Nicli Antica Pizzeria is a traditional Neapolitan pizza joint in Gastown.
Had a weekend lunch at Nicli Antica. We were quickly seated in the last empty table in the house.
We ordered the "Insalata Prosciutto e Rucola" (arugala salad with roasted pear, gorgonzola, and fig and balsamic vinaigrette) and a Margherita Pizza.
The salad was crisp, fresh, with a rich blend of salty prosciutto and gorgonzola, and sweet pear and figs.
The pizza was thin, crisp & charred and the edges, with fresh soft cheese, and the hint of herb from the basil and olive oil.
Our server was attentive and courteous.
I qualified the title by writing "one of the best" instead of "the best" merely because I haven't tried all the pizza places in town, but the pizzas here are the best I have so far had. Four of us went there, and we ordered different pizzas so we could share. Every one was delicious, and the thin crust was crunchy.
The Antipasto Misto appetizer was absolutely awesome -- the freshest ingredients, beautifully presented, and yummy!
The people at the next table ordered some kind of salad, and it, too, looked amazing.
I will return, for sure.
I tried this relatively new restaurant for the first time on a weekday dinner rush, and waited for about 15 minutes for a table. The staff was very friendly and attentive during this period, fixing drinks and chatting with us while going about their business. Although the place is very small and somewhat cramped, the setup is interesting, with tables to one side and a standing bar along with an open kitchen on the other. They've done a lot with a small space, although the decor is a bit too bright and plain.
On to the important stuff though. The pizza here is pretty terrific. I kept it simple and tried the margharita, and it was one of the best I've had in Vancouver. It, along with our other dish, a Bianca pizza (which was very good as well, although a bit oily) came very quickly and tasted warm, fresh and delicious. The pizza is very thin, with amazing, crunchy crusts and a soft center that requires you to use the knife and fork at times. The drinks that accompany the food are hip and enjoyable, if a bit expensive.
For my dinner, the Margharita ran at $12, the drinks were about $10 each and the Bianca was around $14. With tax and before tip, dinner for two came to just under $50, and it's a lot less if you're planning on just doing water. A fair price, although personally, I'd skip the bar if I went again. The cocktails were pleasant, but I'd only pay that much again on a special occasion.
As for the pizza though, I'm definitely coming back for that, and I encourage anyone who likes a thin crust, Naples-style pizza to try it out. You'll probably love it too.
Real Neapolitan pizza in Vancouver? PSHAW. That's what I thought when I heard about this place. BUT it was absolutely packed on a recent weekday, so we waited for our turn to try this pizza. The pizza was truly delicious, certainly the best I've had in Vancouver, on par with many high-end pizzas we've had in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles, but not the best ever. We had the Margarita pizza and the mushroom pizza, I think they were $12, and $14, which is on par with prices at this type of place in other cities. The Margarita was better I think. We had a salad to start that was just perfect, with roasted garlic. The only thing that I don't like, which is not really their fault, is how busy this place is. I don't really like waiting, even for great pizza, I think I will go in the off hours next time and see if there is a wait then. Also we didn't try any drinks so can't comment on those, just the food.
Because this place is brand new, I don't want to be unkind, but I do want to be honest. It's bright, almost harsh, with white tables and light walls, but that has the effect of looking really clean. They have linen napkins, a nice touch, and the staff are very nicely dressed and very friendly. The menu is simple, appetizers and pizza, no pasta. The wines are marked up somewhat excessively in my opinion. I'd like to see an honest red house wine served in carafes. There were actually more staff than needed, which means very attentive service. It wouldn't hurt to teach them how to pronounce the Italian names of the pizzas, though. Now to the pizzas - the toppings were delicious, the sauce is delicious, but the crust was tough and in my opinion, the pizza should have been left in the oven just a little longer. The edges of a pizza cooked in a wood oven should be crisp, with just a hint of char. These were slightly undercooked. The prices of the pizzas, mostly in the $17+ range, should guarantee a superior product. Overall, a very nice addition to the neighbourhood, with a few details to be worked on.
