In my recent trip to New Jersey–the one where I tasted a life-changing cannoli–we tried a number of pizzas to find the one that would change our perception of cheese-covered bread. While most of it was fine, nothing made us think, “what will I do without this at home?” In fact, when we tried one recent place after we got back, we were quite glad to be in Dallas.
Coal Vines is consistent in serving up a fine duo of wine and pizza. The white special is our favorite, a thicker, doughy crust topped with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, sliced tomatoes and garlic, though it’s always better with added basil. The ingredients, on this one or any other pie, are simple but combined to make a pizza better than many others in this city (and in Marlton, New Jersey).
Before you have a chance to choose your wine, you’re brought zucchini chips–little bites of a salty and slightly greasy vegetable that you’ll quickly find addicting. The caesar salad is usually a safe order for an appetizer, though this last time we got it, the copious amount of anchovy was too much to bear–so much that we actually sent it back…
The wine list is always great to peruse; and while we debate going crazy to get a Cakebread or Silver Oak, there are always a couple of bottles on special for the evening. If it’s below 105 degrees, the patio is a nice spot, overlooking the intersection of Cedar Springs and Maple, but busy with uptown socialites and pizza lovers alike.
Wherever you sit, skip over the entrees on your first visit and go for a pie. The dough on this pizza is a perfect medium for carrying toppings covered in cheese. This doughy crust makes some pick up the silverware, or make others do the pizza fold. Available toppings are fairly traditional (and, unfortunately, lacking truffle oil) and the set pizzas are all good starting points. The marinara and white pizzas are good basics, or try the bolognese to upgrade your American pie.
Do go for the entrees eventually–after you try three kinds of pizzas, the lemon sole piccata is worth a shot.
Location: 2404 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 214-855-4999
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m to 12 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Service: Prompt, though not terribly friendly
Ambiance: Uptown hangout
Attire: Business casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer and wine served
Seating: Indoor and patio