You know, back in the day we never got the whole beer thing: the kickin’ back on the couch, watchin’ some football, sippin’ some cold brewskis like Bud, Coors Light, or PBR. But then, then when we tried real beer, we were enlightened. And thanks to our own red-haired beer Buddha, Gerard, we’ve reached an even higher state of enlightenment! Gerard is one of the owners at Coalhouse Pizza, and he has opened up a whole new world of beer and possibilities to us.
If you’re a beer and pizza lover, Coalhouse Pizza is a go-to for you. First of all, there’s a beer club to join for $20 that gets you a heap of really cool discounts, specials, and a nice Coalhouse Pizza mug. Secondly, the beer selection here is killer. There are tons of choices, but also a really fun selection of beers that are rotating in and out of tap. Last of all, Gerard loves to float around from table to table and dispense his advice. He’s really great with food and beer pairings and he can really help you to discover new beers as long as you’re open to change. I was, so I went with a thick, heavy, Jack & Kens from Sierra Nevada that was on tap.
We started with some wings, half in Mojo Hot Sauce, the other in Chipotle BBQ . The wings here are pretty good, but different than any other wings you’ve probably ever had. They bread them with panko so they end up being really crispy and crunchy on the outside, but nice and juicy on the inside. The Chipotle wings had a sweet, smoky taste, cut with a very slight spiciness. The other wings, in Mojo, were still smoky tasting, but were much sweeter, and also spicier. We liked the Chipotle more, though we’d love it to be spicier because we LOVE heat. The Jack & Kens paired very well with the wings, making a great combo.
Before we could finish our wings, the Love Supreme salad came out. This was a good contrast to the heaviness of the wings. With spinach, almonds, golden raisins, onions, cilantro, and marinated artichoke hearts, a really light and tasty tomato dressing was served on top. This was a really nice salad and would be wonderful in the summer in their outside seating.
Then came the big boy: our Unforgettable pizza. Kristien and I were split on our opinions of this one. Start with a layer of Coalhouse-made vodka sauce, then throw in chunks of nitrate-free bacon, heaping amounts of pecorino romano, some fresh basil, then crank on some fresh black pepper. I loved the contrast in savory from the smoky chunks of bacon with the bite of the cheese, along with the thin crust. Kristien wanted more sauce and I could see what she was saying, but I still think it was a solid pizza. When we go here, I usually get the Crossroads and Kristien usually gets Kind of Blue, which is her own Kind of Heaven.
To end, Kristien went with her absolute favorite here and what she has claimed as the best cheesecake ever: Ricotta Cheesecake. This recipe is actually from the chef’s family, a Sicilian gem. It’s very different from any other cheesecake you’ve ever had, more authentically Italian. I had the Brutti Ma Buoni, “Ugly But Good.” Well, it wasn’t really ugly, but it was good. :) I had two nice scoops of Buck’s Strawberry ice cream, set between the ugly cookie. It’s a meringue, toasted almond cookie that was crispy, yet chewy at the same time. If you love strong almond flavors in your dessert, this is a good one to go with.
Coalhouse Pizza is the kind of place you could just keep coming back to on any ‘ole day to relax. With the quality ingredients, often times locally sourced, and the variety of salads, pizzas, and beer you can come back often and try new things over and over. Always keep an eye out for paired beer dinners such as Sierra Nevada, Best of the Belgians, or the upcoming Oskar Blues dinner on March 21 for $60 pp. They’re ending with the TenFidy Stout–served up in a glass and also worked into some ice cream! :) Yum. See you there.
Update, 4/3/11: Coalhouse Pizza and Gerard featured on “Toni on New York.” Check end of video, but also shows Hope Pizza and Colony Grill before. We’ve also updated the nom rating to 3.5 because the food has definitely gotten better!Noms: 3.5 Cost: $$$ Coalhouse Pizza
Address: 85 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: (203) 977-7700
$25 or more required for delivery within Stamford $50 min for delivery for Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien, New Canaan, Pound Ridge