Bill of Fare: Quality food and loyal customers keep Antimo’s Italian Kitchen cookin’ throughout pandemic

Amanda M. Rye

Customer loyalty and a reputation for quality food have sustained Antimo’s Italian Kitchen in Hopewell Borough throughout the pandemic.

With indoor dining in New Jersey restricted to 25 percent of each restaurant’s capacity, the focus is on contactless curbside pickup, says owner Antimo Iovine.

“Ninety-five percent of our business is curbside pickup,” he said, since reopening after the initial state-ordered closure at the start of the pandemic.

Customers order their food and pay online, park in a spot designated for pickup, pop their trunk (making sure there is room for the food) and call the restaurant to let them know they have arrived. Staff members bring out their food and put it in the trunk.

On the restaurant website Iovine assures his customers that he and his staff are taking extra precautions for cleanliness and sanitation while offering the same quality food they are known for.

Iovine said he has made only a few changes to his menu of pizzas, fresh and traditional pastas, seafood, salads, subs, burgers, wings and soups because his dishes travel and reheat well.

“Most of our customers live nearby so their food stays warm,” he said, adding that any of the hot dishes can be reheated in a microwave, oven or toaster oven.

“Each dish is made to order,” he said, which helps them stay fresh.w

Some of Iovine’s customers still choose to dine indoors at the trattoria/pizzeria, he said, which gives him an occasional chance to chat with them. “I miss my customers,” he said, since he no longer has the chance to see most of them. But most of all he wants them to stay safe, and curbside pickup is the best way to assure that. Chatting can resume when life returns to normal.

Antimo’s Kitchen is known for its thin-crust pizzas and Old World-style signature fresh pasta dishes, seafood and soup including his traditional vegetarian pasta e fagioli.

Fresh pasta dishes made using many of the recipes he learned in his mother’s kitchen with a large variety of raviolis. They offer lobster in pink cream sauce, spinach with alfredo or tomato sauce, and squid ink (black pasta) which is served with clams, scallops, crab and arrabbiata sauce.

Antimo's keeps cookin'

Antimo’s Kitchen is known for its thin-crust pizzas and Old World-style signature fresh pasta dishes, seafood and soup.Antimo’s Kitchen

Classic dishes include Bella Napoli with homemade sausage, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and white wine; Francese with chicken or shrimp in a light egg batter with lemon, butter and white wine sauce; chicken parmigiano, chicken piccata, and scarpariello with chicken or veal, sausage, roasted peppers, mushrooms and marinara.

Iovine’s pizzas include Brooklyn style, plus thin-crust favorites including Margherita, grilled veggie, bufala mozzarella, Trenton tomato pie with light cheese, and arugula with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. Gluten-free crust is available for an up charge.

Antimo’s Italian Kitchen opened in 2005 in a small shopping center in Hopewell. Its clientele has grown steadily ever since, thanks to a menu made with care and a staff that adheres to high standards. It should be around long after the pandemic fades into history.

Antimo’s Italian Kitchen

  • 42 East Broad St., Hopewell
  • 609-466-3333,
  • HOURS: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • CREDIT CARDS: Most major.
  • COST: Appetizers $13-$18, salads $11-$16, pasta $16-$32, pizza $12-$27.
  • Curbside pickup preferred
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