The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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At Zoli’s, ‘Pope of Pizza’ delivers heavenly slice

Zoli’s white pizza: thin, crispy crust perfectly charred and topped with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, loaded with garlic and sprinkled with spicy red pepper flakes. (CHRISTOPHER SAUL/The Daily Campus)
Zoli’s white pizza: thin, crispy crust perfectly charred and topped with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, loaded with garlic and sprinkled with spicy red pepper flakes. (CHRISTOPHER SAUL/The Daily Campus)
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Zoli’s white pizza: thin, crispy crust perfectly charred and topped with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, loaded with garlic and sprinkled with spicy red pepper flakes. (CHRISTOPHER SAUL/The Daily Campus)

Jay Jerrier has been called the “Pope of Pizza” for his success at Cane Rosso, which has earned the distinction of being named D Magazine’s Best Pizza in Dallas three years in a row.

But the Neapolitan style of pizza which is done so well at Cane Rosso isn’t for everybody. The traditional cooking process for a Neapolitan pizza — just over a minute in a 900 degree oven — may be fast, but it produces a crust better described as chewy than crispy. For those raised on the traditional New York-style slice, with a thin, crispy crust, the fantastic and creative flavor combos on the pies at Cane Rosso wouldn’t be enough to make up for the crust.

In August, Jerrier opened up Zoli’s NY Pizza Tavern, serving traditional New York slices “for people who hate Cane Rosso.” With crispy crusts and more traditional flavor combinations, Jerrier once again hits it out of the park.

Located in Oak Cliff, it is a bit out of the way for SMU students, but for fans of pizza, it’s a trek worth making.

Zoli’s offers three styles of pizza: the New York, the Sicilian and the “Grandma” slice. The New York is a traditional thin crust, the Sicilian is a super thick crust, square cut pizza with sauce on top of the cheese, and the Grandma is a thick crust thinner than the Sicilian and using a more rustic sauce recipe.

The topping selection isn’t nearly as exotic as Cane Rosso (Unfortunately no quail eggs or bacon marmalade are available at Zoli’s), but the quality is just as good. Instead of just pepperoni, Zoli’s uses hot sopressata, a much spicier option than plain pepperoni. The Italian sausage, loaded with fennel and other Italian spices, is shipped over from renowned Dallas restaurant “The Grape.”

While the basic cheese pizza is a very tasty example of the style, the real highlight of the menu is the white pizza. With large dollops of creamy and flavorful fresh ricotta, lots of garlic, beautiful mozzarella and just the right amount of red pepper flakes, this is heaven for lovers of white pizza.

The pizza at Zoli’s may have been made for people who hate Cane Rosso, but there’s no reason not to enjoy both for what they are — world class examples of very different styles of pizza. Jerrier has truly earned his title as the most innovative and versatile pizza master in Dallas.

Zoli’s is located at 202 W. Davis St. in Dallas.

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