If all goes according to plan, next Tuesday Jay Jerrier will throw open the doors to his new pizzeria, Zoli's, at 202 W. Davis in Oak Cliff.
This pizza spot is different from Jerrier's other two restaurants, Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum and at White Rock Lake, in that this newest creation focuses New York-style pizza as oppose to Neapolitan pizza.
Jerrier's fascination with pizza began in 1995 after a trip to Naples, Italy. Not long after that, he retired from GE Capital and focused on bringing perfect Neapolitan pizza to Dallas through extensive research and training. He hired a pizza maker, Dino Santonicola, from Naples, bought an oven from Naples, and imported flour, tomatoes and even a mixer all from there too. Then, within a year of opening his restaurant in Deep Ellum, Guy Fieri with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stopped by. The secret was out.
Since then Jerrier has opened a second Il Cane Rosso at White Rock Lake, but his appetite for conquering perfect slices of pizza had yet been quelled. With this new spot in Oak Cliff he's turned his sights to New York-style pizza.
Like with his first spot, he did extensive research and called in some experts. First he sent his GM and Dino on a pizza binge in New York City, and then he recruited Frank Pinello of Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for some advice.
Pinello spent two weeks in Dallas doing upskirts of pizza crust and telling stories about his Sicilian family in a pizza training camp. He also helped Jerrier dial-in the perfect Grandma Pie.
Ah. Grandma Pie. You'll like her so much more than your own grandma. Grandma pie is a style of pie that starts with a thin dough pressed into a rectangular pan, topped with crushed tomatoes (never sauce), cheese and a drizzle olive oil. It's thinner than Sicilian, but thicker than the New York-style. Party tip: the corner pieces with two sides of crust are the best.
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Jerrier says they're starting with dinner service next week, and then lunch soon thereafter. The menu will include a line of sandwiches, like the eggplant parmesan above, and salads.
A plain cheese slice will cost $3, Grandma $4 and a Sicilian $5. Zoli's will have lunch specials that includes a slice, knot (roll) and salad as well. A whole Grandma pie is $26 and at 18x26 will go far.
Zoli's will have a full liquor license soon, starting with beer and wine and cocktails phased in down the road.
Jerrier hopes to be open for dinner next Tuesday. Opening a restaurant can be tricky business so check Zoli's Facebook page before you head over.