SEEN IN VANCOUVER #584 | ‘Joe Pizza’ Opens Softly At Carrall & Cordova In Gastown

January 9, 2017.

img_7869

by Andrew Morrison | I’d been really looking forward to trying the square, thick-crusted ‘al taglio’ style creations at Joe Pizza so when they opened for a friends and family test service yesterday I skipped my usual Sunday brunch and dug as deep into the stuff as my belly would allow. The crust has a crisped, cornmeal-dusted edge but is otherwise dense on the tooth, a real meal. The tomato sauce is the same stuff you get at sister eatery Pizzeria Farina (which is to say bold and delicious), and the toppings vary broadly.

There were – if I’m not mistaken – ten types being cut yesterday, everything from Margherita and Funghi to Prosciutto and Mortadella. Prices were listed from $5 to $10 a square, so it might seem expensive to those who can’t help but look at it through the cheapened prism of the typical by-the-slice chain operation (where $3 gets you a Coke and a pepperoni-flavoured, oil-slicked cardboard triangle). The quality differential is clear: they use proper cheeses, choice meats and local vegetables, plus the flour is all local and organic with no commercial yeast. There’s also beer.

The space is very comfortable. There’s a great big communal table dominating the eating area, as well as a brace of cozy nooks in the window. I think Casey Burgess and Arnold Chan of Ply Architecture did an excellent job on the space by leaving a lot of it alone, and Glasfurd Walker nailed the simple branding, all the way down to the logo-emblazoned chili flake shakers, napkin dispensers, and staff T-shirts. The whole thing feels like it’s been in place for years, all light and airy like a warm retreat from the elements. It also smells just as good as you think it might.

I imagine the service will be largely the same today and throughout their test week of controlled, day-only practice services. If you want to try some for yourself, give it a shot from 11am to 4pm. Once they’ve got their ducks in a row (a couple of weeks) I’m told they’ll extend their hours through the evening to 9pm. As far as supply goes, they are looking at a capacity 300 pizzas (big rectangular jobs) a day, so I don’t see them be running out just yet.

Here’s some background on Joe Pizza from a story we published back in August:

The award-winning crew behind Kitchen Table Restaurants (Pizzeria Farina, Ask For Luigi, Pourhouse) have just secured Sean Heather’s old Rainier Provisions location on the southwest corner of Carrall and Cordova in Gastown. With it, they’re aiming to launch an unpretentious new counter service restaurant concept called Joe Pizza.

Co-owner/Chef J.C. Poirier walked me through the idea earlier this week, explaining how the 50 seater will be very different from, say, Main Street’s popular Pizzeria Farina. “We’ll be doing a Roman style of pizza called ‘al taglio’, which is very different from traditional Neapolitan.” It’s similar to Roman-style Pane Romano – the rectangular pret-a-manger stuff you can get locally at Sciué. The fast food is cut using scissors and sold by the slice or the entire rectangle (al taglio translating literally as “by the cut”) but the dough is different (local organic flour, no commercial yeast), the oven is different (a German monster with four decks and a ceramic interior – similar to those in the back of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, only much smaller), the thickness is different (about 3/4 inch), and the chew is different (almost crispy).

Poirier explored Rome to really put his finger on what he was looking for, singling out – to me at least – the al taglio at chef Gabriel Bonci’s famed Pizzarium, which Lucky Peach detailed in the video below…

Hungry yet? Yeah, me too. That dough looks so good!

Poirier also tuned to the highly regarded baking frequencies of Marc Vetri in Philadelphia and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, gathering every bit of intel and inspiration he could. And to see the vision through to fruition he’s tapped Tartine alumni Annabelle Choi, who is currently baking her way through a pop-up residency at The Pie Shoppe in Chinatown. She will be Joe Pizza’s Chef de Cuisine. I’ve yet to talk to her about the new restaurant, but I’m pretty familiar with her baking. She’s awesome.

