I hit up Taverna Rossa one day and I said: “I’d really like to review your place for the blog. Will you feed us in exchange for an honest review?” They said, “Sure, freeloader.” And I said, “Guilty as charged.”
Bonus Fun Stuff:10 Local DFW Places To Get Hand-Crafted Chocolates.
So I invited some of my closest, busomest buddies and we drove off to Southlake (in the gorgeous rocket orange, fully loaded Mustang that Ford lent me for the week). Free food, free car — I was flying pretty high, you guys, no lie. But I digress.
This location is in a new part of Southlake off East Southlake Blvd. with ample parking and plenty of stores to shop around in the area. From their website, I read: “The menu was created in collaboration with culinary consultant Brian Luscher, Chef/Owner of The Grape in Dallas, whose influence elevates every bite to pizza perfection.” Yeah, well; we’ll see about that.
My first impression on walking in was “uh oh, it’s loud in here.” You guys know how this bugs the ish out of me. But, I’m middle aged with tinnitus, you know? I get cranky as soon as the beat drops. For a Tuesday evening, this place had some peoples.
We are seated cordially by the host and greeted by our server, whose name I didn’t write down. (Her first name didn’t start with “Cheese” so why would I? I’m a terrible person.) We ask for her recommendations because there’s a lot to choose from.
Perusing this substantial menu of upgraded pub fare, my first thought was “this menu has a serious cheese focus.” Cheese is my destiny. Their tagline is CRAFT BEER & PIZZA, but it should just be, “Where Cheese Is Cheese President of the United States of Cheesy Cheese.” You’re welcome. You can have that for free, Taverna.
Let the cheese begin
Flavorful pizza dough crisps front and center. Luscious goat with lemon herb basil and candied nuts. Pimiento with roasted chiles and tillamook cheddar. It tastes even better than it sounds, if that’s possible.
These delicate mushrooms are stuffed with goat cheese and sausage, with a cream sauce over top, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese added because why not. We fought over these. I’m not proud, ok? This little ramekin needed to be a 55-gallon drum.
Another table favorite. We spent the most time talking about this one, which is part of what makes cheese boards (charcuterie) so much fun, in my opinion. The fresh pepper jam was from Luscombe Farms, the cheese wedges from Pachi Pachi. Local Yocal often appears on the board, along with HAMM’s meat market out of McKinney and Luscher’s Red Hots supplies salamis and prosciutto. There are some pickled veggies on the board too, and of course nuts. It needed another sweet, like some candied nuts or some fresh/dried figs or another jam. It also had some heat. We are kind of wusses but that was surprising. A lovely board all in all, the talk of the evening, and I’d get this again and again just to see what changes every time.
We did eventually move past cheesy dishes, albeit reluctantly.
This Rossa BLT was a table favorite, but Roy was the biggest fan. How can a BLT be that big of a deal? When it has crispy pancetta instead of traditional breakfast bacon, light lemon-garlic aioli instead of mayo, a rich farm egg instead of grocery store egg, and the list goes on. When you go for brunch, you will eat this. I NEED you to eat this. That’s a caprese salad on the side – the perfect complement, but you can also get fingerling potatoes or veggies. We HAMMERED through this, ya’ll.
Oh, and about that craft pizza…
The pizza was good. The crust was fabulous. We were divided on the pizza flavors. The Smokey Pie had a nice goat cheese balancing out the sweetness of the brisket but Jody and I agreed that brisket should be a stand-alone. Renee LOVED The Farmer’s Pie but I thought it had unnecessary heat, as in spice heat, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other unique and tasty noshes. None of us notices the Local Goat & Fig Pie until it was too late, but it’s definitely on our future to-eat list. There’s even a pizza called Brussels & Ham, which is exactly as it sounds. I’d eat that but no one else at our table would.
All photos by FunCityStuff.com. Featured image includes the Spicy Daisy $11, which includes housemade blood orange habanero puree. This experience was a hosted dinner .