Yep! I went back to Pele’s Wood Fire. The breakfast was good, so why not try dinner? I’m going to be brutally honest, if you go to Urbanspoon.com and check out their reviews, you wouldn’t know what to believe. Some hate it, some love it. Right now, it’s sitting at a 56% “like” rating. I don’t understand this. My wife has been there several times, I have now been there twice and they have knocked it out of the park every time. Do people in Jacksonville not know fine dining? Do they not know what a pizza should taste like? Are they expecting pizza along the lines of Little Caesars? I am stumped. Check out the last picture in the video! The power of the stache!
2665 Park St.
Jacksonville, FL. 32204
Location: They are located right in the heart of Riverside on the corner of Park and King. It used to be Carter’s Pharmacy if you are familiar with the area. (yeah, I copied and pasted that part from my review I did of them for breakfast)
Food: We showed up around 6:30pm without reservations and were able to sit at the chef’s bar (I think that’s what they call it). I know they have call ahead seating so if you would rather a booth, I would call them before heading over. We started out with the Fondutta for $9.00. It comes with an alfredo sauce and some of their fresh baked on site bread. The bread was great, nice and moist on the inside and a nice crunch on the edge. The portion size was good, I would get his again. The wife ordered the Ricotta and Spinach Manicotti with red pepper sugo and pine nuts for $14 and I ordered the Mushroom Formaggi pizza with garlic ricotta, roasted seasonal mushrooms, fontina and fresh thyme for $17. We had planned ahead to split both of these dishes. When the food is this good, you want to try everything lol. The Manicotti was very good and super fresh. They make the pasta daily on site and you can tell. It is said that after 7 minutes, the pasta starts to change consistancy and taste. So, I used that as an excuse to dig in haha. Definitely try this if you like Manicotti, it’s the best I have had in Jacksonville. Have you heard about that 85yr old lady doing reviews of Olive Garden? She would be blown away with Pele’s Wood Fire lol. Next up was the pizza. I’m kind of a pizza junky…throw some mushrooms on it and it’s hard to hold me back. The pizza cooks in about 90 seconds in their wood fired ovens (somewhere about 1600 degrees) and then straight to your table, or bar, in this case. Our was perfectly done, not much char (people should expect a little char) and the cheese was still bubbling. This is hands down one of the best pizzas I have ever had and I have had A LOT! Let me say this, if you want a pizza like Pizza Hut or Papa Johns, don’t order one here. This has flavor. This is what fine dining pizza should taste like. When they put the cheese on the pizzas, it’s fresh mozzarella. It’s the kind where they are tearing it apart and putting clumps of it all over the pizza…not the shredded, powder coated kind most people use. The mushrooms are to die for. I could eat a bowl of them and not come up for air. Finally a vegetable I could eat all day! I have to move on to the the White Chocolate Cheesecake with Amarena cherry glaze, chocolate-espresso pot de creme for $9. My wife talks about this dessert non-stop. As a matter of fact, while we were sitting there, two separate people suggested we try it. OK, I GET IT! I WILL ORDER IT! Welp (my new word), I’m glad we did. I swear this stuff is made with crack in it (sorry if you are a drug user and this offends you). I couldn’t get enough of it. When I cut into it, I expected angels to fly out of it. It was that good. And of course, it’s made on site by their pastry chef. You ever see an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where when someone fights and all you see is the dust and the occasional foot and hand stick out of the dust cloud while they are fighting? That was me and my wife’s forks while eating the cheesecake. It was that good. All in all, a great dinner and a great experience. Ignore the reviews, trust me and give it a shot.
Extra Info: Our server, Jay, was very knowledgeable about all the menu items. I don’t understand the complaints about the wait staff. We practically had two different people taking care of us without being intrusive, that is a delicate line to straddle. Also, while sitting at the chef’s bar, the staff making the pizza asked how we liked ours and were very friendly. It was fun watching the organized chaos that goes on in the kitchen. I saw the head chef actually checking every single plate going out to the customer too, that is impressive attention to detail.
-Dessert to die for
-It’s more than 90ft from my house