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Scott -- DFW

[DFW] Fireside Pies

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Several new "gourmet" pizzerias have opened in my area in the past several months, including Stromboli Cafe (in partnership with Al Biernat), Taverna Pizzeria and Risottoria (from Alberto Lombardi), and most recently Fireside Pies (from Tristan Simon).

Fireside Pies has been open for about a month in a small, awkwardly shaped space (something like a wood-slatted bunker) adjacent to Cuba Libre on Henderson. The interior looks great, with wood floors and paneling, low lighting, and an open kitchen (with pecan wood-fired pizza oven) surrounded by a convenient bar for take-out customers. Indoor seating is limited to about a half dozen booths along the front wall, with more seating available on the attractive, covered patio running along the side and back of the building.

Since I ordered take-out, I didn't have much chance to observe service elements. However, I was promptly seated at the bar, asked if I wanted a drink while I waited, and offered a copy of the menu to take with me. I didn't have to wait long for the pizza (i.e., under 20 minutes), even though they were busy at the time. Pretty good service, for take-out.

The menu is limited to (i) a few appetizers, salads, and sandwiches, (ii) the pizzas (one size only--10"-12", judging from the one I got), (iii) two desserts, and (iv) drinks, drinks, drinks (e.g., beer, frou-frou cocktails, martinis, wines, and a handful of ice cream floats). I ordered the "triple 'roni" pizza--pepperoni, Mozzarella Company mozzarella, fresh basil, and truffle oil. The hand-tossed crust was thin, light, and slightly crisp. A roasted-tomato sauce gave enough sweetness to balance the other toppings, but wasn't excessive. The MozzCo cheese was thick and delicious, though I would have liked it to be left in the oven a little longer, so it could get more toasted. I'm not sure what was "triple" about the pepperoni (nothing unusual about the quantity), but I was pleased to see them placed on top of the cheese rather than underneath. (Putting them underneath the cheese prevents the Maillard reaction from turning mere slices of sausage into the crispy, up-turned, grease-filled flavor buckets that make a good pepperoni pizza sublime.) The truffle oil was a nice addition, adding earthy undertones that I'm unaccustomed to with pizza. (I'll try that one at home.) In all, it was a very good pizza--among the better ones I've had in Dallas (which is, admittedly and unfortunately, not a great pizza town).

I'm definitely interested in returning to try some of the other options, such as: Jimmy's spicy Italian sausage with MozzCo scamorza and roasted red onions; Peta Pie with Sonoma goat cheese, balsamic mustard portobellas, baby arugula, roasted red peppers, roasted pine nuts, and charred tomato vinaigrette; Fireside meatballs with roasted red onions and red peppers; "Piled" prosciutto with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and black olives; et al. It's nice to see them using quality local ingredients, such as Lambert's cheeses and sausages from Jimmy's and Kuby's. Prices are on the high side, averaging around $13 per pizza. But, considering the good quality and that the pizza is enough to comfortably feed (without stuffing) two adults, I think they're reasonable. I'll update this after some more visits.

Scott

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I have tried Taverna. It's the closest to "real" Italian Pizza I have found in the area.


Never trust a skinny chef

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Tried Fireside. Like its sibling, Cuba Libre, wonderful, hip decor, good beer, ok wine, and alcoholic mix of the mo', and a menu of aggressively tasty items that leave me, and my dining companions, lusting for Cuban food and a classic p/Margherita, or something with the essence and soul of 'a slice.'

The food is quite good, the concept is financially successful, and I'm delighted that they are supporting and advertising that support for Jimmy's ... but I leave there on the hunt for a real pie.

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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You have to indicate what a "real pie" is. Is it what is considered pizza in Italy Venice to Padova. Very crispy crust and little cheese.

New York- What we call "thin" crust but has no comparison to real Italian.

Chicago - Good meal by the slice pizza but closer to Foccia Pie than what Italians call Pizza.


Never trust a skinny chef

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You have to indicate what a "real pie" is.  Is it what is considered pizza in Italy Venice to Padova.  Very crispy crust and little cheese.

Bingo!!!

Love each in their own way, but little sauce, little cheese, but of very good quality, some fresh herbs, and, on occasion, maybe a little cured meat.

But at this point, I'll take a Manhattan 'slice' or a Chicago dish-so-deep-its-a-wading-pool.

