25 January 2013

Pies and Pints

Pies and Pints is a small pizza chain that started in West Virginia. The first central Ohio location opened in Worthington. If you watch as much food television as I do, you may have seen Pies and Pints on the Cooking Channel special Pizza Outside the Box

The concept is gourmet hand tossed pizzas paired with a choice selection of craft beers. There are standard options and more adventurous selections, like grape and gorgonzola pie that was on the Cooking Channel special. 

There are about 30 draft beers. There are plenty of Ohio brews available, including Weasel Boy, Columbus Brewing and Elevator.

There are a limited number of meatless appetizers and salads as starters. The chips and salsa, while not exactly typical pizza shop fare, are fresh and brightly flavored.

The rosemary garlic flatbread is served with a whipped goat cheese and balsamic dip. The appearance is one-note, lacking flash, but it tastes explosive. The tartness of the vinegar and the richness of the cheese flesh out the underlying smokiness of the bread.

The pizza crust is thick enough to hold a voluminous weight in toppings. Splitting a half-and-half large pizza is a good way to sample multiple varieties of the pies.

The roasted mushroom pizza was a perfect marriage of earthy essence punched by garlic. The garlic cloves were roasted so well that they melted in my mouth like a sweet whisper.

The black bean pie is a riff on the traditional Tex-Mex Mexican pizza. Beans take the place of red sauce, and they provide a medium-spicy base to the pie along with the ribbons of jalapeño  pepper. Cilantro gives it a nice freshness, and the creme fraiche adds a nice zip.

The pesto pizza is swirled with the ubiquitous green Italian sauce atop mozzarella and tomato. Tomato often gets a mushy texture when overcooked on a pizza; the Pies and Pints pizza was topped with perfectly cooked tomato.

The white pizza was classic for the style. Some of the ricotta pooled up into viscous pools that were overly pasty. While flawed, it was still very good.

The chocolate peanut butter brownie terrine is a nice conclusion to the meal if you save room for dessert. It looks as good as it tastes.

Service at Pies and Pints was mixed. A weekend evening visit had its expected wait time underestimated by about 40 minutes. Orders came slowly. A weekday visit saw much more even service. Consistency will need to be maintained if they're aiming for return business.

Pies and Pints on Urbanspoon

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