20386485739_8da96bca9f_o

Poirier tells me that they’re looking at doing six different pizzas and a few salads. They’re also playing with an optional gluten-free dough. The goal is to keep everything simple: “The menu will be very focused, very minimal.” In addition to pizza, they’ll be making their own soft serve ice cream (including a vegan option), pouring three beers and two wines on tap (possibly old school pitchers), and developing a signature juice with the guys at The Juice Truck.

Casey Burgess and Arnold Chan of Ply Architecture are on board to do the interior design (they just finished the build at Juke Fried Chicken), which Poirier says will be very different from the current aesthetic. It’s a beautiful old building with great bones, and I’m excited to see this corner of it getting a refresh. To get an idea of what they’ll be working with, the gallery below shows what it has looked like since February 2013 as Rainier Provisions.

Back in the present, Joe Pizza will stay softly opened for controlled services (eg. friends and family) for a few days and then prep for their grand opening, which is expected to be in the first week of February. Here are some photos from the dry-run yesterday:

img_7714 img_7730 img_7791 img_7794 img_7801 img_7846 img_7867 img_7892 img_7924

EXPLORE THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD

#ScoutThis

There is one comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

DINER | After Month-Long Renovations, Shiny ‘Gringo 2.0’ Reopens In Gastown’s Blood Alley

DINER | After Month-Long Renovations, Shiny ‘Gringo 2.0’ Reopens In Gastown’s Blood Alley

by Andrew Morrison | A new, (somehow) even brighter version of the already neon-heavy, irrepressibly effervescent Gringo reopened last night after a month of… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On $18 Coffees And Mia’s Picks For Vancouver’s Best Restaurants

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On $18 Coffees And Mia’s Picks For Vancouver’s Best Restaurants

by Talia Kleinplatz | Is anyone surprised that the most expensive cup of coffee in America is coming out of a cafe in Brooklyn? At $18.00 a cup, that coffee… more 

DINER | ‘Nemesis Coffee’ Opens Softly In The New SFU Building Overlooking Victory Square

DINER | ‘Nemesis Coffee’ Opens Softly In The New SFU Building Overlooking Victory Square

by Andrew Morrison | I like this place already. The coffee is good, the food looks delicious, and the owners are super hands-on. It's only been open for four… more 

OPENING SOON | New “Back & Forth” Bar To Bring Ping Pong And Pints Model To Gastown

OPENING SOON | New “Back & Forth” Bar To Bring Ping Pong And Pints Model To Gastown

by Andrew Morrison | It's said that drinking and sports aren't big buddies. I don't think they mean ping pong and pints. It's a fun game to play over beers,… more 

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE | Window Perches 1 & 2 At Haru Korean Kitchen On Cambie Street

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE | Window Perches 1 & 2 At Haru Korean Kitchen On Cambie Street

A long time ago we posted a reader’s poll listing what we considered to be the top five restaurant tables in Vancouver. We received so much in the way of… more 

OPENING SOON | Large, 90 Seat Location Of ‘La Taqueria’ Coming To Hornby St. This April

OPENING SOON | Large, 90 Seat Location Of ‘La Taqueria’ Coming To Hornby St. This April

by Andrew Morrison | You don't have to squint hard to see the irony of La Taqueria replacing steamed burrito chain Steamrollers at 586 Hornby Street. Not to… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The End Of Latab And The Delicious Things That Refugees Bring

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On The End Of Latab And The Delicious Things That Refugees Bring

by Talia Kleinplatz | Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg just opened a new venture with former Momofuku Ko chef Mitch Bates. "Grey Gardens is just the logical… more 

HEADS UP | Self-Professed #DumplingKing To Host February Pop-Up Series On Powell St.

HEADS UP | Self-Professed #DumplingKing To Host February Pop-Up Series On Powell St.

by Ken Tsui | Just about every culture has a dumpling of sorts, but in Vancouver it's the Chinese dumpling that reigns supreme. Coming in all shapes and sizes,… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh & Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Made By Pacific Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pied-à-Terre Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Sai Woo Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Shika Provisions Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .