I have posted about Dough Pizzeria before, but you really cannot say enough about this fabulous restaurant. And while the word is out in San Antonio, as evidenced by the crowd and hour long wait at 6:00p (relax…have a glass of wine, the food is well worth it), Dough is about to get some (more…they were previously written up in Food and Wine Magazine) much deserved national attention. This time televised, as Guy Fieri stopped by to showcase Dough on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives.
On this stop of my Triple D Tour, a couple of friends joined, a Girls’ Night Out planned a couple months ago, long before Fieri following was even a factor. As with any proper GNO, you start with cocktails or a bottle of wine. This time, a bottle of a very good Primativo. Half a glass in, conversation and laughter flowing, enjoying our ring side seats at the heart and hearth of the action in front of the enormous wood-burning oven, the appetizers arrive: Winter Burrata (with a porcini, mascarpone, ricotta, & truffle oil filling with melted leeks and oak roasted mushrooms) and Oak Roasted Mushroom Bruschetta (with whole roasted garlic cloves and sun-dried tomatoes).
So what happens when three girlfriends – together for the first time in two months, a glass of wine down, another in hand, action all around – start eating these amazing appetizers? Silence. An almost Zen-like food induced trance, broken only by the only slightly audible moan and hum that snaps you to, with the thinking realization…“Was that out loud?” Creamy. Tangy. Crunchy. Earthy. Sensual. You savor. Relishing a transient time talking only ruins. Your tongue otherwise deliciously occupied. We had a few of these moments, laughing joyously after each. More wonderful conversation, a sip of wine, a sip of water. Then rapt again in the food.
Next – the Pork Love pizza. Crisp dough sauced slightly with fresh tomato sauce, piled with pancetta, speck, Italian sausage and salami on a bed of Fior di Latte. Hushed whispers of oooohhhh. Eyes closing involuntarily. Yes…love indeed. And if that was not enough, we indulged in the amazing Nutella Panino, toasted bread filled with heavenly Nutella, drizzled with caramel surrounding a mound of fresh whipped cream. What choice did we have? After all, it was World Nutella Day. Again, we paused for a moment of silence.
And while you do experience instances of quiet intimacy with the food at Dough, ultimately a meal at Dough is incredibly lively and social. Tables of families, friends, couples, commiserating happily between bites. A place where you can sit by a friendly neighbor who along with sharing a wonderful story of being on the very first episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at a place called Mac and Ernie’s in Tarpley, Texas, also shares a piece of candied pancetta that leaves you temporarily speechless, smiling. Then continuing your conversation, chatting happily about the bite you just had and other delightful bits.
Dough never disappoints, down to every detail. The food is impeccable, delicious. The service is gracious yet informative; the staff incredibly knowledgeable (way beyond just regurgitating the menu). The atmosphere warm, welcoming, like being hugged close by a dear friend. I could rave about Dough all day. Just try to shut me up! Another piece of that candied pancetta should do it.