Chef Stephan Pyles has partnered with Fireside Pies to offer a special menu at select locations.
The alliance came together in a Cambodian restaurant during a meeting between Mark Parmerlee, the owner of Fireside Pies, and Pyles. That restaurant had created a separate menu in collaboration with a local chef, and the idea struck a chord with the two restaurateurs. Thus, Fireside by Pyles was born.
Started in 2004, Fireside is a Dallas-based pizza chain. Previously limited to pizzas and salads, this collaboration gave Fireside the opportunity to expand the menu — and Pyles was an ideal person for the job. Having created more than 22 restaurants in the past 30 years, Pyles has worked as a waiter, a chef, a cookbook author, and now — after retiring — as a consultant.
While the pandemic has slowed processes and kept businesses quieter than usual, for Pyles, it has offered time to innovate.
“[The pandemic] actually has enhanced the [creative] process,” Pyles says. “I have had so much extra time on my hands, I have been cooking and experimenting more than ever.”
Fireside by Pyles has four appetizers, five entrees and a dessert. I tried one each: the Vietnamese pizza, chipotle short ribs with pappardelle noodles and a slice of chocolate-bacon-bourbon cake. through Favor. As a happy coincidence, the Chipotle Ribs and the Bourbon cake happen to be some of Pyles’ favorites.
The pizza is made on a crispy rice paper, topped with artisan sausage, caramelized onions and chile aioli. While you can’t go wrong with sausage, the chile aioli added a rich tanginess. I ordered everything through Favor delivery; and the rice paper did not travel well and was too stiff by the time it reached me.
Stephan Pyles' Vietnamese-inspired pizza.
The restaurant staff warned me these dishes are best experienced in the restaurant, straight from the wood-burning oven. The rest of the food, however, stood the test of time.
The pappardelle noodles were light in flavor, giving the center stage to the beautifully smoked ribs —Pyles later recommended pairing this with a Malbec or a pinot noir.
The bourbon cake was a satisfying, sweet-and-salty ending to the meal. Bacon bits between layers of cake and frosting, as well as in the vanilla ice cream, made for a pleasant surprise.
Pyles’ collaboration menu is available at all locations except Henderson Avenue: the specialty ovens there call for a different selection. In the next couple of months, Fireside by Pyles will offer an new menu and introduce one at that East Dallas spot.
Fireside Pies, 7709 Inwood Road (North Dallas), 6750 Abrams Road, No. 105 (Northeast Dallas) and 2820 Henderson Ave. (East Dallas), with two more locations in Plano and Grapevine. Operating hours differ by location.