A skilled pizzaiolo returns to the Dallas pizza scene with an inventive new slice: a pizza joint called Slice-O Pizza, now open in The Commons at Cedar Springs, the newly revamped food hall at the Gables Villa Rosa building in Uptown.
Slice-O comes from Shon Ben-Kely, a former pizza chef at Cane Rosso who has worked with some of the finest pizzaioli, including Carmine D’ Amato of Settebello Pizzeria in Las Vegas. His partners at Slice-O include Michele D'Amelio, a fellow pizzaiolo and a native of Italy; and Sean Smith, who co-owns OMG Tacos, another one of the food hall's new vendors.
At Slice-O, they're serving an innovative pizza that's a cross between New York-style and the classic Neapolitan pie served at Cane Rosso.
"We're doing some classics like the Margherita, and then we're doing a white pizza with garlic ricotta that's really good," Ben-Kely says. "We're importing Italian salami and pepperoni from Italy, and we're making everything in-house, including our own tiramisu and cannoli for dessert."
Like Neapolitan-style pizza, his dough is fermented for 72 hours, a process that gives pizza crust a superior taste and textures.
"The crust is super light," he says. "When you bake it, it's not as soft as a Neapolitan-style crust, it's a little more on the crispy side. We bake it in a wood-burning oven at 600 degrees, and it cooks about 6 to 7 minutes. You bake a Neapolitan pizza for 90 seconds, and a New York-style pizza gets baked for 10 minutes, so you could call this a cross breed. I call it Neo-Americana."
They're also using a new flour from Italy. "We're using this flour called 'Americana' that's made by Caputo, the internationally known flour from Naples," he says. "The flour is grown and harvested in Italy. Michele and I were part of a team for Caputo to introduce it to pizzerias in the United States."
As the name implies, Slice-O will do pizza by the slice, but with a certain customizable component.
"We're doing it by the slice and 18-inch pizzas only," he says. "If you walk in right now, for lunch there should be 2-3 pizzas behind a glass case. We'll take a slice, and you can add mushrooms or onions, you can build your own slice."
It's been a smash with the after-bar crowd, he says. "We're open until midnight on weeknights and until 3 am on weekends, and when the bars close, we get a huge spike," he says.