When I think Italian, three things come to mind: huge portions, all the carbs, and great wine. At Antonio’s Pizza & Pasta, a family-owned Italian restaurant in the heart of Powdersville, SC, that’s exactly what you’ll get. I was pleasantly surprised as I walked in and saw a charming, rustic bar stocked with an array of wine choices and plenty of seating. Not quite what you’d expect from a pizzeria located in an unassuming shopping center. But truthfully, the food wasn’t quite what I expected either… it was better.
Antonio’s menu could be a little overwhelming. With choices of starters, soups, salads, pizza, pasta, entrees…the choices are endless and it seems you can’t go wrong with anything. My advice: choose one or two things you know you’ll love, then ask your waiter to recommend their favorites. Our non-negotiables were the Hawaiian Pizza (sub pepperoni for ham) and the Chicken Parmigiana.
I must admit, there are very few pizzas I don’t enjoy. With that being said, Antonio’s pizza meets all my requirements: Balanced ratio of sauce to cheese to toppings with a chewy crust that’s not too thick. Plus they have so many tempting options to choose from such as a Taco Pizza, Barbecue Chicken Pizza, and your classic Capricciosa Pizza with sausage, mushrooms, roasted peppers and mozzarella.
I can’t get over this Chicken Parmigiana. Growing up, my mom made chicken parmesan frequently, but while she is an outstanding cook, she isn’t Italian. The Chicken Parmigiana from Antonio’s was certainly a step above my usual expectations, and is as authentic as I’d imagine you could get. The chicken is fork tender and topped with melted mozzarella cheese, served atop angel hair pasta and homemade marinara sauce.
Now for our waitress’s recommendations: the Skylar and the Pescatore. The “Skylar” was surprisingly my favorite dish. Comprised of cheese ravioli in a pesto cream sauce, this dish sounds boring, but is anything but. It is extremely rich, so I’d recommend sharing, but the pesto sauce is surprisingly robust and light, even though it’s cream base. And truthfully, how can you go wrong with cheese ravioli?
The Pescatore is a classic Italian entrée ideal for seafood lovers like myself. Sautéed shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels are tossed in a spicy Fra Diablo marinara sauce atop your choice of pasta. You may also choose to forgo the spicy sauce, but I’d highly recommend it. The amount of fresh seafood in this dish is impressive, but the bold flavors stole the show.
In usual fashion, we ended with dessert…”Death by Chocolate” to be exact. This decadent chocolate cake has layers of thick, creamy chocolate mousse as well as chocolate icing. Even after a heavy meal, we devoured every last bite. Soon to come, Antonio’s will be offering dessert pizzas! We were able to get a sneak peek of this dessert pizza topped with Butterfinger, chocolate chips and a caramel drizzle.
You may argue that Greenville has plenty of Italian restaurants, but there’s no place quite like Antonio’s; where everybody knows everybody and the owners are clearly passionate about what they do. Antonio’s is located at 142 McNeely Road in Piedmont, SC. They are open Sunday 11:30am-9pm, Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm.