If Woodfire Kitchen’s magnificent red-and-black brick oven is the heart of the restaurant, then the splendid pizzas the Italian import pumps out represent its soul. David and Joyce Cardwell and their partner, chef Craig Nachodsky, opened the casual cafe in June. Since then, the team that co-owned Canton’s Cardwell’s Tavern in the early 2000s has found a new following serving Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked to perfection in its beautiful gas/wood-burning
hybrid oven. The 10,000-pound Forno Bravo was shipped in pieces from Italy and California and then assembled inside the restaurant’s semi-open kitchen. The building once housed the Wagon Wheel, a longtime diner-like institution that served as a gathering place for neighbors. The new ownership team wanted to create a similar vibe for this project—and they’ve succeeded. The warmth of the space, which features hardwood floors, exposed beams, and country music fits well with the rural setting in Parkton. There’s no bar, but Troyer’s Liquors across the street offers a 10-percent discount for Woodfire customers, which helps offset the $5 corkage fee.
Local ingredients permeate the menu. Flavorful burgers are made using beef from Monkton’s Roseda Farm. The most popular variety, the WFK ($14), is topped with mac and cheese and root-beer barbecue pulled pork on a brioche. Soups, salads, comfort-food favorites like crab dip, as well as sandwiches round out the menu, but pizza is the star. Woodfire’s pies emerge from the oven with exquisitely charred thin crusts. No two come out alike, but they do share one trait: All are delicious. Design-your-own pizzas include house-made sauce using San Marzano tomatoes and a gluten-free mozzarella and provolone cheese blend. Vegetables and jalapeño-infused bacon, shaved steak, and crab are among the available toppings.
The restaurant’s roster of assembled “gourmet” pizzas includes cheeseburger ($16), pulled pork ($16), and Buffalo chicken ($16) varieties. The Gunpowder ($16) features Applewood-smoked bacon, red onion, the house cheese blend, and hot Italian bison sausage from Gunpowder Farm. Never before have we had the pleasure of consuming a pizza with sausage of such high quality that it could be plucked off the pie and eaten as an entree. It was an incredibly satisfying meal, one that warmed our heart and soul.
›› Woodfire Kitchen: 17114 York Rd, Parkton. 443-491-3505. Hours: Mon. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Pricing: Appetizers: $4-14; sandwiches: $9-17; pizza: $10-16.