Insider Edition: Near-perfection at Pizza All’Antica

Take a trip to Manotick to find a pie worth the journey. Authenticity, tradition, and a crust you won’t want to miss.

Ralf Joneikies
21 Apr

Good morning!

Today we explore another Italian eatery with which some may be familiar but if not, enjoy the profile below.  I have a strong suspicion that once you’ve paid them a visit, it will become a destination you’ll enjoy for years to come.

In less sunny news, the subject of our first ever food story, BanhMiYes has announced they will be temporarily suspending their business.  Owner and banh mi artisan Phoebe Ha will be returning to Vietnam to spend more time with her family because as she put it “Life is too short to wake up with regrets.” We wish her strength and much joy in the months ahead. The good news is that from now until the end of April you can still order her magical sandwiches right here.

Finally, one of the joys of my role as a private store general manager and wine buyer was introducing my customers to new grape varietals. Luckily my clients approved. Today I feature a white wine that over-delivers in both price and quality and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Cheers,

—Ralf Joneikies, food and drink editor

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More Truly Great Pizza From All’Antica’s Wood-Fired Oven

After returning to Ottawa, memories of the “Ottawa style” of pizza came flooding back but I felt certain that something must have changed in the intervening decades. 

Of course, I had some fond memories of the old Ottawa pies. After dancing the night away at Tobascos in Hull, we always looked forward to the freshly sizzling 3 am pizzas at Le Bocage. Nothing was better. But tastes and appetites change and I was afraid that upon coming back to Ottawa all I would have were the memories and the same old choices. But that was a fleeting thought.

The first Neapolitan-style pizza to which I was exposed when I returned happened to be at Pizza All'Antica in Manotick. I'd been exploring my hometown and environs when I saw their storefront and the wood-burning oven through the window. I went in and enjoyed the feeling that came over me as I finished one of their 12-inch pies. I was transported back to the best that I'd had in both Toronto and Vancouver. And when I met owner and pizzaiolo Joe Crupi, we got on as if we were two old friends who'd spent years in high school together.

Joe had been running a successful landscaping company and with retainers paid in advance, his dance card was full season after season. There was however a restlessness and he finally chose to pursue his dream of working with food. 

He paid back the retainers, sold his business and with the support of his wife and business partner Anna, began the process of starting a pizza food truck. He got in touch with her uncle who ran a pizza business in Napoli, and then began to study the science behind pizza at a school in Boulder, Colorado.

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