Cane Rosso ~ Dallas, Texas
Today we have another restaurant entry from our own Mr. Music! The RJG has yet to go, but we have every intention to do so. We mentioned Cane Rosso in the Cavalli post, as they are the other pizza place in DFW that (currently) has earned the seal of approval from the VPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). In fact, the RJG hasn't been to any venue in Deep Ellum since my underground radio days in the early 90s. I don't think I've stepped foot in the neighborhood since 1993. And no doubt back then it would have been with Mr. Music and some other running buddies, most likely checking out some new band. My 20 year involuntary holdout will most likely end with a visit to Cane Rosso. Onto the review....
I have always been a big pizza fan (who isn’t?), but it seems like pizza just keeps getting better and better! My most recent love is the pizzeria that claims certification from VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) an association which can legally (in Italy) give designation to pizzerias that meet the requirements in respect of the traditional art of making Neapolitan pizza. I guess it’s kind of like German beer makers following the German Beer Purity Law. Only certain ingredients may be used following a specific process. For instance, the dough must consist only of sea salt, water, yeast and imported 00 flour. No, I haven’t gotten hung up in all the details of that - I've just found that the 2 places that I’ve gone to that have this certification also make awesome pizza. And I am hung up on that!
In a recent trip (about 3 weeks back), I trekked from Denton to Deep Ellum to try Il Cane Rosso. It is a haul, but when I first heard about the place and after doing some research, I knew I was going to love it! Mrs. Music and my eldest daughter went to Six Flags, so I packed Baby Music up and hit the road. I decided to call ahead in case it was busy. I knew Baby Music would not sit still for too long so I thought I’d just take it to go. They told me that it only takes about 90 seconds to cook their pizza in the 1100 degree wood fire oven! I couldn’t make up my mind, so I decided on 2 with the thought of leftovers for Mrs. Music and Music Junior. The Regina Margherita, a beautifully simple pizza made with Italian tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil. And the Gus with Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Jimmy’s homemade sausage (see last post) and mushrooms. When I got there, it was packed! It is a cool layout with a bar in the center - complete with several taps containing great local craft beer choices (Peticolas, Franconia, Rahr, and others) - and a dining area on a side or 2 and a good sized outside area on the other. As I waited, I noticed one of the taps had Blood and Honey, a new brew from Granbury’s Revolver, one of the newest breweries in town. I asked the bartender if I could just have a taste while I was waiting. He was very friendly and upbeat, and poured me about 8 oz. and smiled saying “here’s your taste!”. As I enjoyed the beer, I made friends with a couple of patrons also waiting for pizza to go. When the pizza came, I opened the boxes to take a peek: They looked amazing and the aroma was almost too much to take! I strapped Baby Music into her seat and was about to drive off - but shoot by the time I would get home, my pizza will be cold! I pulled over and had a slice of the Gus right there! OMG, everything hit at once. The spicy sausage was intense and the tomato sauce was so simple and elegant. I tasted the basil, mushrooms and cheese and ohhh Lord, this might be the greatest crust I’ve ever had! It was perfectly chewy and light and flavorful. A slight hint of sea salt was present – I think I just found my favorite pizza of all time! I decided I better try the Margherita too. It was just as I expected - perfect, mellow deliciousness! I ended up eating half of each pizza before I got home. I saved the rest and heated up the next morning on my pizza stone. I followed the directions on the take out box! Heat at 450 for 5 minutes on a pizza stone. It came out perfectly. Mrs. Music and Music Junior was as mesmerized by the pizza as I was. It wasn’t a week later that we were in the vicinity of Deep Ellum with my cousin from New york. We trekked there on a Saturday afternoon and got the same exact pizzas to go! We sat in the parking lot and scarfed them down right there. We all loved them as much as we did the first time, and my cousin, being from NY was amazed! Next time I want to try some of the other pizzas. One of the pizzas high on my list is called the Motorino. It is topped with Burrata (mozzarella and cream - means buttered in Italian), Jimmy’s sausage, Calabrian chilies (red chilies kin to the pepperoncini) , friarielli (a green that cooks up like spinach aka rabe), and basil! I also hope to dine in and enjoy some nice beer while there.