Antonio’s Trattoria Tastes Just Like Nonna’s Cooking

Antonios Trattoria is  located in The Bronxs Little Italy and features many classic Italian dishes. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Antonio’s Trattoria is located in The Bronx’s Little Italy and features many classic Italian dishes. (Courtesy of Facebook)

The Bronx’s Little Italy is an essential spot for Fordham students looking to dine out. The Piazza di Belmont, where the busy Arthur Avenue hosts outdoor seating and strolling pedestrians, has made the buzzing neighborhood even livelier. Great restaurants line Arthur Avenue, but the restaurant that is a must-visit for the best outdoor dining experience is Antonio’s Trattoria.


On the corner of Belmont and Crescent Avenue, the once-empty triangular concrete spot outlining the intersection is now filled with tables, properly socially distanced from each other. A short walk away from the main strip of Arthur Avenue, Antonio’s is a quieter dining experience than your typical Bronx restaurant. Once the sun sets, soft lights illuminate the corner, creating a warm ambiance. 


I find Italian restaurants prove their worth through classic dishes, so ordering calamari, pizza and penne vodka was a must. These dishes lived up to the motto on the restaurant’s website: “Authentic Italian dishes cooked with love, approved by Nonna.” 


A tasty calamari appetizer ($16) is a necessary dish for any Italian restaurant boasting a home-cooked feel. The lightly fried calamari with lemon and marinara sauce was mouth-watering. Not greasy in the slightest, it radiated a warmth that felt just like Nonna’s cooking. The portion is a good size, but there’s still some room left for the entree.


The classic cheese pizza ($15/$20) had the perfect balance of sauce and cheese. The mozzarella nearly slipped off my slice as I bit into it. Stretchy mozzarella is a sign of any good slice of pizza. I could tell it was fresh because, unlike most pieces of pizza, the cheese did not sink in my stomach afterward. It was light and not greasy in the slightest. The sweet tomato sauce was full of flavor, and its quantity was just right — not too much, not too little.


The penne vodka ($19) was among the best I have ever had. I often find that penne vodka is too creamy, oily or greasy. A sauce that is too heavy is overwhelming, but Antonio’s penne vodka was just creamy enough for a smooth bite.  It was not greasy at all, enhancing the taste of the tomato and onions.  


Regarding dietary restrictions, there are many vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and quite an array of gluten-free options. However, Antonio’s notes that it does not have a gluten-free kitchen, so there is a possibility of cross-contact for those who may have gluten allergies.


The fresh ingredients and vibrant atmosphere truly felt like a taste of Italy in New York. I would say my only critique of Antonio’s Trattoria would be that it is a bit pricey for a college student’s budget. Despite the price tag, Antonio’s immediately comes to mind for any special night out or the occasional classic Italian meal craving.


Antonio’s Trattoria also offers delivery through UberEats, Doordash and Grubhub for a taste of Italy at home.