The pile of proscuitto on the Fireside pie was, frankly, a bit scary.

But, pizza on this side of the pond is a very American thing, so hey. That's just my personal preference. In the US, probably the most 'real' pizza used to come (and may still) from Sally's or Frank Pepe's in New Haven, Conn. Thin crust, little sauce, some mozz, and that's about it.

Theabroma

PS: I think pizza Margherita qualifies as "real pie."


Edited by theabroma (log)

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I would try Taverna just around the corner from Fireside by Chips off Travis.


Never trust a skinny chef

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Having been back to Fireside Pies a couple of times, I echo one of the complaints made by the DMN reviewer. On some pizzas, the ingredients are presented in unwieldy chunks. It's not that they use too much of the ingredients; they just fail to cut them into manageable sizes. The sausage pizza, for instance, features a spicy sausage from Jimmy's. Instead of crumbling it or slicing it thin, you end up with inch-and-a-half long segments of the thick links--three or more bites worth, if you were to cut it up. This makes the pizza difficult to eat. But it also concentrates a flavor that needs to be more evenly distributed across the pizza. It's like getting a cheese pizza with a side of hot links, instead of a sausage pizza. That's something I'd like to see changed.

Scott

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Kevin72: Ate at Fireside Pies tonight, in case you haven't been yet, and I can say its quality ranges between good and very good, depending upon your reference point. For me pizza starts at the crust, and Fireside's crust lacks the contrast given by flour of great quality, and a hot, hot oven in order to give it spring. The result is uniformly doughy, but a good doughy. Pillsbury this is not. The toppings are of better quality, and the pizza I ordered had truffle oil, which turned out not to be the ghetto varietal pumped full of that wonderfully noxious synthetic crap I'm sure also went by the name Agent Orange. Cheese is decent, but not the best available, even in Dallas. My dad's pizza had a fennel sausage, which, again, wasn't the best example, but decent. This place fits well into its locale, and I would strongly recommend it for somebody. The only drawback was the cloyingly sweet dessert (a strawberry huckle, of sorts, and said to be macerated in passion fruit, but in reality was "macerated" in simple syrup that was simply too sweet).

Decently priced (not like Pizzeria Bianco, but who's noticing?), too.

Ian


Edited by IML (log)

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Taverna truly reminds me of a place i ate at in Padova Italy. Not cheap, not horribly expensive either.


Never trust a skinny chef

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Scott: I agree about the toppings, but I would venture a little further and say they're too heavy-handed altogether, which explains the thickness of their crust in the pizza's center (it's much too thick for my tastes, but is required given the amount of cheese they're using, as the crust would otherwise turn soggy if too thin). I much prefer the style of crust at Bianco (in AZ) or Franny's (in Brooklyn), which are probably the two best pizzerias in the country right now: a thoroughly crisped underside; a top that is bubbly and crunchy in parts, bready and doughy in others; and sparse use of excellent toppings (Bianco's raw food quality is better than half of all the three and four-starred restaurants in NYC, in my opinion), including cheese.

I do wish their desserts were much better, and that their sausage was made in-house, but otherwise it's a great place.

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I just read in today's DMN business section that Fireside Pies will be opening a second location in the Shops of Legacy (Plano). Don't hold your breath though. It's going to be in the second phase of the complex just now starting construction.

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I hate the center (the Anjelika is nice), but it is so conveniently close.


Edited by IML (log)

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Finally ate here a few weeks ago. Hourlong wait at 8:30 so it's still hopping. This was during the big heat wave so it was oppressively hot both inside and out. They really need to expand somehow, or do something about the patio, since I can't imagine it being terribly pleasant in the months to come, and inside there's maybe 10 tables, and you're getting nudged by the bar crowd, and it's noisy as all hell.

But I quite liked the pizzas. We were with a large group, so we got to pass around different kinds: the barbecue chicken, the Jimmy's sausage, and the "piled prosciutto" (sans goat cheese). The barbecue chicken was even good enough to stand apart from the California Pizza Kitchen infamy. The Jimmy's was pretty sparse on toppings and cheese, though--not that I was looking for the groaning chain pizza variety. The piled prosciutto was probably the favorite. The salads, too, are good here and enough for 4 to split as a simple appetizer.

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