As part of our Hungry Wanderlust series, I get to occasionally sample and learn about the fare of different locales. Sometimes it’s on the national scale and sometimes on the international, but today I’m staying local. This one is dedicated to Texas. Cane Rosso is a small group of restaurants committed to bringing authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza to the Lone Star State. A vision of Jay Jerrier, Cane Rosso was dreamed up after he visited Italy in 1995 for his honeymoon. Jay had an epiphany upon tasting his first true Italian pizza and wanted to replicate that experience in Texas. To ensure authenticity, he trained with the masters at Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization that promotes and protects the true craft of Neapolitan style pizza. And then adding in quality local ingredients and partnerships with surrounding small businesses, Cane Rosso was born. The restaurant reimagines the plight of the Neapolitan as a matured Texan pizza.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Houston Montrose location and “taste-testing” their Happy Hour menu. Um $5 gourmet 14″ pizzas and hipster cocktails? Yes, please! The ambiance was sleek, while being surprisingly casual. I started off with some drinks and was not disappointed. The Old Fashioned and Red 5 were particular standouts, with quality Texas-based ingredients at their centers. The pizzas were mind-blowing. Spiced honey glaze and smoked brisket garnish meticulously crafted traditional Neapolitan dough. A variety of flavorful tweaks to the perfected pizzas led to an unusually delicious experience that I would highly recommend.
But to me, the true sign of an excellent restaurant is it’s heart and pulse… the staff. From the moment I walked through the door, it was clear that Cane Rosso means more to it’s staff than just a place to work. It is a point of pride and honor. Everyone I spoke with relished in their expert knowledge of the ingredients and the hard work that went into the process. From Sergio’s insightful drink pairings behind the bar to manager Eric’s excited breakdown of the secret menu (yes, they have a secret menu!) to the staff clearing the empty plates while whispering “wasn’t that the best pizza?!”, one message clearly shone through – Cane Rosso is a place to be proud of. And that is the kind of local restaurant I want to support.
Special thanks to the lovely, hard-working staff at the Cane Rosso in Montrose. Make sure to visit one of these fabulous locations on your next visit to Texas. Oh and make sure to ask about the Honey Badger! 😉
For more foodie recommendations, visit my ‘Restaurant’ section here!