Europe’s age-old tradition of artisan pizza-making is rising in Texas restaurant kitchens, which are fragrant with fresh garlic and glowing with wood-burning pizza ovens. Rustic discs of dough with crisp blistered crusts are carefully designed and constructed using quality ingredients. The result? Remarkable pizzas that reverberate with flavors like house-cured prosciutto and arugula, or wild mushroom with mascarpone and truffle oil. Pie one on!
Pizza at Dough Pizzeria is so authentic, owner Doug Horn has the L’ Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certificate to prove that he serves bona fide Neapolitan pizza. This got the attention of the Food Network (it was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”), and USA Today deemed it one of the nation’s exceptional pizzerias. It’s all about the details starting with the dough. The water is filtered, fresh yeast is preferred, and only sea salt is used. Pizzas emerge from the woodburning pizza oven with gloriously puffy edges, crackly to the bite, and charred with smoky flavor.
Fresh herbs, peppers, tomatoes, sausage, handmade mozzarella and irresistible prosciutto are sourced locally to ensure freshness. It’s hard to choose between the classic Margherita or the Prosciutto with burrata and arugula. But we always return for the Margherita—so pretty in red, white and green with blobs of creamy house-pulled mozzarella that melt in your mouth, sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, Bluebonnet Farms basil leaves and tomato sauce. Add some anchovies and live a little!
Pies by chef-owner Ryan Pera of Coltivare are for purists who appreciate garden freshness—literally. The restaurant garden at this inviting Italian café in the Heights is a source for fresh-tasting pies, which are creatively crafted using just a handful of ingredients. Each pie is distinctive with a different base of cheese and sauce (or no sauce) resulting in a thoughtful progression of flavors. Pera, who likes to crown each pie with something fresh and green, says it’s really about the dough. Carb lovers dig the pillowy crust with singed edges and a crisp base from the wood-burning oven.
Like the garden, the pizzas change with the seasons. Vegetarians love the potato, oyster mushrooms, taleggio cheese, garlic and rosemary pizza. But you can count on the iconic Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella pizza to be available all year. This pizza tastes truly artisanal when the seasonal tomatoes and fragrant basil are freshly plucked from an on-site garden and the crust is made with care. Pair it with Fondo Antico Nero D’Avola, a soft, simple Sicilian red wine, with bright fruit and perfect acidity—and all is right with the world.
Topped to Heaven
Named after the patron saint of bakers, St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop features a wide variety of intriguing pizza combinations on thin, light crusts.
The namesake, St. Philip pie, features an unexpected combination of Manila clams, fresh ricotta, garlic and bacon jam. Ditto the Wild Mushroom pizza, which indeed sounds wild, with baby kale, ricotta, idiazabal cheese (made from Spanish sheep milk) and umami sauce which adds a flavorful olive oil-garlic-apple cider vinegar note to this cheesy vegetarian-style pie.
Pies here are smaller than the standard so order a few for the table—and don’t forget dessert. Hello, double-chocolate brownies and hazelnut Twix. After all, this is a bakery!