When talking to any knowledgeable Dallas foodie type, and you start a sentence with “Il Cane…”, expect the phrase “Best Pizza in Dallas!!” to be injected into the conversation before you can ever finish your thought. There’s an unbridled enthusiam for Jay Jerrier’s (proprietor of Il Cane Rosso) product. Most of it comes from an open and constant acknowledgement of the standards, ingredients and process used to make their pies. He is also quite approachable on twitter, endearing him to the foodie-type following as well.
When I heard about the Pop Up in Fort Worth, I was excited. Visions of ironic mustache clad hipsters riding their fixies to get their taste of the metroplex’s premiere pizza immediately ran through my head. Pop ups these days seem to draw nothing but that ilk. This pop up however was much more low key than expected. And while it doesn’t challenge Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese as the gold standard for hipster pop up restaurants, it does in fact serve a great meal without any chicanery.
The set up was basically this: The famous Il Cane Rosso mobile oven was set up outside the Swiss Pastry Shop. We were sat by an ICR waiter and waited on by him inside. If you wanted pastries from SPS, transactions were separate.
Mrs. Roadrunner and I went with our favorite couple to eat with. We ordered 2 apps,2 pizzas, 2 desserts and planned on splitting the bill. This is what the Roadrunners deem as “optimal set up”.
First up was the foccacia, a flat bread cooked in their high temp oven and delicious in its simplicity. Topped with olive oil and rosemary, the bread is wonderfully blistered on the outside. This stuff is goooooood.
Next up was the caprese. Really good as these things go, but I was ready for the pizza at this point.
The first pie was the Delia. This thing is a winner. I’m generally more of a red sauce pizza guy, but I supremely love this. Fresh Mozz, (amazing) roasted grape tomatoes, spicy bacon marmalade, topped with arugala. Wonderful. It’s worth the price of admission.
Next Up: The Zoli. Red Sauce, Mozz, Sorpressatta and Jimmy’s Sausage. The sauce is wonderful and the toppings pack a nice amount of heat. You really can’t go wrong with either of these pies.
For Dessert, we ordered an ICR dessert pie and the signature Swiss Pastry Shop Dessert, Black Forest Cake. The cake is wonderful, light and fluffy with a nice crunch. Nice almond flavor mixed with chocolate and cream.
Our dessert pizza, the bella mella, was nice. Caramel, mascarpone, sea salt and caramelized fruit. It was a nice way to finish the meal. Everyone was stuffed, but we still managed to finish this bad boy off.
Overall, this is a fantastic meal and the price point is great as well. It comes with a caveat, and one that I’ve learned over the last couple of years…. don’t expect to look at pizza the same way once you start eating at places like this. You can’t. It’s not the same.You will be ruined.
You’ll walk into random pizza shops and ask what type of flour they use for their dough. You’ll check around to see if you can tell what kind of tomatoes their sauce is made of and ask a pimply-faced worker what temp the pizza oven is set to (probably met with a pizzled look). It’s a curse, but also a blessing. You’ll know what good pizza, real pizza is all about. Coincidentally, you’ll also find yourself yelling “Best Pizza in Dallas!!” when anyone starts a sentence with “Il Cane….“