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Apr 7, 2007 07:33 PM

Best Pizza in Texas

I was just down in Houston this weekend and ate at Dolce Vita. Until eating there, I had to give the best pizza nod to Dallas as it has a number of pretty decent spots (Campania, Fireside, Louie's to name a few). I had never really had a really standout pie in Houston prior to visiting Dolce Vita. I am certainly happy to see that a high caliber chef like DaMarco Wiles is raising the bar for not only Houston but the rest of Texas.

My interest was definately piqued at looking over the menu. We started with the octopus salad with arugula and grapes which was outstanding. We also shared the baby artichoke fritti which were fried to perfection and seasoned well. I had a tough decision deciding on a pizza with so many interesting toppings: robiola, tellegio, botorga (stuff you have a hard time finding anywhere in Texas). I settled on the robiola with pancetta and leeks. It did not disappoint in the slightest. If you are into creamy cheeses, you have got to give robiola a try. I had a bite of the tellegio with arugala and pears which was also quite good (the addition of walnuts would have put it over the top). The wine list (all Italian) had a number of good finds at reasonable prices.

Overall, I would put Dolce Vita head and shoulders above any pizza joint I have been to in Texas.

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  1. I've also heard that their pizza is good, and I plan to check it out when I'm in Houston in a few weeks. But Dolce Vita isn't the first place in Texas to serve these kinds of toppings on pizzas. DV is obviously emulating Austin's Enoteca Vespaio. The supplì, the Italian charcuterie, the pizza combinations (taleggio cheese and arugula—hmmm, that sounds familiar), the pastas? It’s a near-perfect replica of the menu at EV, the lower-priced, more casual version of Vespaio. Of course, EV, in turn, is emulating Mario Batali’s Otto, so in an indirect way Dolce Vita is imitating Batali, too. That’s fine with me. . . as long as the food’s good. Other restaurants in Texas have made a lot of money doing their own versions of NYC favorites: take the genre of NYC steakhouses, for instance, or the variations on Tom Colicchio’s Craft. But, let’s give credit where credit is due. Dolce Vita was obviously influenced by the menu and the popularity of Austin’s best Italian restaurant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MPH

      Interesting. I have heard of Enoteca Vespaio and been to the original but hadn't heard much about the menu. Will definately have to pay a visit on my next visit to Austin. Cetainly, DaMarco Wiles makes it no secret that he is taking a page from Batali's Otto. I haven't been to Otto or Batali's new West Coast pizzeria, Mozza, so I cannot make a comparison. Let me know if/when you pay a visit to DV and how it stacks up to Enoteca Vespaio.

      1. re: Bhutani

        Will do. I'm hoping DV's pizza is even better than EV's, because what chowhound doesn't want even more deliciousness in his or her life?

        When I head to Dallas later this summer, I'll check out some of your recs for the best Italian in the DFW area, too.


    2. Mamas Pizza is tops for me, but it sounds much more casual than the other places you guys are talking about. Dolce Vita is definately on my 'To-Try' list.

      1. Honestly, "Otto's" in NY is my very favorite pizza, but where I live, I would vote for Fireside Pies in Plano as the best around, due to their wonderfully fresh and delicious toppings...

        1. I would have to give my vote to Star Pizza in Houston (Norfolk location). My favorite is Chicago style Starburst on wheat... has to be on wheat...

          1. You have to check out Piggy Pies on Greenville and Lover's. Amazing thick slices of pizza. One of the pizza places I've ever been to with lots of awesome toppings that you don't find in most places.

            Also in Richardson, there is a take out place called Olive Oil's. They really know their pizza. Good stuff.