Author Topic: Peter Taylor's new restaurant  (Read 6265 times)

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Offline Bobino414

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Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« on: March 21, 2012, 02:27:44 PM »
Article in Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) today.



http://www.tampabay.com/features/food/restaurants/article1220776.ece


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 03:11:19 PM »
I'm surprised to see the SF and not a PT oven???

I wish I ever had a reason to go to FL, I'd love to try his pies!

CL
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 04:01:23 PM »
Me too gotta get there
You see some of the hot topping craze with the  sprouts,  and pistachios
$18 for a 12"er whew that sweet !
He deserves it and sure he knows what this good ingredients are worth
J
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Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 10:42:28 PM »
Hey all,  by chance only,  in January,  My wife and I were roaming around Florida,  ending up in St pete Beach for a couple nights.   Had heard about the world of beer and while taking a ride into St Pete proper,  decided to stop in for a beer.  Thats when I remembered hearing early talk of this beer only bar,  no food,  and wfp.  We parked and saw wood fired in progress.  There was Pete.  A Man nice enough to have spent over an hour of his time talking me out of opening a pizza place in NH a couple years ago. I mean that in the best possible way.  A seroiusly smart guy,  and one of those guys that gets IT.  When reading the review there and thinking about the prices,  put it into perspective,  think of a primo part of St Pete,  cities like that are not cheap for anything.  I will keep this simple.  As I told Peter,  after a long conversation in person,  which was delightful,  was that part of our trip involved going to the original wood fired in Tampa before flying out the next day.  He was honest enough to ask me not to go at night on a friday as it were,  as it would be too busy,  so we went at lunch instead.  It was quiet,  as he predicted,  and the oven was rolling along gently.  For any of us that have this much interest in pizzamaking,  and have climbed anywhere near the level that he has,  have to understand,  that on our best nights,  maybe we could make a better pizza,  or let me rephrase,  on more suited to our tastes.  That being said,  My wife and I agreed that this was the the single best pizza we have ever bought.  It was a pizza raquel,  and the balance and quality of ingredients was top notch.   His starter tasted excellent.  Peter,  if you read this,  this is the honest truth.  The only problem with the whole experience,  was the lack of enthusiasm on part of the staff.  I know they were all in a state of transition to the new venture,  but I urge you to never take your eye off the prize,  thats the customer,  not the pizza.  I felt like a secret shopper,  and not all tests were passed that day, luckily the pizza did shine through.  To answer the question about the oven,  Peter told me that the town would not allow the Raquel oven without a UL certification,  hence the move to the SF.  As Peter says,  its all in the eye.  The pizza is done when its done.  Lookning forward to the next time I get to run into pft.  -Marc

Offline JConk007

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:38:12 PM »
Marc .
Hope you dont think I was complaining about the price of the pizza? (jealous of it yes)  I am sure it is more than worth any and every penny of it! Peter is a true Master and very inspirational to me ! The Raquel thread should be a real Gold label !! newbies here, if you have not read it. dont wait!!
As for the beer,  I went to a few seminars at the expo 2012  and Craft beers were a very very  hot topic and a highly recommended product  to acompany well craft pizza as Peter produces, Just perfect together !! People who appreciate a  good beer obviously appreciate a well constructed pizza, and vice versa! It just works.like 25- 30% of  gross sales works!
I will stop in for sure if I every visit  Fla.  As a matter o fact next year when I hit Orlando  I am planning to make the trip to Tampa. I only hope I can meet PFT in Person as well
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline BTB

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 10:49:37 AM »
WHERE ART THOU, PETER TAYLOR? ? ?  Now in St. Petersburg, Florida      :)      ;D   

After seeing the surprising article in the local newspaper (Tampa Bay Times), my wife and I went for lunch yesterday at Peter's new blockbuster Wood Fired Pizza restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.  I had heretofore no idea that he was planning to set up a second restaurant in the area.  But he has an ideal and beautiful location right in the heart of a very active business and tourist area of the western coast of Florida (which is much closer to our home in Treasure Island, FL than the north Tampa restaurant's location). 
 
