Thank you so much Treforni and Bites of Bull City for inviting me in for dinner. This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.
I really enjoyed my meal and you all know me, if I don’t like something I say so. As I’ve said on my blog, I will never pan a restaurant on my blog; I simply don’t write about bad experiences. I have chosen to write about this one so there you go. I think it’s worth putting Treforni on your lunch or dinner circuit. There is a likelihood that people will want to compare Treforni to Pizzeria Toro and I do so just to offer distinctions. They are the same in that they both sell wood fired pizza but they are different enough that yes, there is room enough in this foodie town for both.
Some of the best places to eat are often tucked into unassuming spots – cinder block buildings on roadsides, off road shacks or in suburbia, strip malls. Treforni is tucked into a strip mall at the intersection of 54 and Garrett Road – not a terribly far jaunt away from downtown but you all know me, getting me out of downtown is hard.
I enlisted my boyfriend to come with me to dinner so I could get another opinion and I’ll admit it, eat more. Stepping inside it was easy to forget we were in a strip mall. The space features a lot of warm wood, string lights and bench and bar table seating. The stack of firewood greeting me at the door signaled good things ahead and the tre forni (3 wood fired ovens) in open view of the dining room were impressive.
The host quickly seated us and we settled in with $3.00 draft Peronis. 3 dollars people – if I could insert praise hands here I would. Score 1 for Treforni. We scanned the menu of salads, pizzas, calzones and sandwiches and decided to start with a half order of the spinach salad (baby spinach, red onion, grape tomatoes, gorgonzola, balsamic vinaigrette). Note to other restaurants: I know I can ask for half orders but do me a solid and just offer it as an option. The salad was crisp, fresh, with an ample amount of toppings to greens and it was adequately dressed with a well balanced balsamic vinaigrette. Score 2 for Treforni. It was a nice start to the meal.
For dinner we ordered the Treforni calzone and the Capricciosa pizza. They were both delicious and HUGE.
The calzone is fashioned from the pizza dough so they take that entire piece of dough and just fold it in half. I love a good calzone and this was one of the better ones I’ve ever had. The dough is a bit sweeter, softer and chewier than Toro’s crust. There was the proper amount of filling (no dry edges) and the ricotta – Holy mother of all cheeses – the ricotta was perfect! It was actually flavorful. I’ve had a lot of weirdly textured, dry, flavorless ricotta. This was exceptional. Add in the mozzarella and the salami . . . fantastic.
The pizza was lightly sauced with a sauce less sweet than others I’ve had which was quite nice. It tasted like fresh tomatoes and the toppings were quite good. The crust is heavier than a Toro pie but it’s not by any means bready. The pizza was served with 3 accompaniments – freshly grated Parmesan, chopped garlic and red chili peppers. I love cooking with garlic but I was a bit wary of eating raw garlic but decided to give it a try. I’m a convert. The addition of the raw garlic, a sprinkle of cheese and the bite of the red chilies really kicked up the flavors of the pizza. If they don’t bring the toppings ask for them. It’s worth giving this flavor boost a try.
We had eaten far more than any 2 people should but I suffer for my craft so I loosened my belt and plunged headlong into dessert. They offer 3 – cannoli, tiramisu and a chocolate hazelnut calzone. I love cannoli and often can’t find good ones so I thought I’d give theirs a try. That ricotta I mentioned before . . . amazing in the cannoli. They took that creamy goodness and very lightly sweetened it so it was rich, creamy and delicious without that cloying sweetness some cannoli have. The cannoli shell was amazing. It was perfectly crisp, slightly sweet and incredibly flavorful. The dark chocolate was bittersweet and delicious and most importantly the cannoli was at the perfect temperature. It wasn’t straight out of a refrigerator nor was it warm. It was cool, perfectly cool. I was all over that cannoli and realized once I’d demolished it that I’d forgotten to take a picture.
My meal was delicious. The food was well prepared, the ingredients were high quality and everything was delicious. The space was comfortable and our server was friendly and her service was attentive yet relaxed. I’ll definitely be back. Another big plus for Treforni is they have a dedicated gluten free oven so if you have a gluten sensitivity you can enjoy pizza again. Mangia.
Treforni’s one year anniversary is this Saturday and they’ll be celebrating from 11-2 with pizza samples, raffle prizes and ingredient samples and demos.
Treforni, Hope Valley Commons, 1125 W NC Highway 54, Durham
Monday – Saturday 11:00-2:00pm/5:00pm -10:00pm Sunday 11:00 – 8:00pm
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