Updated
Aug 4th, 2015
First Posted
Aug 4th, 2015

Sicilian Oven

2486 N Federal Hwy
Lighthouse Point FL, 33064
(954) 785-4155
Overall Rating
2.7
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
07/30/2015

Details

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-10pm, Sun 4pm-10pm
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Wine and Beer
Outdoor: No
Reservations: No

Pros

Good Value
Decent Food

Cons

Dreary Ambiance
Lethargic Service

Critic's Review

Sicilian Oven is opening a location in the old Michele's space on Oakland Park Blvd, so I thought I'd give the place another try. In 2010 I was bamboozled by ingenuous "reviews" from The Publications and I got a bad pizza. At the time I didn't know Anthony's that well, and I didn't fully realize that this place is a full-out copycat restaurant; opening in an area not tapped by Anthony's.

5 years later, they still haven't gotten a sign with the name of the place; so much for Branding. In this part of town you could just put up a sign "Food" and people would likely come in.

The place is very dark, and the contrast with the bright sun almost made me want to leave my sunglasses on. There's a bar up front, but you couldn't sit there in the daylight.

They gave me a table in the back and parked a lunch menu in front of me. At least it's cheap. A server lumbered over and asked if I wanted a beverage. "Ice Tea with extra lemon, please". "It comes in a bottle, is that ok?" she says. "Wait, is the Anthony's?", I quipped, knowing that in over 1100 reviews only Anthony's serves iced tea in a bottle. "No", she replied gruffly, clearly not getting the joke.

When she brought it out, I had to keep myself from laughing. Not only is their tea in a bottle, but it's the same brand as Anthony's.

The good thing about the bottle is that I can easily take what's left with me when I leave, and I don't have to wait for a refill as it's 2 glasses in the bottle when you add ice.

I was thinking of ordering something "different", but I wanted to try the eggplant. I like eggplant parm, what can I say. I was surprised when she offered a salad with the $8 lunch dish; no choice of dressing, JUST LIKE ANTHONY's #SurpriseFace.

They have some TVs here, but the place falls way short of the coolness of Anthony's. Anthony's are brighter, cleaner with better decor, and much better music. Marie Miller, Fleetwood Mac and Christina Perri don't measure up to Frank and The Beatles.

Just after I took the picture they seated a bunch of ladies at the table right next to me; one of them reeked of smoke so badly I considered moving to another table. Luckily they were expecting some more people so they needed a bigger table, so they moved them further way.

Salad is served in a metal bowl, looking a lot like Anthony's Italian Salad.

A tangy Italian dressing, chick peas. No Foccacia or olives in this salad. But it is included with the entree. A decent salad.

The Eggplant came out adorned with a nice big basil cluster. The beauty of basil garnish on Italian food is that you can actually eat the basil. Gotta love fresh basil

You get your choice of pasta; they push the spaghetti but I went with rigatoni. I figured I could make something else with it with the leftovers; Spaghetti is never worth taking home.

The Eggplant was decent; the sauce was just "OK" so I'd give it a B. Pizzeria quality stuff, which sounds like an insult but a good pizzeria can make good food.

I ate about half of it; after the salad I didn't need a full serving of eggplant and pasta. The girl offered to box it or bring me a box, which was the most enthusiasm I got out of her the entire time. I boxed it myself.

Conclusion

When you copy another restaurant's idea, normally you try to make it better; maybe do something that you think would make the place better. This place just sort of took the idea and slapped a standard pizzeria menu at a lower price point, which is another way to do it. It's just not all that impressive.

The food is ok, but the experience is sub-par. What's interesting is that Anthony's is opening a new location just around the corner from the one they're opening on Oakland Park Blvd, so we'll have to see how they do with an Anthony's so close by.

Given a choice, I'd go to Anthony's, even at the higher price.

Review 8/8/10

I found it a bit coincidental that both New Times and Sun-Sentinel had done raving reviews of this place within a 2 month period; sun-sentinel with a 4 star review and New Times crowning it as the best pizza in South Florida. What are the chances of the area's 2 publications granting accolades to the same place in such a short period? Could this place be that good? What are the chances of 2 reviewers who cover all of Broward and Palm Beach County even visiting a pizza joint in Lighthouse Point in the same decade?

What I found interesting about their menu is that they don't make Sicilian-style pizza. You'd think that a place called Sicilian Oven would offer Sicilian pizza, but they don't. No matter, I don't eat the stuff.

My first impression of the place came on the phone when I ordered the pie. They asked for my last name, which seems irrelevant and none of their business. Are they really so busy that 2 guys named Dennis are going to order a sausage pizza within a 20 minute period? I can't ever remember having to give my last name for a take out order in my entire lifetime.

Sicilian Oven is located in a Publix shopping center and parking here on a Sunday afternoon is tight. Its a very busy center. I was a bit early so I ran into Publix to pick up a few items first. By the time I walked into the place it was just about 20 minutes. It wasn't ready yet.

Physically, the place is very nice for a pizza place; in fact its more like a restaurant. They have a bar up front, some nice wood booths and a big opening in the rear where you can watch the pizza makers do their thing. While I was waiting at the front bar I noticed a few things. There was a guy with a half-eaten pizza; the pizza was very small; maybe 8 or 9 inches. Another patron had a greenish crusty mass cut from a loaf on her plate; the sicilian lasagna as it turns out. She was asking for her check; the loaf with only a couple of forkfuls eaten. From the look on her face I'd say she didn't like it. It certainly didn't look appetizing.

Finally my pizza was ready. I've ordered a few pies in my day and I have to say I wasn't crazy about the smells coming from this one. It was raining so I didn't take a look at it before getting on my way. When I got home I found the source of the unusual smell; they apparently grated parmesan cheese onto the pizza. Why would they do that? Only cretins put parmesan on a pizza.

There are also globs of tomatoes reminiscent of Anthony's. From an aesthetic standpoint, this is probably the only pizza I've ever received where 1 slice actually had no crust part at all. Some event in the oven? It didn't really matter. its just hard to eat a slice without an end on it.

Also, this "large" pizza measured 14" and the cost was $16.95 with tax. And it fit in the box, so it wasn't just a mistake. Thats 20% less pizza than you get with your typical 16" large pizza here in South Florida. And if the pizza I saw in the restaurant was any indication; the small pizza is really a personal pie for $10. plus $1 per topping.

There's no oregano on this pizza, and its a requirement for me so I sprinkled a bit on. This pizza reminded me of Anthony's in many ways. It tasted pretty good; just not like pizza. The crust was too soggy. You'd think with "wood fired" pizza you'd get a crispier crust. A soggy, slightly burned crust is kind of strange to me. The pizza reminded me of a bar pie; where you don't really expect a pizza parlor pizza but it still tastes better than the Coconut Shrimp or Potstickers.

They advertise this as "The best Pizza in town". Maybe that's so; this is Lighthouse Point after all. Is it the best pizza in South Florida as New Times claims? Not a chance. The problem here is not that its a bad pie; its that the expectations were way too high for what I got.

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