Food News

Jay Jerrier of Il Cane Rosso to Open New York Style Spot

Jay Jerrier of Il Cane Rosso is caving into a little conformist pressure (but, not really). D Magazine broke the story Tuesday that he's working on a new pizza spot that will make his haters happy (although, probably not really all of them).

Not to be confused with second installment of Cane Rosso at White Rock Lake, this other new place is an entirely new concept called Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern that will serve New York-style pizza.

Jerrier has always jested about patrons who just don't get (or care for) his Neapolitan style pizza, and requests for ranch dressing are an ongoing joke for him. He's probably laughing all the way to the bank, since his current spot in Deep Ellum is packed most nights, not to mention his foray on Diners, Drive-In and Dives.

Despite this success, Jerrier's new spot will offer pizza outside the realm of true Neapolitan pies and will have ranch dressing in-house, which I think is the real motivation here. He just needed an outlet. He sorted of painted himself in a corner there.

More important, it will fill an important void in the marketplace. Just a few weeks ago I asked Jerrier if he's ever made the highly elusive grandma pie. (Elusive because they're impossible to find around here.) Jerrier told me he was working on one, but didn't say when, where, who or what.

Well, this afternoon he sent me a picture of one. This particular style of pizza has a pan-baked thin crust, is tender on top and crispy on the bottom. Cheese goes directly on the dough and the sauce, if any, is a sweet, garlicky, chunky pomodoro. It gets its name from grandmas making pie with whatever ingredients they have around the house.

Zoli's Facebook page is a treasure trove of new creations, like the TapOut (above) with Italian cold cuts, provolone, crispy eggplant, giardiniera on a seeded hero roll. There are also apple cinnamon rolls with Marscacpone frosting.

Jerrier hasn't signed on the dotted line for the real estate yet, but has his eye on a spot in Bishop Arts District, or possibly East Dallas.

I pointed out to Jerrier via a FB message that the Zoli Facebook "Likes" jumped from 13 to 156 in just a few hours after the news broke. Always the skeptic, he replied "Mostly haters probably."

I offered advice from someone who has his own share of haters. 50 Cent says, "If they hate it, then let them hate it, just watch the money pile up."

He pinged me right back, "I'm the cat at the bar toastin' to the good life."

Makes good pizza and knows some rap. Only thing missing is the ranch.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.