An announcement today may squash any further debate about whether The Heights is Houston's hottest dining neighborhood of 2015. Cane Rosso — the Dallas-based, critically acclaimed, Neapolitan pizza restaurant — is coming to The Heights.
"We’ve been wanting to get after this for a long time, but we had a lot going on," owner Jay Jerrier tells CultureMap. "We’ve had so many stops and starts about so many different locations in Houston, but we were finally able to string it together."
Since Jerrier founded Cane Rosso in 2011, the restaurant has taken Dallas by storm — earning international acclaim for its rigorously authentic, VPN-certified pizza that uses high quality, locally-sourced toppings. The Houston location will be the fifth outpost in Cane Rosso's growing empire.
"I have friends who live down in Houston. They said the Heights is definitely where you want to be."
After touring various neighborhoods throughout Houston, Jerrier settled on a 4,000 square feet space at 1835 N. Shepherd that will put him within walking distance of Hunky Dory, Bernadine's, Southern Goods, Ka Sushi, Hugs & Donuts and Fat Cat Creamery. "That’s a bonus for us that there’s donuts and ice cream across the street," Jerrier says with a laugh.
"I have friends who live down in Houston. They said the Heights is definitely where you want to be," Jerrier adds.
If all goes according to plan, Cane Rosso will begin construction in July or August with an eye towards a December opening. Of course, the usual caveats about receiving permits in a timely fashion applies.
Recently, Jerrier sampled pizza at several Houston restaurants, including Weights + Measures, Provisions and Pizaro's, the most direct competitor for Cane Rosso.
"There’s good pizza (in Houston). There wasn’t any awful pizza. It’s all really different than what we do," Jerrier says of his scouting expedition. "Houston’s a pretty sophisticated food city. I think we’ll find a lot of people who like it. I think it’ll be a good fit. There wasn’t a ton of real Neapolitan pizza down there. Most of the pizza we had was crispier than ours."
Odds are that people will like it. Cane Rosso has received just about every honor imaginable, from a visit by Guy Fieri to being ranked as some of the best pizza in America.
Will Houston also see a location of Zoli's, the New York-style pizza restaurant that Jerrier describes as being "for people who hate Cane Rosso?
"You never know," Jerrier replies.