original location in Deep Ellum, not long after they first opened. We've been thinking of going ever since. Then we heard about a location coming to our side of the Great Divide, and we were all set to go.... and then promptly forgot all about it. In reviewing some old notes, I was reminded that it was due time for a visit. And that time has come. So south on 121 we ventured....
Food: As our waiter stated right off, this is "knife and fork pizza". I may have mentioned this before, but while still in my 20s in the late 80s through the mid 90s, the RJG was an avid European backpacker, taking a full month off nearly every year to explore the continent, both west and east. Those were heady days, as the Fall of the Wall spurred on a most exciting environment everywhere. When it came to lunch or dinner, one of the more satisfying meals, on a backpackers budget mind you, was that of the Italian pizza. They were uniformly excellent, and cheap (usually in the vicinity of $5 back then). They were knife and fork pizzas, and whether you were in Norway or the Ukraine, rich or poor, the pizza was superb, and filling. Cane Rosso is that pizza. But taken to the next level with artisan ingredients, and of course the specially made coal oven that they fire up to 900 degrees (getting up to cremation temperatures are we? Not saying they put dead bodies in there or anything...). We split a Zoli, which contains hot soppressata, basil, and "local sausage". The latter sounds funny to me. Locally made sausage or locally sourced sausage makes sense, but local sausage? It's a Union made up of sausages! Anyway, the soppessata is in effect their version of pepperoni, except it's way better. Much spicier and flavorful and absolutely fantastic on pizza. The "local" sausage is crumbled, and not as distinguished as I'd hoped, but it was still very good. The basil is fresh, like you'd get at a Thai restaurant. Most of their pizzas feature homemade mozzarella, and hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy. Sauce, cheese, and crust are the key ingredients to any great pizza, and it's here that Cane Rosso really shines. They have a great formula, can't miss really, and is very satisfying. We did ask afterwards if they can make the pizza a tad crispier. The answer was no, because it would burn. OK, fair enough. The pizza is 14 inches so perfect to split... as long as you also split a salad too! A small salad is gigantic, about the same size as a "small" at Grimaldi's. At $6 to $7, it is an absolute bargain. A large salad, BTW, feeds 5 to 6. We had The Larry, which was superb. I tend to bristle when I see the phrase "field greens", or what I frequently refer to as "backyard salad". However, these field greens were fresh and delicious. The balsamic vinaigrette is a very high grade, as is the shaved parmesan. The tiny rolled Italian meats only add to the greatness. All in all just fantastic, and I'd love to explore the menu further. They need to come to NE Tarrant! And not Southlake either (there's plenty there already)... Cane Rosso also features Italian appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, and desserts. But pizza is why you come here.
Drink: In following modern protocol, Cane Rosso is heavily committed to craft beer. Yaay! They have many local taps, as well as a full selection of cans/bottles. I tried on tap one beer from Panther Island and Martin House, both Fort Worth breweries, and both were beers that you cannot find in bottles or cans. And of course, they have a full wine list as well. The Mrs. had the same IPA I did from Martin House (it's a different hop from their canned version).
Location: Perfectly located on Magnolia, and fits the neighborhood to a T. It's on the eastern end of the strip of restaurants lining the Fairmount neighborhood's most famous road. It appears to be a new structure, and has that post modern industrial 1950's meets the 2010's look. Very spacious, welcoming, and open. They also have patio seating, but you have to be a masochist to do that this time of year. Oh, and they have a special space for a large group, which is good for noise control. Parking is in the back on the east side of the restaurant.
Notes: Cane Rosso is growing fast with 5 locations in DFW, 2 in Houston, and one coming in Austin. It's easy to see why, especially in today's food culture. They're here to stay. This is not trendy food, but as noted earlier, the kind of staple of the diet that has been in Europe for decades. As also stated, one sure would look good in NE Tarrant. Downtown Keller maybe... just sayin....
Notes II: When Mr. Music and I first heard the name, and they initially went by Il Cane Rosso, we immediately thought of Italian prog. Bands with names like Premiata Forneria Marconi, Il Balletto di Bronzo, and Raccomandata Ricevuto Ritorno (and hundreds of others). If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, then you have hours of fun awaiting you on YouTube.
Rating: 4.0. We've only been once, but most assuredly this will rise over time.