Dec

19

2012

Pies and Pints: Pizza and Beer Overachiever

Written By Caroline in Reviews

'Now Open' sign at Pies and Pints, photo by Alex Snyder of One Clean Plate

Pies and Pints is now open in the Worthington Place Mall.

Pies & Pints

Worthington
7227 N. High St.
Worthington, OH 43085
614.885.7427

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Plates
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Price Range: Starters: $4 – $10
Salads: $5 – $11
Sandwiches: $9 – $10
Pizzas: $9 – $24
Desserts: $5
Drinks: Varies, usually $5+

www.PiesAndPints.net

Pies and Pints on Urbanspoon

Few things go together as ubiquitously as pizza and beer, but too often are people made to choose between getting quality pizza and just okay beer, or vice versa. The third option is those who attempt to juggle getting great pizza from one place and great beer from another. A fourth option is to find a place that does both but does both well – but those are extremely rare.

Except now, in Columbus, one restaurant promises to answer the call for great pizza and great beer in one place. They are so dedicated to this mission that it’s even their namesake – Pies and Pints.

We were invited to a special event to sample their pizzas and pints – and being pizza lovers we were excited to try it. Located in Worthington and just off 270 it’s fairly easy to get to, although it’s tucked in the back of a shopping center so it is at the same time easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it.

Inside is a dim but funky contemporary interior featuring bold colors, interesting paintings, and TVs everywhere. Steel accents are prominent, the bar itself is a lime green and many of the walls are a deep yellow or lime green – one wall is painted black with a large mural of an elephant. Best of all, in the area we were seated we realized that one wall was odd – it looked like a garage door. Then we looked up and realized – it was! During the summertime the door opens to a patio, allowing for greater space and some much-loved sunshine.

Before we began we got to meet Co-owner Rob Lindeman who gave a brief speech about the history and goals of Pies and Pints. The company began in West Virginia with the mission of creating a place where people could find a great atmosphere, great pizza and great beer under one roof. They serve West-Virginia style pizzas and make everything possible fresh in-house. The third location is in none other than Columbus and they are working toward possibly opening a fourth in Dayton.

There are two options for pizzas at Pies and Pints: the first is to build-your-own pizza from a list of ingredients and the second is to order one of their pre-set combinations. Quality is a major component to making a good pizza, so we were excited to see that they make all of their pizzas from scratch. Another important component is variety – and the pre-imagined pizza list is far from boring. They even offer gluten-free pizzas.

Their signature pizza is probably also the most unusual: the Grape Pie. It’s a simple pizza of red grapes and Gorgonzola cheese which despite being a classic sweet and savory combination is one that also can make someone pause before trying it. If you like Gorgonzola cheese you’ll like this pizza.

Perhaps more accessible is the Classic Pizza Pie which is a pepperoni, sausage, roasted mushroom and banana pepper topped pizza with a red sauce. Among similar pizzas this one definitely ranks high up there, the homemade fennel-flavored sausage bits and pepperoni being the most prominent flavors and better than many others we’ve had.

While we tried several pizzas there are two more that I’d like to specially mention, the Chipotle Chicken Pie and the Mushroom Garlic Pie. The Chipotle Chicken Pie is a delicious pizza of marinated chicken, chipotle sauce, red onions, cilantro and crème fraiche – which is an awesome, mildly spicy combination that I particularly enjoyed. The Mushroom Garlic Pie is a well balanced pizza of roasted mushrooms, feta cheese, caramelized onions with roasted and fresh garlic and herbs. It was very savory and meaty thanks to the mushrooms and a great pizza for vegetarians or meat-lovers.

Pizzas at Pies and Pints, photo by Alex Snyder of One Clean Plate

Each pizza features homemade ingredients and features interesting topping combinations and a crust that is thin and has a crispy exterior but soft and chewy interior.

Unfortunately we cannot possibly recall every detail of the many pizzas we sampled, but there were some common themes we noticed: first off, the care and attention to detail showed and these were some good, interesting pizzas. The only thing we could possibly find to tweak was the crust, which was crispy on the outside but the interior was very chewy. Of course, everyone has a different type of crust they love. While these were good they weren’t our favorite.

To balance out the pizzas huge salads are also offered. The greens and vegetables were nice and crisp and had well-paired homemade dressings. Among the few salads offered there is a good bit of variety: from an Antipasto Salad of greens, ham, pepperoni, salami, provolone, mozzarella, red peppers, olives, red onions and a vinaigrette to a Spinach Salad topped with red onions, Gorgonzola, red grapes, sunflower seeds and a vinaigrette or Gorgonzola dressing. Pies and Pints loves the Gorgonzola cheese.

