the famous Deruta patterns . You could be sitting in a friend's kitchen in Cortona, or Castiglion Fiorentino.
Antico Forno is a cozy, neighborhood kind of place; many of the customers, you'll observe, are well known to the serving staff. This is not a restaurant for intimate dinners or discreet conversations; when it's crowded it can be quite noisy. It is a place to enjoy hearty, honest food at fair prices.
That is, as long as you don't fill up on the country bread and olives in green oil that land on your table when you sit down. The lunch menu offers soups (that ribollita), salads (buffalo mozzarella and tomato;), sandwiches (oven-roasted lamb; grilled chicken breast with fresh mozzarella), pastas (linguine with clams and mussels; rigatoni ), and pizzas baked in that wood oven. Dinner adds some new appetizers and pastas, plus an entree list: oven-roasted chicken with garlic and herbs, wood-grilled swordfish with a balsamic vinaigrette, rabbit baked in agrodolce sauce. There are also specials, usually seafood-oriented -- lobster ravioli, for example, or blue marlin.
The ribollita arrives in a terra-cotta crock and offers the same country goodness, even without any cabbage: cannellini and vegetables drizzled with parmesan and olive oil, served with ample bread to soak it up. Baby octopus and mussels in a spicy plum-tomato sauce and rolled eggplant stuffed with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and basil and baked in tomato sauce are similarly excellent. The oven-roasted lamb sandwich with Calabrian peppers and onions is a delightfully messy affair, the thick bread soaking up the juices. The mixed-green salad -- actually red and green -- exemplifies what's right about this restaurant: no pretension, just fresh radicchio, mesclun, arugula, and romaine in a balsamic vinaigrette.
The pastas, all of which are served in some variety of fresh plum-tomato sauce, reflect Antico Forno's Neapolitan origins. Linguine with calamari in a puttanesca sauce didn't give much evidence of the promised capers, and the pasta, al dente on arrival, continued to cook in the dish. But the tomato sauce was fresh and nicely balanced, and the calamari rings and tentacles were tender. Pizza with artichoke hearts, porcini, cherry tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella was the best I have ever had.
The entrees move north, to Tuscany and Lombardy. Roasted veal stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and fontina and served with a three-cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan) asparagus risotto seemed to have been marinated in milk or cream and cooked with black pepper and olive oil. It's a superb example of Milanese cuisine, the softness and creaminess of the veal complementing the smoothness of the perfectly cooked risotto.