When I published my list of the 20 Best Pizzas in Cincinnati this past April, I named Dewey's the best pizza in Cincinnati. So, I think I'm overdue to give the place a full review. Given Dewey's role in Cincinnati, this also gives me an opportunity to rant a little about Cincinnati pizza.
Cincinnati has some good history and some regrettable history with pizza. It can earnestly be said that LaRosa's and Donato's are just a step up from microwave pizza. Really, LaRosa's tasteless pizza represents everything that is wrong with the Cincinnati pizza scene. While those two are an embarrassment for the area, they have sadly dominated the local pizza for a long-time (Fortunately, I grew up eating mostly Trotta's pizza). There's tons of great pizza in Cincinnati if you're willing to try around. Sadly, LaRosa's is a 60 location plague on Cincinnati, stiffling other good restaurants. Thankfully, Dewey's came into existence in the late 1990s and has done much to redeem the city.
Dewey's was founded by Andrew DeWitt (son of St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, and grandson of Red's GM/Owner Bill DeWitt Sr). The original Dewey's opened in Oakley in 1998. There are now nine locations in Cincinnati, with a few more in Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, and St. Louis. DeWitt says his vision was "to create a neighborhood spot with great micro beers on tap, great pizza and salads, and a group of cool, genuine, like minded people making the food and providing authentic hospitality to our patrons. Of course, great music was absolutely mandatory." He went to college for guitar and the music has always been good in my experience. Wilco, Arcade Fire, and the Decemberists are common (I give them huge credit for this). Also, the restaurants are nicely laid out with a modern look and a rather open feel to them.
Following through on their mission statement, Dewey's has a nice lineup of beers on tap and the pizzas are quite good (as I will get to). Also, as much as I hate to admit it, I really enjoy their salads. Their Caesar is good, but the Greek salad is excellent (loaded with kalamata olives, garlic cloves, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a very good roasted red pepper vinaigrette dressing):
First, Socrates' Revenge (Olive Oil, Minced Garlic, Mozzarella-Fontina Blend, Spinach, Black & Green Olives, Feta Cheese, & Tomatoes):
Caprice (Olive Oil, Minced Garlic, Mozzarella-Fontina Blend, Basil, & Roma Tomatoes):
And the classic Half Pepperoni & Goat Cheese / Half Bacon (I realize this blog is exposing some of my eatings trends...):
Your hear a lot of New York supremacist talk about pizza. And, on average the quality of the pizza places there is the highest of any city where I've spent significant time. However, I've never been to a better pizzeria than Dewey's. I hate to give such a positive review, but they deserve it. Dewey's pizza really is excellent in every way.