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Antico’s Giovanni Di Palma expands his empire, Bottega Luisa to open next weekend

Giovanni Di Palma—owner of Antico Pizza, Caffe Gio, and Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano—is opening his latest venture to family and friends this weekend. Located across from Antico, Bottega Luisa is an artisan Italian grocery selling authentic goods imported from Naples, including many of the ingredients Di Palma uses at Antico and Gio’s. Bottega Luisa will be open to the public next week.

In food news: What you missed last week

Fry's Tex-Mex restaurant to be called Superica
Ford Fry—the chef behind the Optimist, No. 246, King Duke, and more—has named his Krog Street Market Tex-Mex spot Superica, reports Eater Atlanta. The name came from the words "super taqueria." The restaurant will open by early 2014.

Fire at Vine & Tap
Fire broke out at Vine & Tap, the Buckhead wine bar and small plates restaurant by Ian Mendelsohn, this week. Because of that, the grand opening—which was originally set for July—has been pushed back to late September.

HD1 to become FLIP Burger
HD1, the Poncey-Highland hot dog spot by chef Richard Blais, is now closed. The restaurant is being retrofitted as a FLIP Burger Boutique—another Blais creation—and will reopen in eight to ten weeks, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The new FLIP location will feature a rooftop patio. Select HD1 hot dogs will be added to the menu.

Giovanni di Palma’s Caffé Gio opens
Antico Pizza Napoletana founder Giovanni di Palma made great strides toward the completion of Piazza San Gennaro, his planned Westside neighborhood, last week with the opening of Caffe Gio, a gelateria and Neapolitan café. Adjacent to Antico, Caffe Gio serves “traditional Neapolitan street food,” including panini, salads, and chicken soup, Eater Atlanta reports. The gelato (ten flavors) is imported from Italy.

Dante Stephensen plans to auction off pirate ship décor
Dante Stephensen, founder and namesake of iconic fondue and jazz spot Dante’s Down the Hatch, has announced plans to auction off the restaurant’s equipment and decorations, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Dante’s closed late last month after the land was sold to Atlantic Realty Partners and Behringer Harvard, who plan to build an apartment tower. Stephensen’s auction will take place at the restaurant on September 21, starting at 9 a.m. The $95 entry price includes food, drink, and live jazz.

Taria Camerino starts work at Miso Izakaya
Pastry chef and Sugar-Coated Radical founder Taria Camerino recently left Rocket Farms Restaurants (Ford Fry’s empire) and has joined forces with Guy Wong at Miso Izakaya, Creative Loafing reports. She is working on a Japanese-inspired dessert menu and will be creating some items for Yum Bunz as well.

Giovanni Di Palma’s gelateria to open in late May

Antico Pizza Napoletana and Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano founder Giovanni Di Palma has confirmed that a gelateria will be the next business to open in his planned Piazza San Gennaro, a two-block area near Hemphill Avenue in West Midtown. He says the gelato shop, on which he is working with the folks at Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream, will open in the next 40 days. Di Palma’s limoncello bar will open about a month later.

The Apostle of Pizza

The phone rang in Mike Virga’s office in Union, New Jersey, one morning three years ago: “I hear somebody going, ‘I want some of that good Lioni mozzarella. Come on, sell me some. It’s me, Giovanni.’"

Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano not open quite yet

At the end of November, Giovanni Di Palma will open his second restaurant in Atlanta, Gio's Chicken Amalfitano. Di Palma's first restaurant, Antico Pizza, has been a genuine phenomenon in Atlanta's dining scene. Gio's is the first step in an ambitious piazza-styled development that Di Palma has planned for the area immediately surrounding Antico. We figure it's going to be a big deal. Here's the general idea via press release:

Antico is open all day … with seating

This just in from Antico’s owner/chief pizzaiolo Giovanni Di Palma: Antico is now officially open from 11:30 a.m. until “the dough runs out." According to Di Palma, dough production has been expanded so the pizza is hopefully available until at least 9 p.m. Who knows with the runaway success of this place, though. I went back early this week for dinner, and the pizza was even better than my first experience—a little thinner and crispier, and, appropriately, a little less cheese. Customers stood around the communal table with slices in hand, eyes rolling and jaws revving, looking at each other like, "Can you believe we're eating pizza like this in Atlanta?" The calzone was a glossy thing of beauty, too.

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