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Review: Urban Crust

This glossy pizzeria persuaded Salvatore Gisellu to shut down Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill in Deep Ellum and head north to downtown Plano.
By Teresa Gubbins |
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photography by Kevin Marple

It’ll be a cold day in plano before its quaint downtown district turns into Deep Ellum. But 15th Street has nonetheless attracted a few inner-city refugees. The Fillmore Pub, then Vickery Park, and now Urban Crust, a glossy pizzeria that persuaded chef Salvatore Gisellu to shut down Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill in Deep Ellum and pack up for the move north.

Pizza is the star, and that’s evident by the dome-shaped Renato oven that occupies a prominent spot in the dining room. Burning both gas and wood, it turns out pizzas with reliably crisp, brown-edged crusts. Great toppings, too. One memorably delicious pie had sirloin steak, caramelized onions, Maytag blue cheese, and basil pesto.

Pizza alternatives were few but good, including a creamy pasta with four cheeses, rib-eye steak with Gorgonzola butter, and roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach and goat cheese that stayed tender and juicy. An easy-to-digest wine list combined with elegant stemware make you want to bypass the kitschy signature cocktails and order a nice glass of red, such as the Pala Cannonau di Sardegna, an appealing choice from Sardinia.

Apparently, there was pent-up demand for Urban Crust. On weekend nights, customers wait an hour, loitering at the entrance of this three-story brick storefront lovingly renovated by owners Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Jean-Marie and Salvatore Gisellu. Check out the saddle seats and the bell-shaped chandelier made of horse whips. The third-floor bar has a celestial skylight and a trippy strip of ice on the bar that keeps your beer or cocktail at a frosty 32 degrees. You don’t find that in Deep Ellum, do you?

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