Monday, July 30, 2012

Travels with Blondie: There's Really Great Pizza in Omaha

For the past week and a half, I've been hanging out in Nebraska, working at Branched Oak Farm, learning all sorts of things like how to milk a cow and then turn the milk into mozzarella. I'm going to be so useful after the zombie take over. But the most surprising thing I learned was that there's good pizza to be had in Omaha! For reals.

Dante's was my first bite to eat once I touched down and, coming from the land of pizza, I was blown away by how good it was. The chef, Nick Strawhecker, hails from Omaha, but has spent time all over the world cooking including in Italy. The restaurant sources many of it ingredients from local farms including Branched Oak and La Quercia over in Iowa. Everything we had that first day was phenomenal and on my way out of town a week later, my friend and I decided to stop there again for dinner. We got the light and creamy housemade ricotta--something on par with a few of the more famous ricotta dishes in New York. And for our pizza we went with oxtail. Yes, tender oxtail pieces on a slightly spicy pizza straight from the wood-fired oven. Perfect for dinner and still good early the next morning for a quick breakfast.

The Grey Plume
Another completely unexpected restaurant in town was The Grey Plume. It's one of the more upscale places and also creates its menu from locally available seasonal items. Krista Dittman and I stopped by after working the Wednesday farmers market to have a fancy drink and bite to eat. The drinks were great on the 100° day--it had components from celery, lime, mint, and gin, let's all pretend I can remember what it was--and then there was the charcuterie plate! About 10 different meats and cheeses, each absolutely delicious. Oddly, this was the second charcuterie plate to come across me recently--there was one the night before leaving at Trestle on Tenth and it was freaking awesome too.

Moral of this story: Omaha, not just steaks.

Dante's Pizzeria
168th and Center
Omaha, NE
(402) 932-3078

The Grey Plume
220 South 31st Avenue
Omaha, NE
(402) 763-4447


BuildingMyBento said...

What is the shy item next to the ricotta and below the bread?

Also, are those mustard seeds on the charcuterie tray? I'm down.

Siobhan said...

That's a fresh peach jam for spreading on top of the ricotta. And yes, I believe homemade mustard with seeds.