You can take the girl out of Italy, but you can't take Italy out of the girl. What can I say, I miss real Italian pizza... the perfectly thin and chewy crust, the tangy red tomato sauce, and the perfect amount of cheese accompanied by the flavorful sausage and an occasional basil leaf... my mouth is just watering thinking about it.
That is why I decided to hit up Cane Rosso, an authentic Napoletana pizzeria right in the heart of Dallas, Texas. This restaurant made the Thrillist list for The 33 Best Pizza Shops in the Country.
It has also been featured in local magazine, Dallas Observer as the best pizza and by D magazine as the best restaurant in Dallas for 5 years running.
The chef at Cane Rosso was actually taught how to make pizza in Naples by the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, an Italian association that promotes the true art of Neapolitan style pizza.
My boyfriend spent last summer working here as a expo (meaning he was the person who put toppings on the pizza, sliced it, and delivered it to the tables). I practically have the entire inside scoop with this place thanks to him. For example, he told me that employees have the option to donate a certain percentage of each paycheck went to the Cane Rosso Rescue, a dog rescue owned by the same manager as the pizzeria. Cane Rosso means "red dog" in the Italian language.
The basic ingredients in the pizza include a crust that must ferment for two days with Cuputo or San Felice double zero flour, a bit of salt, and yeast. Simple ingredients like these often make the most wonderful recipes. Plus, the dough is vegan! The mozzarella is pulled by hand daily and the sauce is made with hand crushed San Marzano tomtoes. The pizzas are then cooked for 75 seconds in a flaming 900 degree F wood fire oven.
My boyfriend tipped me off about the Sunday Brunch menu which includes $1 mimosas.
He also told me about seasonal and holiday-themed recipes like The Big Daddy (for Father's Day) which features locally sourced brisket and jalapeño pesto.
My Betty pizza was a safe bet, topped with prosciutto, ricotta cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, and sausage. It was the perfect amount of dough, balanced with soft cheese, and little bits of meat. It certainly gave real Italian pizza a run for its money.
Cane Rosso has plenty pizza pies out there for the more daring taste buds, as well. Bacon marmalade, anyone? Try the the Delia, which is topped with mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, spicy bacon marmalade, and arugula. There is even a secret menu that features crazy pizzas only insiders know about. The Honey Bastard comes with habanero infused honey, mozzarella, hot soppressata, and bacon marmalade. Another off-the-menu option is the Montanara, a fried pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil and pecorino. The owner says it can only be ordered on Tuesday nights, or when the restaurant isn't so busy.
Don't forget dessert!
After eating an entire 14 inch pizza, you'll probably be stuffed. I certainly was. Yet, dessert pizza is a must, if you have the room in your belly! Ever had a s'mores calzone? My boyfriend loved making the Bella Mela, a dessert pizza topped with baked cinnamon apples, cookie butter spread, and Nutella. During the summer, the menu changes to feature a more seasonal peach dessert pizza. Another great new option is the Ladybird, which features sweet vanilla bean mascarpone, crushed Speculoos cookies, Nutella, and powdered sugar.
A Final Note...
I'll admit, this was some pretty darn delicious pizza. I appreciate the wholesome and fresh ingredients. The waiters were also quite friendly. $14 for a pizza? It's pricy, but well worth the investment. Our waiter did mention something about a half priced happy hour on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. Make sure to ask about it if you go!
Open daily, 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 10 and 11 on the weekends.
Closed Monday nights.
By the way, don't ask for ranch dressing with your pizza! It'll cost you $1000.