The Thanksgiving calzone at Noble Pie Parlor recreates that glorious mosh-pit moment when everything comes together on the holiday plate (and palate): mild turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, tangy gravy, jabs of cranberry dressing, and assorted moments of garlic, butter, herbs and salt.
Of course, this being Noble Pie, famed for its elevated approach to pizza and wings, the Thanksgiving calzone (fashioned from house pizza dough) also includes mozzarella (a nod to pizza roots) and shredded chicken (to give the turkey an assist), and the cranberry dressing is actually a cranberry Cointreau sauce.
I ate the calzone by hand, biting off chunks of the turnover, though others will want to deploy knife and fork.
A Noble signature salad rode sidecar, balancing calzone richness with red bell pepper, red onion, mushrooms, black olives, grape tomatoes, toasted almonds, pecorino cheese and a sweet basil vinaigrette “that we’ve been making since the dawn of Pie Face,” said Ryan Goldhammer, owner of Noble Pie, referring to the name of the original pizzeria in downtown Reno.
Getting into the flow of dough
The holidays mark one year since Goldhammer and his business partner, Trevor Leppek, amicably dissolved their partnership, with Goldhammer taking the Noble Pie Parlors and Leppek taking Pignic Pub & Patio. In the past year, Goldhammer said he had renewed his passion for pizza.
“It’s inspiring to fall back in love with Noble Pie Parlor. To reconnect with my staff and our guests. To fall back in love with the menu that we have and explore and expand that menu.”
Dough making, the foundation of any pizzeria, has unsurprisingly been essential to this ardor. Goldhammer has tweaked the water-flour ratio (insufficient water yields a dense dry crust), adjusted the yeast blooming (quickly fermented yeast added to the flour and oil), and been more diligent about proofing (proper timing of the rising of pizza dough).
As Noble Pie emerged from pandemic earlier this year, the restaurants set sales records each month from February through July, Goldhammer said.
That rush “threw our dough schedule out of whack at first. If you’re too early in the proofing process, the dough has no flavor or texture. Too late, and the glutens break down and you’re left with something that’s a little floppy.
“We’re always asking ourselves: ‘When is the new dough ready to ball, ready to use?’ “
When sangria meets vokda meets apple pie
Through mid-December, Noble Pie also is offering a cool-weather sip Goldhammer calls the Apple of My Pie (in the Noble tradition of menu plays on words). Let us break down this lollapalooza.
The barkeeps begin by making simple syrup with baking spices and a jot of bitters. Next, they build sangria with pinot grigo, apple cider, chopped fruit and cinnamon sticks. Van Gogh caramel vodka also makes an appearance. Everything mingles in the shaker, then slips into a citrus-garnished tumbler.
The Apple of My Pie pairs nicely with a holiday calzone — a bite of Thanksgiving dinner, a sip of Thanksgiving dessert. (The $12 cocktail and $12.99 turnover are being served at both Noble locations.)
Another fruitful match for the cocktail? A T-Pane pie, a Noble classic topped with caramelized fennel, apple and onions, plus Granny Smiths, sausage, pecorino and provolone.
The Apple of My Pie, as Goldhammer noted (and as I can attest), is nearly all alcohol (huzzah!). If you don’t eat your Thanksgiving, you can always drink it.
Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor for Reno News & Review. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsJLW or on Facebook personally or at @FoodNevada. Sign up here for the Reno News & Review free weekly newsletter highlighting our most recent stories.