Syracuse fine dining in the 1980s and 1990s was highlighted by its Italian restaurants. On Erie Boulevard, it was Grimaldi’s. On the north side, it was Antonio’s. I only ate there once (veal saltimbocca…quite good, from what I remember…it was 1996), but it was what you might expect from that class of restaurant.
Fast forward to now. Antonio’s closed years ago, giving way to something called Attillo’s. The Antonio’s name now adorns a pair of takeout storefronts with the name Antonio’s To Go. The North Syracuse and Camillus locations feature a menu full of traditional and regional Italian dishes, as well as pizza. We’ve had the pizza a few times and it is quite good. The Wife and I aren’t the only ones who think so. Friday evening’s pickup wait was 90 minutes. The girl on the phone refused to quote a delivery time.
Friday’s dinner was chicken riggies and baked ziti with meatballs. Take out meals come in 10-inch black bowls, with each serving capable of producing sizable leftovers. The chicken riggies had a generous serving of sliced chicken, tossed with vinegar-brined peppers in a vodka sauce. Traditional chicken riggies use cherry peppers, which produce a mild, but definitive, heat. The vinegar peppers, which very well might have been cherries, produced a vinegary bite. The vodka sauce offered heat from crushed red pepper.
The baked ziti lacked that telltale casserole construction. Unfortunately, the steam from the dish caused the ziti to separate resulting in a bowl of pasta with a congealed hunk of mozzarella on top. All of the elements worked on their own, but together they were a bit of a letdown.
Antonio’s To Go locations are in North Syracuse and Fairmount. Tonight’s dinner was $22 with tax and most dishes hover around the $9.99-$10.95 mark.