Not that I ever for one minute doubted that Mrs. Pie loved me, but she sure showed me when she booked our condo rental at the Sanibel Island beach in walking distance of a pizza joint. Better yet, it was one that cooked their pies with my favorite food fuel. Coal!
Holding the excitement in for a few days, around mid-week we walked to the adjacent condo village, the Sanibel Inn, to visit Dante’s Coal Fired Pizza. Scoping things out, looks like they have two places with the other being a bit north in Cape Coral near Fort Meyers.
The Sanibel Dante’s is in a spiffy free-standing building in which after entering, you take a spiral staircase to a big wide-open dining room on the second floor. I was somehow surprised to notice that they served breakfast which when you think about their beachfront location is actually pretty smart. (Breakfast is big at the beach. I guess you just hold the pepperonis?) In the back of the room sat two very unspectacular looking coal pizza ovens.
After perusing the menu, Mrs. Pie and I ordered the 16-inch basic Margherita for just over a dollar an inch at $17.00. We also went for a pair of Caesar salads with chicken and told them to just bring our food out in whatever order they could. The salads arrived first with the pie following about five minutes behind. I put my tasty salad on pause to attack the pie while it was hot.
It looked good and “Brooklyny” to me. Crust-centric by design for sure, it was soft in the middle and charred on the top of its ends. The light coating of tomato sauce was covered with blotches of Mozzarella cheese and some basil leaves of assorted sizes and shapes. Not a lotta cheese and not a lotta sauce made things look quite promising. I did notice the green color of some olive oil squirted on top which was kinda cool.
Both Mrs. Pie and I dove in at the same time and our evaluations met in agreement. Dante’s pie was delightfully good and tasty. The sauce was rich and bold flavored making it score high. The cheese was light and yummy and made for a pizza that wasn’t filling. I liked its chewy crust but as can happen, it got soggy in the middle before the finish. This pie reminded me of the one I had at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, and like it, would have fared better on the Snob scale if it had some more coal flavor.
Our night out turned out to be quite an amazing meal with this awesome pizza coming in between a killer salad and a tasty cannoli. Who could ask for more? Dante’s is a great Italian restaurant and I will put my money down that it also serves the best pizza on the Island.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
Dante’s Coal Fired Pizza
937 E. Gulf Drive
Sanibel, FL 33957