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New Recipe at Del Ray Pizzeria

Chef Eric Reid tinkers with sauce and lands more space to let dough age.

If you’ve been to Del Ray Pizzeria in the last few weeks, you might have noticed the pizza tastes a bit different.

Chef Eric Reid recently tinkered with the sauce recipe and a new walk-in freezer upstairs at the restaurant has allowed him to age the dough for tastier results.

The aging lets the dough rise slowly and the flavors develop, allowing more of a crispy, golden-brown crust.

With the sauce, Reid said he had been playing with the recipe for a while. He sought feedback from friends and customers, not even telling them he made subtle changes and then poking them for answers.   

“I still don’t know anything about pizza,” Reid joked.

He came to DRP just a few weeks after it opened to help overhaul operations despite pizza having never been a staple on his menus at other restaurants. So, he says, there’s been a learning curve.

Space limitations in the kitchen posed difficulties in getting the proper setup, but the addition of more room upstairs—including a new special event dining room reserved for things like children’s parties and beer dinners—created more space for pursuing the perfect pie.

“With pizza in the name, I figured I had to kick it up,” Reid said.

Reid has also overhauled the format: Deep-dish pizza is now only available as a 12-inch medium, while thin crust is available as a 10-inch small and a 14-inch large. The changes help keep things moving more swiftly in the kitchen, he said. There’s now less of a logjam to get pies in the oven.

The opening of the new special event room is still a few weeks away. Reid assured the people of Del Ray “absolutely do not need to worry” about it being used for overflow seating.

“It’s just for soccer parties,” Reid said. “We haven’t really had a place for that in this town since Generous George’s closed.”

Mark Gorman September 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Tinkering with the sauce recipe - definitely warranted. Past tastings have found it to be wanting. The dough aging should help, too.
Rosemont Rookie September 17, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Yea, the pizza there is pretty awful. Hopefully, there's some progress on that front because it's a great space and atmosphere.
McBrinn September 17, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The funny thing is is that good pizza is about the simplest thing in the world to make. The pizza I make at home- from-scratch dough included- is light years beyond anything I've seen come out of DRP. Google "Mark Bittman" and "Pizza" for starters.
Jules A September 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Good to know they're working on it. I'll wait for good reviews before I pay for another try though.
Del Ray Porch Sitter September 19, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Go Eric! If anyone can make something good even better, it's you. Love the other additions you have made since taking over the kitchen.

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