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The Weekender: Three pizza pairings from the #Bandittakeover

The Weekender: Three pizza pairings from the #Bandittakeover

Alyson Strickler-Vazquez

Downtown Columbus was turned into an old western when the creative minds of Rockmill Tavern pivoted towards a new concept—Bandit Pizza & Pairings. The imagery of a bandanna-faced cowboy with a can of red spray paint will live rent-free in my head for the next year. Everyone’s question whether or not this designer pizza live up to the dramatic flair in which it was introduced? Short answer, yes; long answer, hell yes! Each pizza was more satisfying than the next, and the depth of flavor built on top of a pizza crust is simply staggering.

•Everything He Owned may be a bougie pizza, but it isn’t just using high-end ingredients to make it sound fancy. Rockmill doesn’t make the mistake that predecessors have; they crafted this pizza for taste, not recognition. Lemon and herb marinated lobster, ooey-gooey Havarti-gouda bechamel, cherry tomato, red onion, and Parmesan perfectly construct this indulgent pizza wonderland. The lobster is present in many forms, including the shells steeped in heavy cream as part of the bechamel. Notes of lemon and rosemary shine while the bite from the red onion and acidity from the cherry tomato harmonize. To elevate this already luxurious experience, this bad boy is finished with edible flowers and house-made garlic oil. Dare I say this could be the new and much-improved lobster roll of Columbus…

Pair with – Rockmill Pilsner for a crisp and clean finish

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•That Ugly Lamp was dreamt around Rockmill’s famous crispy Brussels sprouts. The light and airy dough is piled with deep-fried Brussels tossed in a miso Dijon sauce, layered with thick lardons, and finished with shaved Parmesan and balsamic gastrique.  Crispy and light, the Brussels are tangy and welcome the salty lardon cut through by sweet balsamic and a sharp bite of Parmesan. This pizza is craveable (seriously, I ordered it again two days later)!

Pair with – Tripel, a strong golden ale with notes of dried fruit

•Mother’s Ring, also known as co-owner Matthew Barbee’s lunch order, was born from a Rockmill wine dinner. Thinly sliced prosciutto, dollops of burrata, freshly cracked pepper, rosemary, and house-made garlic confit perch atop Rockmill’s Neapolitan crust. Hints of honey from the crust push through and beautifully balance the creamy burrata and cured prosciutto, while heavy notes of garlic and fragrant rosemary are elevated by the sharp bite of black pepper.

Pair with – Rugged Expanse Belgian Stout for smokey bacon notes  

These pies are not thrown together and shoved in an oven; they are meticulously cultivated through an array of thoughtful steps that harness each ingredients’ superpower. Starting next week, Rockmill Tavern will be open for indoor dining, and keep an eye out because the Bandit may be announcing brunch soon.

If you like this, read: The Weekender: Weekend waffles

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