Beer and pizza, an eternal can’t-miss combination, right?
That’s the formula that Surly Brewing Co. (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., surlybrewing.com) owner Omar Ansari and chef Ben Peine are banking on for their remake of Brewer’s Table, the adventurous, one-of-a-kind operation that previously occupied the second-floor space above the brewery’s massive beer hall.
“Pizza and beer is an easy sell,” said Peine. “We’re taking the idea and running with it, but putting our own Surly twist on it to make it unique and different.”
A recent road trip through Connecticut introduced Peine to New Haven-style pizza, and he was hooked.
“For me, that means super-high-heat ovens, 900 degrees or more, and a crust that’s charred but not burned,” he said. “It’s a Neapolitan style, but it’s one that we can play around with, using lots of ingredients that we’ll make here.”
That’ll include an uptick in the kitchen’s charcuterie output. Peine — who cut his pizza teeth at Spasso in Minnetonka — just ordered the kitchen’s wood-burning oven, and he’s creating a tightly focused quick-service menu that will also include salads and a few uncomplicated appetizers.
Ansari has hired Shea, the Minneapolis design firm, to rethink the space (“we want to bring some of the beer hall’s lively feeling upstairs,” he said), including its underused terrace patio. The still-unnamed project should be open by the end of the year.