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When the CincyScenes staff was preparing to move to Cincinnati, and considering neighborhoods, we narrowed our choices down to a few, including Oakley. And every time we mentioned Oakley as one of our options, someone would say, “Oh! And you’ll be right down the street from Dewey’s Pizza!”

Well, we did choose a house in Oakley, and have loved the neighborhood, not least for the presence of some of the best pizza in the city. Since moving in, we have sampled Dewey’s wares more than any other restaurant, and have never found it lacking. Now, of course, I know that Dewey’s has five locations here (with two more on the way in 2008), to say nothing of a strong regional presence; fortunately, Dewey’s was not the only reason for selecting our neighborhood.

Dewey’s is on my mind again today because, well, it was in our bellies last night. In fact, seems it was in the bellies of a lot of folks with Hallowe’ening to do, since the wait for our pizza ended up being a little longer than first announced. The scene at Dewey’s was a little odd, with an empty restaurant (unusual) and an extra-hoppin’ kitchen, but they got the job done, and it was tasty as always. I do hope that once they had fed seemingly the entire East Side, the good folks at Dewey’s managed to get out and enjoy some Hallowe’eny festivities.

Dewey’s presents itself as “taking pizza to the next level,” and it’s easy to see why. Its menu is filled with items in combinations you wouldn’t associate with your basic run-of-the-mill pizzeria. At the same time, it has a fun attitude that doesn’t sneer “Gourmet! Gourmet!” down its nose at you.

Oh, sure, for the traditionalist there’s the Dewey’s Original, with red sauce and mozzarella, right there at the top of the menu. But by the time you get to only the 3rd specialty pizza on the menu, you’re looking at the Hawaiian, with pineapple and Canadian bacon – an item usually reserved for the nether reaches of most pizzeria menus. Make your way a little further down the listings, and you come across such singular concoctions as the Wild Mushroom (Olive Oil, Minced Garlic, Mozzarella-Fontina Blend, Mushrooms, Portobello Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms, Shitake Mushrooms, Capers, Roasted Red Peppers) and the Edgar Allan Poe (Olive Oil, Mozzarella-Fontina Blend, Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic, Kalamata Olives and Goat Cheese, with Fresh Tomatoes and Parsley after the bake). Both of these are incredibly rich and wonderfully flavorful pizzas, and hefty enough to warrant Dewey’s thick, chewy crust (I’m fond of thin crust, but Dewey’s has done its job in broadening my horizons on that count).

Lately we’ve been ordering a “Create-Your-Own-Pizza” that we feel is good enough—and different enough from the other offerings on their menu—to be added to their specialties of the house: it starts with a Dewey’s White Pizza (olive oil, minced garlic, mozzarella, and fontina cheese) and adds pesto, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, and chicken. Classic flavors, and yummy to boot—and if Dewey’s wanted to call it the “CincyScenes Pie” or the “Around and About Special,” we wouldn’t mind even a little.

 

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