What’s in a name?
Customers at Don Antonio’s Pizzeria, 8810 S. Maryland Parkway, might be forgiven for wondering.
That’s because the restaurant has gone through two previous name changes since owner Don DeMarco reopened it a year ago — first as DeMartino’s, then as DeMarco’s.
But when Tom Don Antonio, who formerly ran the eatery, returned to oversee the food side of the business, so did the Don Antonio name — and the original Don Antonio menu.
That menu presents “a tremendous variety of Italian dishes,” DeMarco says, from angel hair pomodora to zucchini sticks.
Billing itself as an old-school Italian restaurant and pizzeria, Don Antonio’s looks the part, right down to the red-and-white checkered tablecloths.
The restaurant also plays the part, with room for about 120 diners — many of whom show up in large groups to partake of the extensive menu options.
After 35 years in the car business, DeMarco welcomes the chance to indulge his “passion” for food; he handles the business end of things, while Don Antonio’s namesake supervises the food.
“I enjoy being around the people,” DeMarco says of the restaurant business, “and making sure they enjoy their dinner.”
And at Don Antonio’s, a more-the-merrier philosophy prevails. A recent reservation went to a party of 30, he notes, another was for 16 diners.
“We do this all the time,” he explains. “People love Tom’s food.”
Even so, the dishes are “so big you can’t eat ’em all,” according to DeMarco. No wonder that “everybody leaves with food,” he adds.
Overall, “I’m a pasta guy,” DeMarco admits, citing the penne and meatballs as a favorite dish.
“I could eat it every day — but then I’d weigh 400 pounds.”
Don Antonio’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Appetizers: rapini, $6.99; neck bones a la Venetian, $9.99
Salads: Don Antonio’s chopped salad, $6.99; antipasto salad, $9.99, Don Antonio’s combo platter, $10.99
Sandwiches: pepper and egg, $4.99; Italian sub, $7.99; salmon panini, $8.99
Entrees: eggplant rollatini, $9.99; chicken Marsala, $12.99; sausage and peppers feast, $13.99
Pasta: fettucini carbonara, $8.99 ($10.99 with chicken, $13.99 with shrimp); Don Antonio’s seafood special, $18.99
Pizza: New York-style cheese pizza, $5.50 for a 10-inch, $8.99 for a 14-inch, $10.99 for an 18-inch (toppings: $1-$2); 10-inch Chicago deep dish, $11.99 (toppings $1.25); 16-inch Sicilian square, $12.99 (toppings $2)
By CAROL CLING