So 4 of us were on a pizza crawl of three spots (my friend saw that they were rated the best in Van)
hmmmm...we'll see. Being a pizza nut, I always wanted to try this place (the others were Campagnolo and Barbarella). ground rules: one margherita (as a base line) and one whatever.
The margherita was SPOT ON!! WOW! perfect crust from a wood oven, the right mozzarella fresh tomatoes and basil. The other was a pesto bacon affair memorable only because of the house smoked bacon but great anyhow. This was the most expensive of the three places for beer/wine and pizza. beautiful room in a funky hood. Service was adequate. IMHO it rates as tied for first on this trip with Barbarella. I still prefer Tevere pizza overall, too bad we were too full to visit that night!
I had lunch here during the week. The place has a nice brand new clean look to it. Wasn't as Italian as some of the pizza places in Vancouver. Decor was more downtown Vancouver then Italy and music was lil wayne instead of Andrea Bocelli. I'm not saying this is a bad thing because I enjoy both.. The menu has a nice selection of beers which is cool to see the different options. I ordered the Margherita Di Bufala (pomodoro, grana padano, buffalo mozzarella, basil)
Nice thin pizza served Italian style, uncut with a fork and knife. It tasted good but wasn't the best I've had in Vancouver. It seemed like I got a tomato sauce pizza.. with a little bit of cheese. I know that Italians don't load on the toppings but this seemed a little light to me. The taste was good, just I was hoping to taste more of that nice buffalo mozzarella.
Overall I think this is a good place, I will return and try a different pizza next time and sample some of their unique beer like the coffee porter.
Food: For a place that calls itself a pizzeria, this was downright disappointing. How can pizza be so bland? The crust was way too chewy. The toppings were too sparse. We saw the pizza being hand made and go into the brick oven. It's all show and no substance.
Service: Water was refilled.
Value: Poor, considering the food.
Ambiance: This is the only saving grace. The restaurant is nicely decorated, and the tables aren't situated too close to each other.
I'll order Domino's next time.
We caught it on a weekday early on, so luckily, no wait. It did get quite a bit busier soon after. It's a very clean, stylish place. Not in-line with the rest of the neighbourhood.
Ordered a margherita (with the buffalo mozzarella) and a bianca pizza and they got right to work on it. I really can't complain about the service since there were only 3 people in the restaurant at the time! The pizza didn't take too long to come. I saw them start the crust from dough right in the kitchen/prep area. It wasn't pre-done.
I heard someone else say tough crust? Yes, the crust is quite tough. Hurt our hands trying to cut through it with the knife. It was TOUGH. On the bright side, it wasn't too tough to chew, it was okay. (Certainly Sciue has tougher crust, but that is Roman style, and their crust is much tastier).
The pizza was just okay given what we were expecting from this level of pizza joint. Come on, yes, it is better than the 99cent pizza joints and it beats Domino's or Pizza Hut hands down. But it's no where near the best in town. (BTW, Neapolitan pizza is soggy and full of stuff in the middle).
Okay, the margherita, the tomato used was not the best. It's okay, but it may have been just very good standard supermarket stuff. It's not any local heirloom tomatoes that I've ever tasted or any good canned tomatoes from Italy. It lacks flavour. The crust? Also lacks flavour. So for a pizza with only 4 major ingredients, this is not going so well. They could've hidden it with more basil and more mozarella, but no, they skimped on that.
The bianca had much stronger flavour, but of course the crust suffered from the same weakness. They also skimped out on the parsley. Honestly, it's Italian flat-leaf parsley, throw a few more on for how much you're charging!
The 2 pizzas ran us $16-17 each. For that price, no. Funny, on their website, they proudly advertise that a certain food writer from the Globe & Mail proclaims "At last, Vancouver has a restaurant that serves real Neapolitan pizza!". Well, I'm sorry, if that quote is true, that writer has absolutely no credibility. (This isn't the first time this writer has stumbled, so this is just another nail in the coffin).
