Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Restaurant Review - Finally, pizza comes to Dallas.

Il Cane Rosso - Dallas

A pizza is a pizza is a pizza, right?  WRONG YOU TOAD!  Even the most unsophisticated palate can tell the difference between a New York style pizza, a Chicago style pizza and a Pizza Hut (whatever frigging style that is supposed to be I can't say) pizza.  BUT, can you tell the difference between an American pizza and an Italian pizza?  What?  You didn't know there was a difference?  Why wouldn't there be? 

There are two things that distinguish an American pizza from one from Italy:
- First are the profit generating, mass marketing pressures that have pushed our pizza makers to use more pre-manufactured, mass produced ingredients.  The reason that there is so little difference between Domino's, Papa Johns or Mr. Jim's is that they all get their ingredients from the same source.  And since these ingredients as sent to us from afar they are filled with preservatives and chemicals to keep them 'fresh'.
- The second reason is that we are a bunch of fat bastards.  Yes, I said it.  We demand more and more 'stuff' to stuff in our faces,  Have you seen the latest Pizza Hut commercials?  Cheese (that is what they call call that part-skim, low moisture crap) stuffed inside the crust.  Disgusting.  They do this to cover the fact that their pizza is revolting.  If you need ranch dressing on the side to dip your pizza in for flavor then you shouldn't be eating it.

Now if you have visited Italy and have enjoyed their regional cuisines (this sounds like an odd statement but I have know Americans to visit Europe and only eat McDonalds) you know how fanatical they are about fresh ingredients and preparing food correctly.  European and Italian food purilty laws are very strict concerning how your ingredients are raised, stored and shipped.  Naples, if you did not know, is where pizza was created at around 900 AD.  The current style was first seen in the 1700's (it could not have been earlier because tomatoes are from the Americas) and is made in virtually the identical way in Naples today.  Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.  "Heh?"  This is the governing body that trains and inspects restaurants on how to make a correct Neopolitan pizza and was created to protect them from having Domino's make one of their typically awful pizzas and calling it a Naples style pizza. 

"Get to the point Bon, you're boring me".  Right.

There is exactly 1 (one) pizza restaurant in DFW that is a member of Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.  And Il Cane Rosso is ....... not ...... it.  HOWEVER,  the only reason Il Cane Rosso was not allowed to join the party is that their oven is a mobile oven which is used by Jay Jerrier, the owner when he takes his mobile pizza truck to ply his wares.  Don't let the mobile oven tag scare you, this brute is a wood fired oven that burns at a toasty 900 degrees F and that, my impatient friends, is hot enough to cook a pizza in 90 seconds.  They still do the mobile pizza thing so be on the lookout for it.  Their website will tell you where it is going to be.

Why is a Neapolitan pizza better than Fireside Pies or even Coal Vines?  It's the small things, like, well, let them tell you "the dough which is made in-house, never frozen, from imported, all natural “Double Zero” Italian flour. The flour is not enriched, bleached or bromated – simply wheat berries ground by stone. The recipe is centuries old and is made only with flour, water, sea salt, and natural yeast. We ferment the dough at low temperatures for 24-48 hours to give it a yeasty flavor, crunchy exterior and delicate, chewy interior.

Our tomato sauce is made daily from hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes – crushing them by hand ensures we don’t break any of the seeds and make the sauce bitter. San Marzano is not a label or a brand, but a specific type of tomato grown in limited quantities and harvested by hand in San Marzano, Italy – a small town near Mt. Vesuvius and just south of Naples. They have a naturally sweet, tangy, perfectly balanced flavor because the rich volcanic soil acts as a filter for impurities.

Our mozzarella, or fior di latte, is hand-pulled in house daily from fresh mozzarella curd. This mildly flavored cheese is able to withstand the 900 degree temperatures in our wood-fired oven without drying out. You will not find part-skim, low moisture mozzarella on any of our pizzas.

Our cured meats are imported from Salumeria Biellese in New York. Making sausages and salamis since 1925 with only certified Berkshire pork and without artificial colors or flavors, Salumeria Biellese has a simple philosophy – artisinal salumi takes time. All of our sausage comes from Jimmy’s in East Dallas – we pick it up several times a week to ensure it is fresh ground."

For our starter we had the Risotto balls.  What?  You didn't see them on the menu?  That is because they aren't ..... yet.  Creamy risotto that was cooked in chicken stock and good enough to eat just like that.  But, they took the risotto and created lovely balls (about 1 1/2 ") and inserted a piece of their mozzarella cheese and coated in with bread crumbs.  Then the dirty bastards FRIED it.  Mother Goose is that ever an incredible creation.  One the side was a very complex tomato conserva, meant to be stored but amazing fresh.  Tomatoes with garlic, onions, caraway seeds, and who knows what else makes a very sophisticated accompaniment.  Next time I will just ask for a glass of the conserva and a straw.  I tip my very large hat to the chef, Matt Reddick.  Well done, sir.

Our pizza choice was Emma.  Lovely, lovely Emma.  She had our complete attention for a while.  San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, Jimmy's hot sausage and basil.  Simple, delicious, magnificent.

Don't ask to create your own pizza.  Don't ask for changes to near perfection.  And whatever you do don't ask for ranch dressing to dip your crust in, you don't need it and they don't have it.  Oh yeah, they are beer snobs, too and while their selection is small, it is not bad.  Stay tuned for upcoming events.

Il Cane Rosso
2612 Commerce Street (Deep Ellum across from the Twisted Root)
Dallas, Texas

No comments:

Post a Comment