Yes, Home Style Pizza on Union Street is open. “People call and ask if we’re open,” said Anthony Adonnino, who owns the business along with the Bennice family. “We’ve been open seven days for 47 years. Of course we’re open.”
Home Style Catering has been around since Anthony’s father Andre started the business along with his brother-in-law Anthony Bennice. They started the pizza restaurant in 2004; it’s open every day except for Christmas and Easter.
The full menu is still available, but the family takeout meals have been expanded to multiple choices seven days a week from limited choices on three days. The family takeout meals have been helping Home Style get through this time of restrictions for them, and for us.
Home Style has up to nine family takeout meals available every day. For $26, you can get eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, or an 8-cut cheese pizza with one topping and 10 chicken wings. Twenty-nine dollars gets you a choice of chicken parmesan, penne a la vodka with grilled chicken, chicken Marsala, or two grilled chicken gluten-free options. All meals include salad, dinner rolls, and dessert for four.
Make that four very hungry people — the entree comes in the now-familiar capacious aluminum pan. I placed an order for chicken Marsala early in the day and asked what time pickup for dinner began. “You can pick it up any time,” the person on the phone said, with a casualness that reminded me that Home Style is also a catering business.
My soft cotton face mask is treated with an antimicrobial coating that gives it a funny smell and lasts for 40 washes, which makes it hard to choose a melon in the market. But as soon as I entered the restaurant on Union Street, I knew I was sharing the space with lots of garlic.
The pleasant patio is unoccupied and the dining room is dark, but the take-out section is bustling and bright, the glass cases are filled with colorful baked goods and pizzas are on display, ready to go.
In a few minutes I was out the door with a neatly packed plastic bag filled with dinner for four.
At home, I unpacked a large plastic container with green salad and dressing, a smaller one filled with Italian cookies, a brown paper bag that held four freshly baked rolls and an aluminum tray holding the entree.
When I lifted the lid on the chicken, the unmistakable smell of Marsala wine wafted out. I packed up some for our friends Dawn and Dennis who were sharing dinner with us. I filled the biggest container with a cover that I could find with penne pasta and chicken medallions for them.
As I scooped out the pasta, I could see the sauce was thick and clung to the penne. There were plenty of sliced mushrooms, and enough chicken pieces for four, maybe five hungry people. They got half the salad, two rolls and three cookies. As they eat earlier than we do, I made sure to send over dinner around five.
Here’s what Dawn said about the meal: “Flavor was excellent, chicken cooked perfectly and pasta was very good. Salad was good but average. Dennis said the cookies were “tasty but not like your homemade ones.” Dennis was clearly lobbying for more of my cookies, theirs are excellent.
Later, Eric and I sat down to dinner. The iceberg lettuce was cold and crunchy and hit the spot. Their homemade Italian dressing is “sort of mild,” observed husband Eric. There were plenty of sliced ripe red grape tomatoes and sliced olives, along with shredded carrot and purple cabbage. I liked it, especially the dressing.
“There’s so much chicken,” said Eric, dishing up some for himself. Even with the meal half gone, there was still more than we could eat in two sittings. “It’s got a nice creamy sauce of some sort,” he noted. The chicken was very good quality, fresh white meat made into medallions, with a seasoned coating that carried some of the flavor of the oil. The pieces that were flatter could be cut with a fork, the thicker ones needed a knife. “Three out of four pieces were very tender,” said Eric.
We thought the dish needed salt, but it’s better to have to add it than have too much.
The dinner rolls are freshly baked several times a day at Home Style. They have a bit of chew to them, with tiny bubbles on the browned tops. “Mmm,” said Eric, eating his with lots of butter.
Home Style doesn’t make the cookies, they come from a variety of vendors. The assortment we had were tender and fresh and tasted delicious. I liked the red and green leaves with chocolate on the bottoms, there was an additional flavor in there, perhaps almond, which really made them taste special.
“People who expect generous servings won’t be disappointed,” said Eric as we packed up the leftovers. And at $26 and $29 for a full meal for four people, it’s also a good deal.
Home Style Pizza
Where: 1720 Union Street, Schenectady, (518) 372-7270, www.homestylecaterers.com
When: 9 a.m. to 9 pm. Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
How much: $29 plus tax.
More info: Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Off street parking. ADA compliant. Delivery available through the restaurant or Mealeo