More than a month ago, City of Ate reported on the quiet happenings at RedFork, in the wake of chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke's quick departure. Ryan Carbery was left to run the kitchen alone.
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In that story Carbery told City of Ate a pizza oven would be arriving any day. More than four weeks later, it's finally here.
Carbery's simple Italian menu approach is well suited for a pizza oven, but he's got a lot of competition in the Neapolitan style of pizza cookery. Cane Rosso has been banging out Dallas' most authentic pies for more than half a year, and Dough Pizzeria opened just a month ago.
For now, I'm mixed on the Fitzhugh Avenue Gastro Pub. My first visit was a little messy, but then I learned Carbery had yet to secure any replacement kitchen help. Subsequent visits have turned up a transcendent burger, a bone-dry burger, some killer mussels and a restaurant that's still trying to define its space.
Sports events regularly play on television, but on another night, a lone guitarist belted out b-list cover tunes. A late-night menu beckons, but I've been past after midnight some evenings and the space is lights out, nobody home. A new oven should breathe life into a restaurant that's been mostly empty during each of my visits. It's up to Carbery and his pizza pies to convince the newly curious to stick around.