Latest Dish: Pizza prevails in 2014

Pizza prevails in 2014 Consider 2014 the year of the pizza as Dallas-based Cane Rosso opens its first Fort Worth location in the former Ryan’s Fine Grocer & Delicatessen space at 815 W. Magnolia Ave. That follows Pizza Snob’s recent opening near Texas Christian University, Apeizza e vino in Southlake and soon, Seattle-based The Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits at Alliance. Cane Rosso’s highly anticipated opening brings authentic Neapolitan pizza, wood fire-blazed in seconds, to Fort Worth in a brick-and-mortar outlet. Patrons can still get the pies from Cane Rosso’s mobile kitchen on Thursday and Friday nights at Times Ten Cellars at 1100 Foch St. Owner Jay Jerrier says he had to “remain patient” to find a spot on Magnolia Avenue and has created a custom pie exclusive to the Fort Worth locale. Named after his dog, the Gipsy Danger features soppressata sausage marmalade, roasted jalapenos, mushrooms and house-made mozzarella cheese. His custom-made Stefano Ferrara oven was imported from Naples and he calls the checkered oven the lovechild of the solid red and solid white ovens located at his Deep Ellum and White Rock locations. Expect a series of soft openings for trainings followed by a full opening in early February. Apeizza e vino, new in Southlake at 2777 E. Southlake Blvd., is also slinging Neapolitan-style pizza from an Italian wood-burning oven. The location is the first in Texas for the Colorado-based franchise, offering fior di latte mozzarella made in-house and pizzas topped with porcini mushrooms, aged prosciutto, soppressata sausage and capicola cold cuts. Look for the lengthy gluten-free menu, which includes broccoli pesto-topped focaccia bread, spaghetti and ravioli. Pizza Snob, located at 3051 S. University Dr., comes from longtime restaurant consultant Jim Wisniewski, owner of an Irving-based food product research and development center. The casual, order-at-the-counter pizza joint is the first restaurant gig of his own and the creative menu (think BLT pizza with cucumber wasabi sauce) is aimed to attract hungry college kids and curious foodies. Wisniewski waxes poetic about the European yeast he uses, promising a buttery crust that won’t weigh your belly down. Also featuring an Italian oven, this one imported from Venice, Pizza Snob’s version is electric, baking personal-sized pizzas on a revolving stone in 90 seconds. A gluten-free menu is available, along with salads, draft beer and wines by the glass or bottle. The Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits, a Seattle-based pizza chain with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe, is set to open this spring at Alliance Town Center. Using almond wood to create cooking chamber heat as hot as 900 degrees, The Rock boasts hand-tossed pizzas named for classic rock songs and with ingredients such as cherry peppers, andouille sausage, peppered bacon and sliced almonds. “Rocktails” are named after old-school tunes such as “Purple Haze” and “Godzilla” and are served in small plastic buckets. Still newish in the Near Southside in Tony’s Pizza, Pasta & Subs (609 S. Jennings Ave.) owned by Brooklynite Tony Leland. He promises New York-style foldable pizza slices, red checkered table cloths and no frills lunch and dinner service. Last year, Campisi’s was the big pizza news for Fort Worth as the decades-old Dallas-based mini chain, which says it was the first to bring a pizzeria to Texas, opened its first Fort Worth location on the west side at 6150 Camp Bowie Blvd. The lines have died down, but the oval-shaped pie and lightly fried calamari still draw crowds.

Notable openings Scottsdale-based Kona Grill will open its first Tarrant County location in the West 7th development Jan. 31, featuring street-side and rooftop patios and Hawaiian-inspired dishes and sushi. Expect starters such as potstickers, sweet and spicy shrimp and chicken satay along with macadamia nut chicken and miso-sake sea bass and a lengthy list of cocktails. Kona Grill is located at the corner of Crockett Street and University Drive. AF+B is already generating crowds after its recent opening in the West 7th development at 2869 Crockett St. Standout dishes include the chorizo Scotch eggs starter – boiled eggs wrapped in chorizo sausage, deep-fried and topped with oil-cured chilies – grass-fed beef chili with cornbread crumble, and the chili-rubbed pork chop presented over baked beans. AF+B is owned by the same restaurant group as Fireside Pies and executive chef Jeff Harris comes from Bolsa in Dallas. BITE, featuring “small” and “big” bites from James Beard-featured chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin, will take over the seemingly cursed corner spot at 2600 W. Seventh St. in Montgomery Plaza this spring. Most recently occupied by Deluxe Bar & Grill, the space was formerly home to a location of Arlington-base Mac’s and then Monty’s Corner. BITE menu sneak peeks include scallops and grits, lobster ravioli and braised short ribs.

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