Everything is better with friends, especially pizza; and for Austinites, especially when that pizza is created by friends. South Austin is about to receive that very blessing, a pizza collab from a veritable hall of fame of local industry veterans. Dovetail Pizza will open at 1816 S. First St. in mid-November.
The impressive roster behind the concept includes Ben Runkle, Joe Ritchie, and Natalie Davis of Present Tense Hospitality, along with Todd Duplechan (Lenoir, Vixen’s Wedding); Sidney Roberts (G’Raj Mahal); and Alex Manley (Swedish Hill). According to a release, the nostalgic, family-friendly menu will feature pizzas, salads, and pastas, paired with late-night vibes at the full bar.
Each member of the Dovetail team has personal ties to the South Austin neighborhood, according to the release. Duplechan, Manley, and Runkle are longtime friends, while Ritchie and Duplechan both spent time at Union Square Hospitality previously. Present Tense Hospitality operates Salt & Time and Rosen's Bagels in Republic Square, and recently partnered with Roberts to revive G'Raj Mahal.
“The idea for Dovetail Pizza stemmed from a desire to create a place that we would all personally enjoy and could easily go to for a weekly dinner, hang with some friends on the weekend, or just grab a drink after work,” says Runkle in the release.
“Likewise, I’m excited to work with friends old and new to bring a great neighborhood joint to Bouldin Creek,” adds Duplechan.
This new concept will aim to let ingredients speak for themselves, starting with sauce from organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes from Northern California. Manley brings her Swedish Hill experience to the project, developing a longer, cold-fermented dough for a light crust that can also hold up to the toppings. Gluten-free dough will also be available.
The menu will feature classic and adventurous pies alike, from spicy italian (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, chilis, onion) and meat (pepperoni, sausage, mortadella, coppa) to crab (with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, chili crisp); bittersweet (arugula, sweet + hot peppers, smoked eggplant, ricotta); funghi (roasted mushrooms, taleggio, herbs); and seasonal one-off creations. Don't skimp on the drizzle, either: Instead of traditional shredded parmesan or red pepper flake toppings, Dovetail will offer a red (a housemade chile crisp) and green (herb, vinegar, oil) sauce for a finishing drizzle.
Lighter fare will include large salads, while the pasta section showcases classic spaghetti & meatballs, rigatoni a la vodka, and orecchiette. A fried ice cream sundae and soft serve will make it hard to skip dessert, while the beverage menu will round out the whole meal with seasonal cocktails, lower ABV offerings, beer, and easy-drinking natural wines.
Led by creative director Natalie Davis, the restaurant's warm interior incorporates earthy tones, natural wood touches, and local art from the likes of Elizabeth Chiles, Jules Buck Jones, Cheyenne Weaver, and Ft. Lonesome.
“We aimed to create a space that feels grounded with eclectic touches that make people smile, like the chain stitch wallpaper in the bathroom and the kids’ reading nook,” notes Davis in the release. “At the end of the day, we built a place that we wanted in our neighborhood and created an atmosphere that we hope guests want to return to again and again.”
For now, the spot will open for dine-in only from Wednesday through Sunday, 4pm to midnight, with indoor and patio dining, as well as bar seating (which features a late-night menu after 10 pm). The team plans to expand hours in the coming months, so check out dovetailpizza.com and follow @dovetailpizza on social for the latest.