Pie Quagmire

Wade on in to Olivella’s pizzas. It’s worth it.

The sauce must be fleshy with rich, ripe tomato flavor undefiled by promiscuous use of herbs, spices and sugar. Green imports his tomatoes from Italy. This is the only thing he'll reveal about his recipe.

Olivella crusts are fluffy and resilient. They're thin, loose and dank. Our large San Daniele pizza, a rectangle pie delivered on a plank, was ravaged in the inferno. The intuition failed. Charred into a powdery ash, the crust did nothing but bitter the sauce and the singed folds of prosciutto—the only pizza foible we experienced.

Green is a proselytizer, and he pounds the true faith: sauce and crust, crust and sauce. As we threaten to get the San Daniele with sausage capicolla and anchovies, Green insists we order the Margherita with nothing but the tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella laced with fresh basil leaves. Tease out the gentle sweet-sour tomato tensions; revel in the creamy brackishness of the buffalo, laid out in tendril-fringed squares fused to the saucy crust like frayed patches on overalls.

Service at Olivella's can be chaotic, but we bet the servers do all right on the tips.
Tom Jenkins
Service at Olivella's can be chaotic, but we bet the servers do all right on the tips.

Location Info

Map

Olivella's

3406 McFarlin Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75205

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Park Cities

Details

Margherita $12
San Daniele $20 (large)
Sushi parma $8
Cheese & meat plate $15
Lasagna $10

There's more to the faith: house-made mozzarella. Green puts it on all of his pizzas. But in Dallas, creating pizza with cheese handcrafted on premise is tough. Not too many food suppliers stock curd. In New York, virtually every food supplier stocks curd.

There are other things. The sushi parma is spokes of mozzarella tightly bandaged in prosciutto radiating from a central heap of greens, tomato and onion. A meat and cheese platter with ruffles of prosciutto, mortadella, ham and bresaola (deep red sheets of salted and air-dried eye of round) plus mozzarella, Parmesan and pecorino cheeses burrowed on the edge of a salad of gently caramelized onions, capers and golden raisins. Lasagna Bolognese is uninspired, with overcooked pasta sheets and a yearning for oomph, maybe from a garlic clove and a pinch of cayenne and some sea salt.

The wine list is tight and approachable, with Chiantis, a pair of Negro D'Avolas from Sicily plus the requisite Pinot Grigios, even a pink one that tickles the palate like a rosé and flirts like lip gloss. Best to order a bottle of wine rather than a glass or even a beer. Refills don't come without hair-pulling.

Green says this is the Olivella charm, this college student staff. It's a charm that wears lacy thin in no time. Then, a BMW rolls up to the patio. A woman gets out—the same exasperated one sighing at the cash register an hour ago. She stomps in. She stomps out. She's carrying a stack of pizza boxes. Olivella's makes you crazy that way.

3406 McFarlin Blvd., 214-528-7070. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $$

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