A surprisingly large restaurant with a lot of "inside" tables and a lot of patio and grass area tables at which those with pets (dogs) can bring them along to enjoy the atmosphere and great tasting food, beverages, wine and beer.  This was indeed a very bold move on Peter's part, but I have no doubt that it will be a huge success in time when the populace learn of the great "jewel" that they have in their mist.  I think Peter said that their "grand opening" won't be till April 14th or so and that they are trying to work out the many "bugs" that exist with any new restaurant endeavor.
 
I am just super impressed with the physical layout and location of their new "flagship" restaurant and encourage all to visit and support this great new pizza-loving enterprise.  It is really great.

                                                                            --BTB

Offline BTB

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 10:53:55 AM »
My wife had the Pizza Raquel and I also had a Pizza Raquel, but added Italian sausage (my favorite ingredient).  Both were great, but a little different from the North Tampa location when last there.  The pizza at the new second location was a little thinner and much crispier, which on one hand was better to me, but a little shallow on ingredients.  The sausage on my pizza was good, but not great, and was a little "meager," but I remember Peter telling me before that he wasn't satisfied with the source of some good sausage in the area.  On that he still needs to work on as sausage is one of the most popular pizza ingredients where I come from (and also not to be so frugal with the sausage).  But in no respect did it detract from our great pizza eating experience.

And the dough/crust at the original location seem slightly "lighter and fluffier" than that at the new location.  But with any new enterprise, they will go through periods of adjustment and revisions and I have no doubts that they will be one of the most successful businesses in the area.  Peter had mentioned that the oven that he was permitted to use by local authorities wasn't ideal, but would in time work it out. When you come to the sunshine state, you'll have a great pizza destination to come to here in St. Petersburg on you way to Disney World and other Florida sun and fun spots.

                                                                                          --BTB
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 12:21:34 PM by BTB »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 11:53:54 AM »
Pete Taylor emailed me a link this morning to another review of his new digs: http://cltampa.com/tampa/wood-fired-pizza-pie-for-all/Content?oid=2882806.

He also provided a link to a blog review at http://realbha.blogspot.com/.

Peter

Offline bakeshack

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 03:06:56 PM »
Peter had mentioned that the oven that he was permitted to use by local authorities wasn't ideal, but would in time work it out.

                                                                                          --BTB

I don't understand.  Isn't he using a Stefano Ferrara oven already in his new location?


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 04:23:22 PM »
I don't understand.  Isn't he using a Stefano Ferrara oven already in his new location?

I think he's saying the SF is not ideal. He builds his own ovens too.

His oven probably has to be UL to meet code at the new location.

CL
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 04:29:06 PM »
Here is Peter with the oven he built for the Tampa location.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline bakeshack

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »
Got it.  Thanks Craig!  The oven he made looks like it was patterned after Neapolitan ovens as well but I can see why he prefers to use his own.

Marlon

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 06:27:28 PM »
"Master pizza maker Peter Taylor of Wood Fired Pizza in Tampa so thoroughly dedicated himself to making pizza, it became an all-consuming obsession.

After several years in operation in New Tampa, he is the only one who he trusts to handle the oven, and only this year did he open another location in downtown St. Petersburg."


http://www2.tbo.com/news/life/2012/mar/28/pizza-places-getting-fired-up-for-pricy-pies-ar-385769/
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Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 11:03:49 AM »
Living in Tampa, and working less than a mile from Peter's first Wood Fired Pizza, I've been to lunch there dozens of times and recommended the pizza to everyone I know. Service there has always been spotty, but the pizza has been extraordinary.

I have to say that his Tampa location pizza has gone down a bit in quality since Peter has been over in St Pete getting that place up and running. I equate it to a great artist who then passes on his techniques to his apprentices. Some apprentices may get it and some may not, but the artwork is usually never as good as the master's.