If you want better Neapolitan style pizza, much better pizza, go to BiBo. Their guy is going to the pizza competition in Italy and, well, the difference in quality shows.
Would I return? No. Would I recommend? No. If it's cheap pizza you want, this is not the place to get it. If it's the best Neapolitan pizza in town, short of going to Italy, well this is not it either. If you're in the area and hankering for a bite? There's a lot cheaper options in the area. I'm not saying this is crap food, it's pretty good, but sorry, if you're going to play with the big boys, you better bring your "A" game, and they did not. If they want to serve the pizza at half the price and not make any claims about authenticity, then I'd be happy with it.
Came here with my friend last nite, she got there early and was waiting for me at our table. The maitre d or whoever he was who greeted me at the door was rude and unfriendly, it's like he didn't want me there. Seriously if my friend wasn't already there I would have walked out! How many restaurants are there in gastown??? Exactly. Anyways, not a good first impression and already left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, the pizza wasn't that good, we ordered the funghi, it was charred (I know on the menu it says it's cooked at 900 F and is supposed to have "flame blackened blisters" but really?) and soggy, sorry not a fan of charcoaled pizza. Our server was nice and friendly. Besides that the place was also pretty pretentious..
Met a couple of friends for lunch at this new pizzeria (we were told it had only been open for business for the past 6 months).
Their menu is very limited - just a handful of appetizers and pizzas - no pasta to be found here! So, the three of us decided to just pick three different kinds of pizza and share. We ordered the Margherita, the Prosciutto e Rucola and the Diavola. The Margherita and Diavola pizzas are basically the same pizza, except that the Diavola had pepperoni on it. The pizzas came out pretty quick and since they didn't come pre-sliced, we had to use some elbow grease to cut all three pizzas into 6 slices each. The pizzas were awesome! They were cooked perfectly ... not too burnt on the edges or too soggy in the centre. My favorite was definitely the Prosciutto e Rucola. The combination of the salty meat and the arugula on top made this my immediate favorite.
The service was very friendly and attentive (although it was to be expected as we were only 1 of 5 tables in the restaurant). After our lunch, the owner held the door open for us as we were leaving and thanked us for coming to his restaurant. We told him how much we enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. He told us to tell a friend.
We'll definitely tell more than a friend - we'll bring them back ... I am already craving the prosciutto pizza again ... maybe I'll make a stop there again next week.
Although superior in quality, Nicli Antica sort of reminds me in both style of pizza and interior design of the English chain Pizza Express. The pizza is made exactly as it should be, with a thin crust that really tastes like something, a perfect tomato sauce, virgin olive oil, and real top of the line mozzarella that actually melts as opposed to the crappy coagulated goop that you normally find elsewhere. The antipasto and the salads that we tried are also first rate and are as fresh as can be. The place isn't cheap but it's nice to leave a restaurant feeling that you got your money's worth. Only downside is the small number of tables (which may mean a wait) and the fact that they don't do takeout. The explanation I got was that their pizza doesn't travel well. This doesn't make much sense as the leftover slice we took home was just as delicious at lunch the next day. Hope the policy changes as I'm sure there are many people, including myself, who would love, on occasion, to simply pick up a pie to take home.
Neapolitan pizza isn't what one usually expects when going out for pie. It isn't pre-cut, it's served with a fork and knife. However, it's best to just go at it with your hands. I tried Neapolitan pizza for the first time in Italy, and I was instantly enamoured. The crispy-yet-soft crust, the vibrant pomodoro, and the fresh toppings are all to die for. Nicli does a wonderful take on the style, and surpasses even my memories of that Italian pizzeria from some time ago. And, it's MUCH closer. As a vegetarian I was pleased to see many options for me. In my journeys I have found the Bianca and Marinara to both be excellent choices.
Long wait for a table for 3 on a weeknight. Place is nice but the chairs are not comfortable, the whole place can be bigger. Very Preppy looking. Sort of Stuck-up, Snobby place.
I still like my Lombardo's Restaurant. Prices are ok on pizza, too much on the Antipasto but nice presentation.