Of course we also got to sample a few of the appetizers, such as the Char-Grilled hot wings with Gorgonzola sauce to Pork and Pepper Nachos and the Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Flatbread. The wings were good, although not very spicy. The Pork and Pepper Nachos were our favorite as they were carefully layered rather than a bed of nachos with toppings dumped on top of them. The result is a multi-layered, multi-colored and multi-flavored salty-savory nacho and pulled-pork tower of deliciousness. The one thing we didn’t like at Pies and Pints was the Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Flatbread – which sounded good but we found it to be a mix of pungent, clashing flavors battling on our tongues.

By the end of the meal we were stuffed to the brim, but we hadn’t even tried the desserts yet. We began with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Terrine – a layer of brownie and peanut butter covered with chocolate ganache. For peanut butter and chocolate lovers, this dessert is a dream. It’s soft, smooth, thick and all around delicious. The brownie isn’t very cake-like or fluffy, but is thick and a bit more solid. The Tiramisu had an excellent flavor but unfortunately was a bit soupy in consistency. The last dessert was the Cheesecake of which they have two different sauces for. The cheesecake itself was solid and had a good balance of sweetness. The chocolate sauce went pretty well with it, however the raspberry sauce tasted more like lipstick.

Char-Grilled Wings at Pies and Pints, photo by Alex Snyder of One Clean Plate

The Char-grilled wings were juicy and only very mildly spicy. The Gorgonzola sauce paired with them helped tone down what little spiciness was there.

Chocolate drizzled Cheesecake at Pies and Pints, photo by Alex Snyder of One Clean Plate

The chocolate sauce topped cheesecake is delicately sweet, creamy and thick.

Of course, the food isn’t the only reason people go to Pies and Pints. What makes them unique is Ryan Heasting, their certified cicerone. “A cice-wha?” My thought exactly. A cicerone is a person who is certifiably an expert in beers and beer service. Essentially a sommelier for beer.

Thanks to him, Pies and Pints carries about 40 nearly exclusively American craft beers in a wide variety of styles. They have so many beers they’ve dedicated a menu just to them that not only lists them all, but describes them too.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows that we don’t really care for beers – but we are always up to trying them anyway. We were discussing this dilemma with our server who also shared not only our woes, but also a very interesting bit of information: she learned to like beers thanks to the extensive training Pies and Pints has all of their servers go through.

Server with the Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Flatbread at Pies and Pints, photo by Alex Snyder of One Clean Plate

One of the servers at Pies and Pints carrying the Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Flatbread appetizer.

Yes, all servers go through a few weeks of training in the beers served so that they can help customers pick the right ones. You can see the dedication Pies and Pints has to the “pints” part of the name. Our server was incredibly helpful – we described drinks we do like and she selected a handful of different samples of beers with similar qualities that she thought we might enjoy. While I still can’t call myself a beer lover yet, there were a couple I genuinely liked.

She wasn’t an anomaly either – all of the staff members we met (even the ones who didn’t know we were there for an event) were friendly and helpful. Of the servers we met they were all fairly well versed in the foods and beers – which makes sense due to the training. We’ll likely be back for a surprise visit soon, and then we will be more able to comment on how friendly the staff is.

Good pizzas, great beers and an atmosphere conducive to having a fun time with friends and family – Pies and Pints can satisfy nearly all tastes and is a must try for beer and pizza lovers. While we personally prefer a different type of crust than what they make, the pizzas were still excellent and interesting. The high quality of ingredients could be tasted in every bite, making this restaurant not only a great place for beers, but also a good place for food. Out of the many dishes we tried we enjoyed most, loved a few and disliked just two. They scored a near perfect.

Want to see more photos from Pies and Pints? We took way more than what can fit on this article, so head on over to our Facebook Pies and Pints photo album to find more. While you are there be sure to Like us too!

Verdict: Beer = Great; Pizza = Good

Pies and Pints has a clear mission: to make the best pizza and serve the best beers possible. The beer end is covered thanks to a certified beer expert hand selecting every draft that is served, then training all servers to not only know the beers but be able to make suggestions and serve them properly. Every pizza is made fresh and to-order from scratch, and a wide variety of toppings are offered. Quality can definitely be tasted in each of the pizzas, regardless of crust preference. Speaking of, the crusts are crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and on the thinner side overall.

The staff is knowledgeable, helpful and friendly – a trio that makes for excellent service. The restaurant also seemed well kept and in good condition, but it is still only a few months old. We’ve heard the restaurant gets slammed on the weekends, so make sure you plan accordingly.

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