Small Bite: Pizza Antica

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Pizza Antica&emdash;

Located in the new Quarry Pond Town Center in Granite Bay, Pizza Antica is expertly cranking out some of the most spectacular pizzas in the Sacramento region. This sleek, pretty trattoria (part of a small Bay Area chain) offers a mouthwatering list of pizzas, from an asparagus, tarragon, preserved-lemon and Parmesan combo to a fabulous spicy fennel sausage, portobello mushroom and roasted-onion pizza. You also can design your own pizza from an extensive list of toppings (including marinated chicken, Calabrese sausage and arugula). Crusts are thin, crackly and chewy; toppings are often locally sourced.

But pizza isn’t the only thing on the menu: Don’t miss the kitchen’s pan-seared chicken piccata, sprinkled with capers and lemon juice and lounging on a colorful jumble of crispy-cooked asparagus, carrots, baby artichokes and tender fava beans. I was also crazy about the robust, spicy clam linguine, enlivened with chorizo sausage and freckled with chopped parsley. The only dish that left me cold was the deep-fried artichoke hearts, a bland dish served with an equally bland aioli.

There’s a kids’ menu and, for dessert, an extravagant root beer float, along with more sophisticated options, including a bittersweet-chocolate tart and a warm cornmeal shortcake with fresh strawberries.                                                                                                   

5540 Douglas Blvd., Suite 150, Granite Bay; (916) 786-0400; pizzaantica.com