Hidden away in a secluded strip mall in Irving, Cavalli Pizza is worth seeking out. I was turned onto this place by some friends in the area, and I will say, I was skeptical when they told me it was their favorite pizza in the Metroplex (better than Cane Rosso?!).
The beauty of Cavalli Pizza is that, unlike other wood-fire oven pizza places in Dallas, this place is still seemingly undiscovered. It gives you the quality pizza, pasta, and sides, without having to fight the crowds for a reservation.
This place is the real deal. Everything is made in house, from the crust dough to the mozzarella cheese, to the San Marzano Tomato sauce. In fact, it is so authentically Neapolitan that the restaurant is certified by the Associaione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN), an organization in Naples, Italy that seeks to preserve the culinary art of Neapolitan pizza-making. The Cavalli Pizza staff is trained and certified by the APN before they start spinning any pizza dough above their heads (okay, they didn’t do that. But I kind of wished they had, like you see in the movies).
They take that homemade dough, flatten it out into the perfect thickness where it’s thin, not bready, but not crispy either. Its still chewy, just the way I like it. Then they add their San Marzano tomato sauce, freshly sliced mozzarella cheese, and any other topping you please, and throw it into a 900 degree oven for 90 seconds. That’s where the magic happens.
We started our meal off with a Cavalli salad, and the bruschetta. The bruschetta was recommended to us by an employee, and I am so glad she did! It was my favorite plate of the meal. Perfectly toasted bread, with the classic tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan cheese you’d expect with a bruschetta, but then they drizzle the most delicious olive oil and sticky-sweet balsamic vinegar glaze on top of it all. Trust me, you’ll want to try this out for yourself.
For our main course, we had 3 pizzas – the Diavolo, the Viva, and the classic Margherita. Lets begin with my favorite: The Diavolo. Its full of fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, sweet roasted mini peppers, homemade shredded sausage, fresh sliced jalapeño, basil, and olive oil. And as if that wasn’t enough, I added their homemade meatballs, because, well…. homemade meatballs. Enough said.
The Viva was my second favorite pizza we tried. This is like the meat-lover’s dream pizza. We’re talking thin, chewy, homemade dough crust, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, salamino (small salami), sausage, spicy sopressata (spicy aged ham), and topping it off with gobs of their homemade fresh mozzarella. Wowzas.
The Margherita was everything I want in the classic pizza flavor, but I think because our other pizzas had all these ingredients plus more, it left me wanting. If you are a fan of a no-nonsense pizza like the Margherita though, you’ll love this one. Everything Cavalli Pizza does, they do well, and the Margherita pizza is no exception.
Cavalli Pizza has three locations in Irving, McKinney, and Lewisville. Their McKinney location is a full-service Neapolitan restaurant, unlike the quick-service Irving location we went to. So if you are looking to entertain friends or family, you may want to consider making the trip out to McKinney.
I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of every dish I tried at Cavalli Pizza. Especially since it is still so under-the-radar in the Dallas food scene. On a Friday night, the place was busy, but not packed with a line out the door like you run into at the other hyped-up wood fire oven pizza joints in DFW. And bonus! They deliver! I cannot recommend this place highly enough to my friends and family.
I spoke to a woman leaving with her to-go order as I entered the restaurant for the first time, asking her what I should get off the menu. After naming a laundry list of items she loves, she told me you couldn’t go wrong ordering anything off the menu, that “everything is a home-run”, and I completely agree.