Where does a restaurant called “Brick + Wood” get its name? These two key elements are the components for the wood-fired brick oven that’s cranking out phenomenal pizza and more in Fairfield, CT. Speaking of pizza, you would certainly expect a place whose motto is “Love Life (and Pizza)” to have some of the best around. Brick + Wood fits the tasty bill perfectly with their from-scratch pizzas. But lest we get ahead of ourselves, let us take a step or two back.
Brick + Wood is home to Chef Paolo Cavalli and his wife Clara, who took a cue from their successful restaurant, Cavalli Pizzeria Napoletana (with two locations in Irving, TX and McKinney, TX) and kept the trend going with Brick + Wood. When they opened their doors on November 1, 2014, they introduced the neighborhood to a bold concept: wine on tap. With about 30 varietals in stainless steel kegs (to keep that pesky oxygen out), Brick + Wood strives to provide customers with one perfect glass of wine after another, wooden tap after wooden tap. If decision-making isn’t your strong suit and you can’t land on one wine, opt for a flight featuring four different wines. For the non-vino aficionados, craft beer and cocktails are on offer to whet your whistle as well.
Now that you have a sense for the liquid flow, why not pair that with fresh mozzarella (like that being made by Chef Paolo below)? I’m talking super fresh, as in house-made on the premises throughout the day at Brick + Wood’s Mozzarella + Burrata Bar. Mozzarella plays a role in a variety of dishes from Caprese to Eggplant Panini (served for lunch only) to, of course, the artisan pizzas.
A wood-framed chalkboard set against a backdrop of worn brick announces the specials of the day. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can also take a peek at the menu. Brick + Wood gives diners a taste of the streets of Italy with their Neapolitan Street Food menu. Imagine strolling through a bustling piazza as you bite into a hot Arancini ball stuffed with pear and gorgonzola, bacon and cheese or a blend of four cheeses. Maybe your tastes lean more towards gifts from the sea. If so, you’re in luck. The Fritto Misto, fried calamari and shrimp with cherry peppers, defies the greasy texture and grittiness of some seafood that other restaurants present on a plate.
While it would be all too easy to cast pizza in the starring role at Brick + Wood, one taste of the offerings from the Homemade Mozzarella + Burrata Bar and you might be convinced that the cheese has the pizza on the run. The big surprise of the evening for me was a dish called Girelli. This sushi-esque creation simply screams Italian. Girelli is crafted with thin mozzarella, prosciutto, eggplant and roasted peppers then rolled and sliced … just like sushi. The marriage of ingredients lends itself to perfect little bites.
Don’t miss the Burrata plate served with a medley of imported dried and cured meats and vegetables. Sure, you’ll enjoy the latter two, but when you cut into the luscious burrata with its creamy, cheesy filled center, you’ll be pleased you dived in mouth first.
When you come up for air, it’s time for pizza.
Brick + Wood’s pizza is bona fide Neapolitan style and, as such, is certified by the Association Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, an Italian alliance formed to uphold the tradition of true Neapolitan pizza. With that impressive credential, it should come as no surprise that the pizza at Brick + Wood is outstanding. It doesn’t hurt that the pizza is made in a domed mosaic tiled oven heated to 900 sweltering degrees. The wood-fired masterpiece cooks a pizza in a scant minute and a half, giving the crust’s air pocketed surface a scorched appearance that adds to the pizza’s come-hither allure.
The key word at Brick + Wood is fresh, and their pizzas, which range from $11-$17, are no exception. Hand-tossed dough made in-house is the base for their 17 different pizzas. If you think you had a difficult time deciding on which on-tap wine to select, that was mere child’s play compared to these appealing varieties. No pizza menu is complete without Margherita, and Brick + Wood doesn’t disappoint. The tomato sauce made from imported San Marzano tomatoes is the clear advantage that puts other lesser pizzas to shame. Brick + Wood could have stopped at that one wonderful pizza, but thank goodness they didn’t.
Whether you call it “rocket” or “Italian cress” or “arugula,” you’ll likely covet the flavor of the Arugula E Prosciutto, a white pizza made with Brick + Wood’s fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and shaved parmigiano finished with balsamic glaze.
If heat is what you’re after, try the Diavolo (Texas Heat). The bite of spicy soppressata, jalapeños and garlic combine to bring the heat. You asked for it … you got it. On the other end of the pizza spectrum is the Bianca, a tamer white pizza covered with mozzarella, potato chunks and fresh rosemary and finished with shaved Parmigiano. Pardon the phrase, but ooooh yeah. Thank you sir, may I have another?
When it’s all said and done and you think your stomach can’t take another bite, you may want to rethink that “I’m so full, I could pop!” train of thought. It’s time for dessert, people. Yes, you can treat yourself to Brick + Wood’s Tiramisu or Cannoli, but on your first visit you simply have to try the Homemade Bread Pudding. Clara rocks the kitchen with this one. Creamy, spongy and just plain delicious—and the crowning sensation was the pistachio crumbles topping the whole shebang. I would go back for seconds … and thirds.
Despite all of the goodness that’s coming out of Paolo’s kitchen, there is one bone that I have to pick with Brick + Wood: They aren’t located in Marietta, Georgia where I recently relocated!
Brick + Wood
1275 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:30a – 3:00p and 5:00p – closing
Sunday: 5:00p – closing
DISCLOSURE: I have no material relationship to any brand(s) or person(s) mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this dining impressions article are my own. This was a complimentary promotional meal, and I received no further compensation from Brick + Wood, their representatives or any related entities.