LOCAL Houston | The City Guide July 2017 - Page 20

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE DINE WRITE FROM THE VERY FIRST BITE, Cane Rosso tastes like a winner. By Janice Schindeler | Photography by Sarah Miller Carbonara Cauliflower which Jones affectionately declares, “It’s really a taco pizza: salty porchetta, a fine fire-roasted tomatillo sauce, pinky pickled onions, calabrian chiles, fresh mozzarella and plenty of fresh chopped cilantro. Ya can’t help but love it.” 6.10.2017 5:17pm Tall Texano Pizza This Dallas-originated eatery come to Houston, the brainchild of JAY JERRIER, does it right. After falling in love with the pizza of Naples while tripping thru Italy, Jerrier got himself a genuine wood- burning pizza oven, certification by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (an organization that promotes and protects the true craft of Neapolitan-style pizza), met with great success in Dallas (five-year winner of best pizza in Dallas) and decided to give the Houston market a go. Jerrier commenced the Houston staffing search about the same time the talented, maverick JONATHON JONES (native Houstonian who has been cooking for decades – from Mario's Flying Pizzeria to Max’s Wine Dive, Beaver’s, Hotel ZaZa, El Big Bad) was kicking around for a new job – an “adult gig with insurance and all.” “Initially we talked about me cheffing at one of the restaurants here (there is one in the Heights and one near the Menil) or in Austin. We had a meeting of the minds, similar food philosophy, he needed a supervisor for the southern territory, I had the managerial experience. Bam! Got the job,” recalls Jones. The two minds – driven by a common passion for good, quality food, a respect for tradition and commitment to local resources – crossed paths. As a regional corporate chef, Jones, with guns a-blazing, has “Houstonized” the menu. Adding numerous pizzas – like the Tall Texano, 20 L O C AL | july 17 Though the toppings on some of the pizzas may seem untraditional (fire-roasted sweet potato and pickled salumi greens), Jones is not messing with the Napoletano-style crust – baked in a super-hot (900 degree) oven for a blink of the eye, 90 seconds or so – the crust delicate, light, slightly charred, a tad chewy not crunchy. “We get grief about the crust. It’s not New York, Chicago or Detroit style. This is true Napol etano style.” And it is delicious. For traditionalists, there are plenty of old school combinations – sausage, marinara, mozzarella – no worries. As a regional corporate chef, Jones, with guns a-blazing, has “Houstonized” the menu. Jones has been hard at work, sourcing local purveyors, developing some mighty tasty dishes for each location and mentoring young chefs. Here at the Yoakum location Matthew Wommack (most recently of Prohibition) heads up the kitchen team. And Jones gives Wommack all the credit for the innovative take on the classic salad combo of prosciutto and asparagus. The raw asparagus is shaved, tossed with a tangy lemony dressing and piled high on thinly sliced prosciutto. Best way to eat it? “Stick a fork in it and twirl – eat it like pasta,” advises Jones. “Wommack and I agree we like raw vegetables in our lives.” july 17 | L O C A L 21