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First Look: Taste Wood Fired Fare

Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts

1201 Strassner
Lunch and dinner daily

Twin brothers Curt and Casey Friedrichs might have made entering the restaurant biz slightly easier: Their new restaurant, Taste Wood Fired Fare, has no stove, no fryer, no microwave, and no hood system—just a 9,000-pound, 9-foot-diameter, 900-degree gorilla of a wood-burning oven squatting like a sumo in the middle of its kitchen. It’s a simple concept, really. A high-temp oven is the best choice when cooking true, Italian-style pizzas, yet it functions just as well when applying the sear to an 8-ounce Angus filet or the crackly crisp to an order of colossal-grade chicken wings. Sandwiches, fresh seafood, ribs—they all go in the Renato, “the finest oven in the world,” according to one brother. Their intent is simple as well: to revitalize wood-fired cooking and encourage a new generation to “dine in” for pizza again, two bygone habits that merit renewed attention. The duo apparently has 10 restaurant concepts in its portfolio, just awaiting proper time and location. But can there possibly be a concept any simpler than their one-oven Taste? Mused the other brother: “Sure. We repeat it.”

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