A Hamburger Today
Openings: Wheated, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
Wheated, a new pizzeria and cocktail bar, is slated to open in early 2013 in Ditmas Park. Some of you who read Slice may be familiar with one half of the couple behind the place: David Sheridan, who's sprouting Wheated with his wife, Kim McAdam. (We interviewed Sheridan here and had a backyard pizza tasting here.)
"The name comes from our appreciation for the style of bourbon whiskey as well as most anything made from wheat," David told Slice.
"We envision a place where our guests will enjoy a well-made cocktail and a killer pizza. Our plan is to give equal attention to the bar and restaurant aspects."
Location, Location, Location...
Sheridan, who built a wood-fired oven in his backyard in Gravesend and who has worked at Paulie Gee's, has been planning his pizzeria for more than a year and a half. "I count five spaces we were serious about leasing only to have things fall apart. Each time was a let down and had me questioning if we would ever find a place to call our own," he says.
He and McAdam finally found a spot at 905 Church Avenue, near Coney Island Avenue. The site Ditmas Park Corner has some great additional info on Wheated and the food scene in the neighborhood it will join.
Perhaps most surprising to longtime readers of this site, Sheridan will not be cooking wood-fired pizzas at Wheated:
"The majority of my 'pizza time' over the last couple of years has been focused on wood-fired, Neapolitan," Sheridan says. "When I first started looking for a location, there was no question I would be opening a place with a wood-fired, Naples-built oven or put my own twist on it and take what I learned from building the backyard oven and build a new, improved version for my restaurant. Now, more than one and a half years later, a lot has changed. We are going electric for our ovens. We will be using ovens from Moretti Forni."
"Can you say Jeff Varasano? That's a nod to someone who played a big role in my pizza obsession," Sheridan says. "Like so many others, my quest for improving my pizza started out with reading Jeff's webpage years ago. It's been a slippery slope since that moment and amazingly circuitous. First there were the home oven hacks, recipe developments, catching my own sourdough culture, etc. Then building my wood-fired oven and pizza parties, and now on to opening up a place of my own.
"What is amazing to me is how little I had thought about his words but how much of a role they have played. Recently, while searching for others using electric ovens, I again came across Jeff's page. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had come full circle to where my pizza journey began. I know realize how much of an influence Jeff's manifesto has been. I wonder what I'll think when I read his page again in a few years."
For those worried that electric can't cut it, Sheridan's ovens go to 11.
"[Moretti Forni] electric deck ovens are more commonly seen in production of pizza a taglio, but for my purposes, they are capable of hitting over 800°F. We'll be running them in the 750°F range for our pizza."
905 Church Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11218 (at Coney Island Ave.; map)