Cane Rosso Restores My Faith In a Zini's-Stained Pizza Scene

Categories: Whimsy

Good Pie.jpg
Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana
When I first came to Dallas I was looking for a delivery option in Oak Lawn. I needed a quick meal amongst a sea of unpacked boxes. Someone suggested Zini's over Twitter, so I tried it.

I'll hold off on forming my official position on that local delivery chain, but for that night at least, I was very concerned about the state of pizza in Dallas.

Fast forward a few weeks. I was wandering the streets of Deep Ellum and saw a sign displaying an image just like the one in this post. It's the registered trademark of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napolentana -- or, put more simply, the international symbol for pizza that doesn't suck. I threw open the the door of Cane Rosso and walked right in.

Jay Jerrier, the stocky guy manning the oven most nights, hasn't been short on press. D magazine recently proclaimed his pie Dallas' best. The Observer showered praise on their more simple pizzas back in May.

And people are listening. On the Friday night I visited, the place was so packed I felt lucky to nab a single seat alone at the end of the bar. The serpentine cement structure was lined with couples on dates, and I pegged each of them easily, watching their body language while I sipped my wine and waited for my order.

That couple there? Surely still getting to know each other. They daintily wielded knives and forks to eat their precious pie. Not at all like the next couple down, at the height of their relationship, or at least having a great night. They ate with their hands and wore smiles that consumed their faces. Unlike the couple at the far end of the bar: The woman in that pair slowly pushed arugula around her plate while her dude watched baseball. Something's wrong there.

Jay's pizza was good. He trained with the Associazione Vera Pizza Napolentana and he still follows the rules reasonably well. Pliable thin crust, bursting with blistered bubbles topped with Italian tomatoes and good mozzarella. My only complaint: His cooks were a little enthusiastic with their toppings. Neapolitan pizza is all about the crust, and highly refined flour can make for a soggy center.

For reference, you could check out that "focaccia" which wasn't really focaccia at all, but who cares? The un-topped pizza rounds blew up like footballs before the wait staff adorned them with olive oil -- a perfect celebration of delicious crust.

Dallas, it seems, has a little bit of a pizza scene after all. I walked through Eno's this weekend, and their pie looked worth a try. Then, sitting on my balcony just a few nights ago, I saw a familiar name. Grimaldi's? In Dallas? Can this be? Someone walked down my sidewalk with a delivery box that reminded me of my time in New York. I almost offered him cash for it.


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25 comments
Wherecanweeat?
Wherecanweeat?

I completely agree with the Watters Creek location.  Even if the pizza was good, the consistently crappy service at that location just makes me pass it by every time.

Angelo
Angelo

I remember when The Observer had food reviewers who knew the subject about which they were writing.  Neopolitan pizza is not about the crust at all, which is WHY it is soggy.  New York Italian pizza like Patsy's and Grimaldi's mix various flours, which is how they get a chewy dough that also has a spine.  This person also has never heard of Olivella's, the pizza gem in this whole part of the country--picked best in the state by USAToday and for good reason: best crust in town (bar none), housemade mozzarella, tomatoes from Italy, third oldest pizza famiily from Italy.

Post
Post

To bad the owner is a douch.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

I agree with you on Cane Russo, great product, excellent service, pleasant atmosphere, but my pizza had burnt spots on the crust, looking a other pies that seem to be they way they were baking them. Is this typical in Naples? I would have perferred more brown and less black.

The other thing, the pie was placed on a room temperature tile, the crusts' sweat made the interior half of the pie mushy. Maybe this was because I was by myself and didn't eat it fast enough. This isn't a unique problem with them though.

Still one of the best pizza I've had in Dallas.

joeat
joeat

Eno's in Bishops Arts District - the very best in town!

Ebrown16
Ebrown16

Clam pizza at nonna. Best in town.

Coleman
Coleman

Serious Pizza has individual slices that are comically huge and 40oz beers. Highly recommended.

luniz
luniz

they the roast pork sandwich some time.

RZD
RZD

Dallas is actually a great pizza town.  Il Cane Rosso, Louie's (bring cash or AMEX), Coal Vines, Olivellas, Grimaldi's, Sal's.  So many options.You'll find your favorite (if you haven't already in Il Cane Rosso) soon. 

twinwillow
twinwillow

In Uptown, how can you be gleeful over Grimaldi's without first visiting Campania? Which in my humble opinion, turns out a much better pie. And believe it or not, Farnatchi turns out a very credible pie as well.

Lucyhwilliams
Lucyhwilliams

Funny - my fiance is convinced we are the happy eating with our hands couple ;-)

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

"Neopolitan pizza is not about the crust at all"

Really? From Marcella Hazan's "More Classic Italian Cooking""

"Neopolitan pizza is never baked in a pan,  . . .[dough should have] crisp, clean baked [taste]." She then spends an entire paragraph on the dough which she says "should be elastic, but not rubbery. Tender, but not spongy."

Kinds sounds like the dough is important.

What were you saying knowing your subject matter? USAToday is your standard of culinary expertise?

FYI, Scott's new to Dallas, less that a couple of weeks. But thanks for introducing him to a perfect field specimen of a "parco urbes cataclysmos".

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Maybe the reason more people don't go to Olivella's more is the insufferable SMU/Park Cities crowd?

Jjerrier
Jjerrier

Total douche...and stocky too!

elbueno
elbueno

Seconded. Eno's has the perfect match of vibe and pie. Go for the Original, the Traditional and/or the Central Pie. Also, DO NOT forget a Meyer Lemon Salad (w/ pork belly and jalapenos). My wife and I think its the best salad ever created. A tall claim for sure, but try it for yourself.

Margie Hubbard
Margie Hubbard

I love Cane Rosso.  But, that Nonna clam is insanely good.  And not a bit a cheese...  never thought I'd like that.

twinwillow
twinwillow

You got that right! Could be the only clam pizza south of the Mason-Dixon.

luniz
luniz

err I meant "try" the sandwich..

Angelo
Angelo

Hey Grumpy, The Observer, Scott's newspaper, picked Olivella's (critics pick) best pizza in Dallas in 2009, dumbass. My understanding is that they are one of the oldest pizza families from Naples, Italy and have their own recipes they've been perfecting for about 100 years, not some upstarts who fly to Italy for a training course on how to make the Italian government's version of pizza.  When I say it's not about the crust, I mean that the government VPN recipe calls for a certain type of flour recipe that forces these guys to make a soggy dough.  Look up "VPN pizza, soggy" on-line and you can read up on it.

Dough is always important to pizza; but it obviously ain't important to the Italian government and their VPN disciples.  Hard to believe that so many people are fooled by that crap.

Mark
Mark

APPROVE!

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Nope. There is a place called Pete's APizza in DC. I'm convinced the name is a riff on Little Caesars tag line, pizza pizza. Anyway, they did brilliant New Haven and are a few degrees latitude south of the M-D. But you're right...not nearly as popular here as in Connecticut.

I'm thinking Dallas pizza crawl.

Angelo
Angelo

Dude, seriously?  Pete's in DC is named after Sally's A-Pizza in New Haven.  Little Caesars?  You need to go back to covering women's volleyball.

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I'm thinking that's the best idea you've had yet.

Oh, and I have yet to find a "true" New Haven Style around here. Then again, New Haven style isn't my favorite.

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