If you are going to develop and produce "artisan" pizzas, then this naturally requires an artist.

I now can make a great "Raquel" style pizza at home (after reading the entire Raquel thread and experimenting for a couple of years), so I go to Wood Fired less than I used to. The only thing missing is the "char" of the high heat woodfired oven.

I wonder...those of you who make great pizzas at home...do you still seek out pizza restaurants?

PS. This is not at all a knock on Peter and his efforts. He is amazing in how smart he is and how driven he is. His level of intensity is a bit intimidating.


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 11:52:04 AM »
Craig, I just had a good laugh reading that article.  So many funny lines in there.

"My husband is authentic Italian, and this this is the kind of pizza he would make," DeVesta says

So her husband is not only Italian but he's "Authentic" Italian.   :-D  Again, the mindset that if you are not Italian you wouldn't, can't know what real pizza is.  Or that one has to be of Italian descent to understand what real pizza is.  

Bavaro imported wood from Estonia for six months before finding a steady, quality source of oak in Florida with just the right 7 percent moisture content for his oven.  Not to mention how to pace the flow of new wood into the oven based on how many pizzas are coming out.

Is anyone here on this forum measuring the moisture content of their wood?  

And the bit about Peter only trusting himself with the oven.  I don't even know if this is true or not, but if it is, it made me laugh.  Anyone can learn how to work an oven, it's just a skill and it can be learned fairly quickly if one is doing it on a daily basis.  

Even the strain of yeast, the variety of flour, the type of salt, and the mineral makeup of water make a difference.

"You can take a guy who's been making pizza 20 years, and you put him in front of one of these ovens, and he won't be able to do it," said Anthony Bruno, founder of Pompano Beach-based Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza.


While this all holds some truth, the differences are minor not major as the article makes it sound..  The article makes it sound like these pizzerias are controlling all of these variables within very tight parameters.  You can tell the author doesn't know much about pizza.  

Chau
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:52:34 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 12:07:25 PM »
Craig, I just had a good laugh reading that article.  So many funny lines in there.

While this all holds some truth, the differences are minor not major as the article makes it sound..  The article makes it sound like these pizzerias are controlling all of these variables within very tight parameters.  You can tell the author doesn't know much about pizza.  

Chau

I don't know...maybe you are underestimating your own skill and "artistry". Anyone can be taught to paint a nice picture but not everyone will be able to paint a Starry Night.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 12:17:48 PM »
I hear what you are saying but if Peter is as much of an artist as they paint him out to be, then there wouldn't be a 2nd location period.  You can't be baking pizzas at two places unless you have a twin or a clone.   At some point you either really believe that no one can do it better than you, or you train someone trustworthy so you can open up more restaurants or enjoy the time off.   It just seems that there is much hype and drama that gets written into articles and news, otherwise it's just not as interesting to read.  

And when it comes to pizza and other things, there's always the possibility of the student becoming better than the master.  That's why most hold their secrets so tightly.  It's not because they are the only ones who can do it or they only trust themselves.  It's truely b/c they fear that others can do it better.

And not to take anything away from Peter or his accomplishments.  I'm sure he is a great person and pizza maker.  But we are only pizza makers after all, not Van Goghs.  I also would not be surprise to hear if Anthony Mangieri opens a 2nd place some day, now that he has expanded his menu.  

« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 08:07:21 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 02:23:56 PM »
I thought people would get a kick out if it. I posted it someplace too - specifically about the wood comment. I thought it was the funniest of all.

CL
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Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 07:33:50 PM »
 But we are only pizza makers after all, not Van Goghs.  

Quite sobering. I guess you're right, Van Gogh didn't paint a starry night for every customer.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 09:29:02 PM »
I also would not be surprise to hear if Anthony Mangieri opens a 2nd place some day, now that he has expanded his menu.  

I would.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 09:31:30 PM »
Quite sobering. I guess you're right, Van Gogh didn't paint a starry night for every customer.

And I'm not going to cut off my ear and give it to a prostitute because the voices are telling me that Chau bakes a better pizza than I do...  :-D
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline BTB

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2012, 10:01:55 AM »
Peter Taylor's new restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg, FL is one of the most beautiful restaurant locations in the country.  The warm, sunny "outdoor" experience is phonomenal and I have no doubt that when some little bugs are worked out of his system that it will become renowned and fantastically successful in a very short time. 

It is such a great location and has such fantastic potential that the North Tampa location cannot possibly match that, and only a "fool" would have passed up the opportunity for this highly successful business at this incredibly great, new location.  Not only is Peter a great pizzamaker, but also a "smart" business person.  You need both to stay ahead of the crowd . . . or else you'll have NO great pizzas to leave behind for anyone.

I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

                                                                        --BTB                   :-D

Offline rpmfla

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 10:08:49 AM »
Bottom line is that the pizzas are not as good as when Peter was here at the Tampa location full time. I'm still going to Wood Fired Pizza for lunch about every week, and will be there tomorrow, so it isn't like it is bad pizza...just not as great as it was. The service there is also horrible, and always has been the weakest element, but the quality of the pizza used to overcome our frustration with the service. Now it is leveling out more and I am not going as often.

There are so many little factors that can add up to a great pizza or an average pizza. Just in the use of a natural starter alone, there are numerous factors which can greatly effect the dough...starter type, amount, maturity, temperature, etc.
If someone other than Peter is handling the starter and is getting lazy about it the finished product can be affected greatly.

I think once you have the dough and other ingredients as they should be, the actual oven work can be learned fairly quickly.

A little story about my first visit to Wood Fired Pizza...

My friend at work, Chucker McGee, is a ceramicist. He has built several kilns to fire his pottery. He is also a pizza fanatic (almost as much as I am) and he actually built a rudimentary wood burning pizza oven out behind the Fine Arts building here on campus, sort of hidden amongst the much larger ceramics kilns. It isn't a great oven for pizza making but it gets the job done. So he actually had some experience with cooking pizza in a wood fired oven.

He told me about a new pizza place he wanted to try, so he and I (along with a few other friends) went to Wood Fired Pizza & Wine Bar for our Friday lunch.

During lunch, I noticed that the big, white-haired guy at the oven seemed to be wincing in pain and frequently stopping and wrapping his hand in a towel with ice. After we were done eating our fantastic pizzas, on the way out the guy was sitting there in pain so I stopped and asked if he was ok. He said he had burned himself on some steam while prepping something in the back and now getting his burned hand near the opening of the oven was very painful.

We all introduced ourselves and said how great the pizzas were, then everyone but Chucker and I moved out to their respective vehicles. Chucker and I, being pizza fanatics, stayed and talked a while with Peter. He mentioned that he knew they were going to be swamped that night (being a Friday night) and he didn't know how he'd be able to do it with the amount of pain he was in every time he got near the oven with that hand. So I did the most logical thing...

I volunteered Chucker as an experienced wood fired oven pizza assistant that evening.

Well, to make a longer story shorter, Chucker did work for Peter that night, and the following Monday I got the story of how it went. He said Peter had him doing everything, from working the oven, to making the cheese...every aspect of the process...and worked him extremely hard. He absolutely loved the experience! Peter was very grateful and gave Chucker a lifetime employee discount (I even get a small discount for the initial suggestion).

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2012, 10:14:57 AM »
Nice post and great story rpmfla.   I absolutely agree with your post about pizza making in general, especially with a starter.  If someone doesn't really know how to maintain or use it properly, it change the pizza drastically.

Btw, whose oven is that and what happened?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 10:17:27 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Peter Taylor's new restaurant
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2012, 11:36:07 AM »
I suggest to those with the "starry night" and Van Gogh visions to . . . . cork the bottle ! ! !

Not going to happen.

One of my favorite cartoons - maybe because it reminds me of me and my wife:
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage


 

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