Bolognese pasta; photo by Rachel Weatherly
In the '90s, the Fan was the center of RVA's burgeoning culinary scene. Neighborhood restaurants opened up left and right to accommodate the area's gentrification. Now it's Church Hill's turn. Coffee shops, bakeries and exciting new restaurants, like The Roosevelt, are now a part of the local menu. You can also find newly opened Anthony's on the Hill in the midst of it all.
Michael Anthony Calogerakis, former owner of the Flour Garden Bakery, took over the former Buff's Corner space. Now, instead of making bread and croissants, you can find him fretting over Neapolitan-style pizzas, turning them every few minutes to ensure they are baked evenly and to his satisfaction. The result is unique in Richmond, just a little crusty, with large, puffy pockets that hold up well to the toppings. The house-made sauce was a tad under-seasoned for the mushroom pizza but worked better and had just the right amount of sweetness for the hot Italian sausage pie (made with links locally sourced from Sausage Craft).
Turning to other Italian specialties, I thought the pasta with Bolognese sauce could have used a dash more salt, but my son Finn ate it with such gusto that his 8-year-old face was coated from his ears to his nose. I was more of a fan of the eggplant Parmesan. Layered like lasagna, the eggplant was crisp, not mushy, and the thick slab of buffalo mozzarella on top brought it all together.
Another dish that caught my eye was the saltimbocca, a chicken breast wrapped around prosciutto and sautéed in Marsala wine. The sweet Marsala and the salty prosciutto, topped with a little fresh sage, played off each other beautifully over the pasta with caramelized onions and peppers.
With Anthony's in the neighborhood, there's less reason for the residents of Church Hill to leave and more reason for the rest of us to visit.
Anthony's on the Hill
2824 E. Broad St., 344-3374
Prices: Salads $4 to $6, subs $8 to $9, pizza $10 to $12, entrées $10 to $14.
Hours: Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.