Monday, January 24, 2011

peel wood fired pizza, edwardsville il
921 south arbor vitae, edwardsville il

always on the hunt for the perfect pizza, carrie and i stopped into this newly opened edwardsville establishment for an early dinner. peel takes its name from the long handled tool bakers use to insert food into a hot oven, and is known for its pizzas cooked in a wood burning oven.

we arrived at peel around 3pm on a tuesday, and save for two other tables, had the place to ourselves. we were seated at a small two top with a nice wooded view. i would imagine the view is even better in nicer weather when there are some leaves on the trees. our server greeted us right away, and presented us with menus and the drink list. peel has a great selection of beer on tap, featuring both american micros and imports. after much debate, i narrowed down my options, and finally made a decision. 

my beer choice was the chimay tripel trappist ale. brewed in a belgian monastery, the tripel is one of four beers produced by chimay. served in chimay's iconic chalice, the triple trappist is a very drinkable beer. limiting myself to just one was difficult.

to get things started, we began with an order of the fire wings. prepared with crushed red pepper, parmesan, grey salt, basil, and roasted garlic olive oil, the wings were good, but not great. i felt that the spice of the red pepper dominated the palate, and would have liked a bit more flavor besides the heat.

along with the wings, we ordered the onion rosemary foccacia with parmesan cream for dipping. the bread was served warm, and was very good. i would not hesitate to order it again, but with a different dipping sauce, as the parmesan cream was just ok.

at peel. the main event is obviously the wood fired pizza. with roughly twenty unique options, narrowing down the list to just two pies (which was still way too much food for the two of us) was a tall task.

pictured on the left, our first selection was the prosciutto. this pie was topped with prosciutto, fingerling potatoes, roasted garlic, fontina, parmesan, roasted garlic olive oil, and fresh rosemary. this pizza was the favorite in both of our eyes, with the potatoes adding an interesting layer from both a flavor and texture standpoint.

on the right, our other choice was the wild mushroom pizza. cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fontina, fresh thyme, white truffle oil, and parmesan cream were the components for this pizza. although this was still a decent pizza, one of the ingredients (which i am unable to pinpoint) was a bit too strong for my taste. both pizzas were made on the same crust, which had a great chewy bite to it. unfortunately, the pizzas were both just a bit greasier than i would have expected and preferred, and i had to hit the bathroom to wash my hands immediately after eating. next time, i will go the knife and fork route.

with our leftovers boxed and ready to go, we were left to ponder dessert. peel was offering a seasonal fruit pizza or a nutella pizza. we opted for the nutella, which was cooked on the same crust as the pizzas, and topped with the famous hazelnut chocolate spread and marshmallows. the dessert, as you might guess, was reminiscent of a s'more, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

overall, our experience at peel was predominantly positive. our service was friendly and attentive, and there wasn't anything we flat out disliked. with that being said, there were a few things i wish we had done a bit different. i look forward to making a return visit to peel in a few months, hopefully with a group, and getting to try several different pies.

Peel Wood Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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