Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tony's Pizza Palace - Great food, but get it to go

I've heard great things about Tony's Pizza on 96th and 111th, and having it mentioned by a co-worker again last week, Z and I thought we would check it out on Saturday night after a long day of flooring the bedroom and hemming curtains.

I invited my mom to come out with us, so the three of us headed over about 8PM. We were seated at a table directly in front of the open kitchen, with a great visual of the hand tossing of pizza dough. There were pictures hanging around the dingy restaurant describing the beginnings of Tony's in New York, and I was looking forward to what was described as an authentic New York pizza. After much too long of a wait our server finally appeared to take our drink orders, but although our menus were already closed, she walked away without getting our food order. She came back in good time with our drinks and got our orders - my mom and I decided to share a large pizza alla Pescatore ($21.75 - 14", guaranteeing leftovers) with shrimp, clams and anchovies, while Z, not a big pizza person, ordered the Lasagna al Forno ($11).

Our food took a little while, however we new the freshly tossed pizza would make it well worth the wait. It didn't disappoint - the homemade sauce was fresh and savory, and the clams, shrimp and anchovies were encased under a nice layer of mozzarella cheese. The crust was also fantastic, not thick and doughy like most, but thin, crispy and cooked through. Z thought the lasagna was one of the better ones he's had, not too heavy on the pasta, but with lots of cheese, beef and sauce.

After delivering our food, our server never reappeared at our table and two others stopped by to see if we needed more drinks and to pack up our food. As we waited for our bill, we noticed someone, possibly the owner or manager, glad handing and having an espresso with some regulars. For some reason, I always find it annoying when restaurant managers or employees shmooze with the regulars, not noticing any other customers - it seems to put all other patrons somewhere outside the restaurant.

In the end, all the three of us enjoyed the food at Tony's, but all agreed that we would not go out of our way to get there. Z and I would definitely encourage a trip to Tony's for some good pizza and pasta, but would encourage ordering takeout to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Tony's Pizza Palace
9605 - 111 Avenue
780.424.8777 or 780.424.8769
M-T (11:30 - 2:30; 4:30 - 10) F (11:30 - 2:30; 4:30 - 12) S (2:30 -12) Su (4:30 - 10:30)

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