Waiter was friendly and helpful. He suggested my pizza special. I should of gotten just the Margerita Pizza (just cheese).
All in all, not bad, try this place out once, but now it seems like Vancouver is opening up a lot of these pizza places with the wood brick oven (some not real wood, just gas ovens).
The owners should be Italian not another culture, only if you went to school for this and really know your pizza from Naples.
Just not too comfortable, a little too preppy. Can be a little more friendly. Just ok for me, please try this place though.
First off, I have to compliment Nicli Antica on their service. Specifically, the host was very friendly and genuinely enthusiastic. He also made a point to discover how our experience was, more on that later.
The restaurant itself was a nice mix of classic brick and modern stylings, with the lights set to a nice comfortable ambience. Very fresh feeling but had a touch of rustic to it.
My wife and I ordered the 2 glasses of the house wine, and of course 2 pizzas. The wine was a good value $5 a glass and was paired nicely with the pizza.
The pizza itself was good, not outstanding, but good. It seems a little overpriced, but that may be down to the ingredients. It comes uncut, and has a slightly tough (not too much though) crust. This was no problem for me, but my wife found it a bit of a nuisance. Later on when she asked the host if this was typical, he said yes, but traditionally its served with no cutlery, and torn into pieces by hand. Pretty interesting, they should encourage their guests to try that before eating.
Afterwards we had espresso and tiramisu. Espresso was great, tiramisu was middling; dry and not so flavourful. But, I don't want to complain about that too much: after our meal the host asked us how everything was, and sensing my reply of "good..." was a bit weak, asked me what wasn't right. After I told him about the tiramisu, he apologized, said it shouldn't be that way and he would check on it, and brought us a $10 gift card.
All in all would go again, but thats mainly down to the service and the gift card.
Had a quick lunch yesterday. Not real busy but service was quick and friendly. Started with the arugula and proscuitto salad. Nice presentation, lots of different flavours on the plate but the dish lacked depth. A little pinch of sea salt and some acid would have made the dish outstanding. The dressing was sweet but not savoury enough. Had the Naples style pizza. Light toppings but very good fresh tomato sauce, the anchovies added just enough seasoning. The homemade rosemary oil was definitely a big plus. Room is very bright and airy. Sometimes white rooms have a very cold feeling to them but I thought the red touches really worked. i read a review about the pizzas being as good as the ones in Seattle. I would disagree with that statement. I would return though to try some of the other dishes. A salad, pizza and a coffee with tip came to $37.00, a little high for what I received. A lot of favourable press lately, I expected a little more.
I came to this place super excited by the idea of traditional thin crust pizza with buffalo mozzarella and basil. Unfortunately this place failed to impress. The restaurant is located in the middle of cracktown but the interior is cute and romantic. The food though was so mediocre it was painful. The flavours were okay, but kind of bland and the cheese was so skimpy it could barely be classified as pizza. While not horribly disappointed, I wouldn't be in a hurry to return if ever.
Was there this past Sunday before the game. It was not packed like a normal Friday or Saturday so the service was pretty good.
Ordered a salad to start...the previous user review was dead on when they said even though it was interesting it lacked depth. I was happy to see a 'different' salad, but they went brutus with the radicchio and skimpy on the fennel. It definitely lacked acid and some richness or sweetness. Still it was good to wake the palate up.
Ordered the diavolo pizza. It was excellent. The crust was light with lots of texture but was not tough. Toppings were very tasty and nicely proportionate.
I would definitely go back for the pizza. Mine was $16, friends was $20, but really they are quite large and enough to easily feed 2. (Don't order your child one for themselves).
Warning: Avoid cocktails here..we ended up getting stiffed for $12 drinks...(and they weren't even doubles).
Such unfortunate service at this high end pizzaria. I would expect much more for a pizza dinner for 4 that cost $200. It came highly recommended. The pizza was soggy in the middle and the toppings needed more flavour. The wait was highly underestimated and the staff offered no apology. No smiles for miles. There are too many places to spend my hard earned dollars where the staff appreciates the business. No return visits for me.