Anthony’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant, Malvern, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on April 18, 2019

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Pennsylvania, Review, Wining and Dining

Anthony’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant

127 West King Street

Malvern, Pennsylvania

(610) 447-7400

Anthony's - InteriorTucked away in the Malvern Shopping Center, Anthony’s is a popular BYOB majoring in Italian comfort food. “Just how popular?” you may ask. Well, since the restaurant does not accept reservations, even on a normally quiet weekday evening, the wait for a table could very easily be 20 to 30 minutes… longer on weekends. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And there are some very good reasons why the crowds keep coming: the portions are generous, the price is right, the service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the food is damn good… There’s a bit of everything here, so you’re not likely to go hungry for lack of choices.

Anthony's - Caesar SaladThe appetizers, buttressed by such intriguing possibilities as Artichoke Casserole in beurre blanc sauce, Asiago Risotto Bites, Fig & Prosciutto Crostini, and Cheese & Charcuterie have a great deal to recommend them… But they seem almost superfluous – unless you happen to possess the appetite (and capacity) of a ravening hyena – as all entrées come with a nicely stocked breadbasket and choice of soup or salad (some entrées with pasta as well). And while the house salad is on the generic side, the Caesar (pictured) is endowed with generous shavings of Pecorino Romano, delightfully crunchy croutons, and a thoroughly engaging dressing. Among the soups, the Minestrone, a menu staple, is also well worth considering.

When it comes to the main courses, all the usual suspects are present and accounted for. The chicken and veal dishes, for example, may be ordered ParmigianaSaltimboccaCacciatoreMarsala… or Piccata; while the seafood offers up such familiar items as Linguine and Clams, Shrimp Scampi, Grilled Salmon, and Pasta di Mare, a combo of mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and crabmeat in a white wine marinara sauce over fettuccine. And, in addition to the classic pasta dishes, you may also create your own, choosing an individual sauce, pasta, and optional extra (meatballs, sausage, chicken, and shrimp).

Anthony's Penne alla NormaAmong the classic pastas, the Penne alla Norma (pictured), the new kid on the menu block, is highly recommended. The penne – just the proper side of al dente – is accompanied by tender morsels of eggplant, tomato, garlic, and basil and crowned with dabs of ricotta and shavings of Grana Padano (a hard, slow-ripened, semi-fat cow’s-milk cheese comparable to Parmigiano Reggiano). And the rich tomato sauce is judiciously applied – the pasta is gently coated rather than drowned. A fine effort.

The baked dishes – items such as Manicotti, Spinach Crepes, and Baked Ziti – are also particularly noteworthy… with the mouth-watering Lasagna leading the pack. Bolognese sauce takes center stage here, with ricotta, marinara, and mozzarella in strong supporting roles. And for those who prefer to go meatless, the kitchen occasionally cooks up a knockout Vegetable Lasagna as a nightly special. Wafer-thin slices of eggplant stand in for lasagna noodles surrounded by a rich marinara sauce and topping of melted mozzarella.

Anthony's - Eggplant ParmWhen it comes to Italian comfort food, the acid test for me has always been Eggplant Parmigiana (pictured). I say this because, while it is a relatively simple dish to prepare, it is also very easily mucked up… The eggplant, for instance, can be too thickly sliced, undercooked, or woefully overcooked and mushy… the breading too liberally applied and soggy… the marinara thin and watery. Well, you get the idea. Fortunately, Anthony’s kitchen is right on the money. The breading is delightfully crisp, the eggplant firm to the bite yet tender, and the marinara rich and flavorful. It may not look like much, but, trust me, it’s soul-satisfyingly good.

Given the portion sizes (and the inclusion of soup or salad with entrées), dessert may seem entirely superfluous… However, if you can find the room – and can afford the extra calories – I’d have a go at either the cannoli or the house-made cheesecake. Both are first-rate.

One final word. If you’re in search of cutting-edge cuisine, you’ve obviously come to the wrong address.  Anthony’s serves up traditional old-fashioned Italian fare designed to warm the heart as well as the stomach. Red sauce reigns! So, pull up a chair and get comfortable… Just don’t forget to BYOB.

Bon Appétit!


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: