Author Topic: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.  (Read 5475 times)

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Offline robert40

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Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« on: September 10, 2008, 12:25:42 PM »


Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 12:34:00 PM »
This may be one to watch.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/175506.html
"Their oven of choice is made by Woodstone, the brand used at places like the original California Pizza Kitchen. They found it several months ago at the Piedmont Natural Gas test kitchen."


IMO an odd choice of ovens.

PNW

Offline scott r

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 01:28:42 PM »
I don't think it's that odd.  We have a pizzeria here in Boston with the same oven, and it does put out a pizza with a crust very similar to what I have had in New Haven.  It doesn't seem like under 3 minutes would be possible, but I guess cranked all the way up with a very thin pizza it could do it.  I have attended a seminar of Peter's, and I have also spoken to Ed Lavine about both of their preferences on styles of pizza.  On this forum I feel like we can be a bit obsessive about hotter is better.  Ed, Peter, Jeff Varsano, myself, and a handful of other people that I know have have really spent a lot of time trying all of the famous pizzerias throughout the country and even in Naples Italy.  We have come to the conclusion that our favorite pizza is not necessarily cooked in the fastest oven.  There is some really nice character that comes with a pizza that is cooked a bit slower than what is possible.  I personally love a 1 minute pie now and then, but I don't think it's the end all be all determining factor for "the best possible pizza", and it certainly limits you to what you can use for cheese and toppings.  Having said this, I still am considering selling one of my prized vintage guitars to help fund the purchase of a real Neapolitan oven.  It sure would be nice to have the option of a pizza baked at any speed!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 01:40:28 PM by scott r »

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 12:39:29 PM »
My "odd choice of ovens" is based upon not liking CPK or anything that comes out of the Woodstone @ Whole Foods, New Seasons Market (Portland), Market of Choice (NW), etc. Those pizza's are always so colorless and lifeless (? can a pizza be alive?) .

Obviously if anyone is going to get a great pizza from any oven then Peter Reinhart would be a guy to do so. Always enjoyed his Brother Juniper San Francisco restaurant and his books.


PNW

Offline scott r

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2008, 01:30:28 PM »
I'm with you PNW, all those places put out some lifeless pizza. Thats a great way of describing it.  This is a different oven than you see at most of those places.  It's not really based on a traditional wood burning oven like the bulk of their products.   Its more like a souped up deck oven with some serious mass in there. 
Here is a link. http://www.woodstone-corp.com/products_ovens_firedeck_8645.htm

Offline shango

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 01:32:08 PM »
I would be surprised to see him getting his gas fired Woodstone up to the 800-1000 degree mark he claims to bake at. 
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Offline scott r

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 02:17:20 PM »
That does seem impossible.  The pizzeria using this oven in Boston is baking an 8 minute pie, although the pizza is on the thick side and the oven is probably not all the way up.  Still, that 3 minute or less pizza that Peter mentions is going to be tough to get for sure.  I have a feeling that the pizzas at Pie Town are going to come in at around the 4-5 minute mark.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 12:04:07 PM by scott r »

Offline jimd

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 11:04:50 AM »
It will be interesting to see how Peter Reinhert's pizza turns out. About 4 years ago, Mr. Reinhert gave a one-evening pizza-making class at a local Sur La Table store. I was really excited about it, but ended up really disappointed. He used the dough recipe in his Bread Baker' Apprentice Book (a very good book for bread), and announced to the class that this would be the best pizza ever tasted. He cooked a couple of pies with dough he had brought with him. The taste was simply "flat" and "bready", and I left with the feeling that being an expert in baking bread (and he is one of the best) does not necessarily translate into making a great pizza dough. I remember that PizzaNapoletana some time ago posted about the difference between a great bread and a great pizza dough, and that very different techniques were needed for each.

Nonetheless, given his Reinhert's commitment to quality, I am hopeful that his new place will be worth a visit.

Offline shango

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2008, 12:03:44 PM »
I too hope, and expect this to be a great pizza.

However, I find this very expensive firedeck woodstone to be a strange choice. 

I have seen these things in action, and maybe it was the dough formula, not the oven, but it wasn't very impressive.

If it were me, and I was going the gas fired route, I would still buy a dome oven.  Or, I would buy an actual deck oven, like a Blodgett.
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Offline varasano

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2008, 12:07:10 PM »
I went on a 22 pizzeria tour in July and I'm pretty sure that the woodstone model above was the one used by Eli's in Hamden CT. At least is looks just like it.  I gave that pie the worst ranking of the trip.  It was in the Pepe's style, but the execution was terrible.  I also had some service problems there too, but I usually don't let that cloud my judgement of the pizza. So my last place ranking was really for the pizza. To date I have had zero good pizzas out of a woodstone. I don't know the reason and I can't say for sure it's the oven, but I'm still waiting on one good bite out of one. It's probably zero for 30 or 40. Maybe more, who knows.


Offline scott r

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2008, 01:57:57 PM »
I didn't have any intention of taking a pro woodstone stance here, as I do think the ovens are overpriced.  I think I may be jumping in here with a positive spin mostly because I really have a soft spot for Peter Reinhart.  This could be clouding my vision, but I attended a seminar of his and I really thought he seemed like such a warm and welcoming person. He is also an excellent public speaker and I think he must be an amazing teacher.  I really want to love his pizza, and I am sure that even with this woodstone he has the ability to do something special.  Right now I am just keeping my fingers crossed hoping for positive reports.

The pizzeria here in Boston using the same oven that he bought is called Picco. Although I think they use too much of a too chunky sauce, I do find their pizza to be one of the most consistent and highest quality I can find in the area.  For what it's worth Ed Lavine told me that it was in his opinion the best pizzeria in Boston.  Let's not forget that woodstone makes many different types of ovens, and this is the one I see the least.  Most are loosely based on Italian ovens, but have a really high dome and a huge mouth.  This one appears to be an original design.  I did a little searching on the internet last night, and the top temperature seems to be around 600 degrees which would certainly give them the ability to make a New Haven style crust.  I know that Gary Bimonte (the owner of Pepe's) has said that a large plain pizza typically takes about 8 minutes in their oven.

Offline Jraducha

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Re: Peter Reinhart opens Pie Town in Charlotte.
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 03:50:56 AM »
"Their oven of choice is made by Woodstone, the brand used at places like the original California Pizza Kitchen. They found it several months ago at the Piedmont Natural Gas test kitchen."


IMO an odd choice of ovens.

PNW

I totally agree.  There is way better ovens out there.