restaurant_08 Jay Jerrier photography by Kevin Marple

Italian | Cane Rosso

If you like pizza and you spend time online, you undoubtedly know Cane Rosso, the Neopolitan-style pizzeria in Deep Ellum. Heck, you’re probably Twitter buddies with Jay Jerrier, Cane Rosso’s internet-savvy owner, who ought to write a book for restaurateurs called How To Use Social Media. Jerrier turned his former hobby into a career, making pizza on the fly in a mobile wood-burning oven he parked at locations around town. In February, he finally settled down in a vintage building in Deep Ellum, just in time to be part of the neighborhood renaissance. Weekend nights, there’s an hour wait that often taxes the skills of the staff. But Jerrier has the passion that makes pizza more than crust and topping.

Pizza dough contains yeast, a living thing, and Jerrier can read its mood, the way it behaves when it hits the oven, the split second it needs to come out. At Cane Rosso, they let their dough sit around for 8 to 12 hours until it acquires a sour tang that not only adds flavor but also resiliency. Cane Rosso has a certification from the Verace Pizza Napoletana, which dictates that its pizzas bake for no more than 90 seconds in a 900-degree oven. The edge of the crust gets blistered and brown, while the inside stays moist, with puffy, crispy pockets of air. The interplay of crisp and chewy, of toasty popcorn flavor and a saliva-inducing hit of salt, is without compare.

Toppings seem an afterthought, and, in true Neapolitan-style, they’re applied in stinting quantity to ensure the proper balance between topping and crust. Ever the diligent Google searcher, Jerrier procures his ingredients from brand-name sources, including Italian sausage from Jimmy’s in Dallas and prosciutto cotto from Salumeria Biellese in New York.

Pizza isn’t all that Cane Rosso does. Jerrier has added thickly stacked sandwiches, house-made pasta and gelato, and brunch with house-made doughnuts and ricotta pancakes. He also just hired renowned pizzaiolo Dino Santonicola, who, as a Naples native, knows the real deal. It begins and ends with pizza.

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