Wild Rise is a new pizza place in Dumbo that officially opened this week. As a Neapolitan pizza lover (I’ve attempted to make this style using ingredients from Italy and modifying the oven, and failed every time), I’m excited that Wild Rise has opened in Dumbo. I tried two of their pies, the Margherita and crimini mushroom & pepperoni and their ingredients and flavors are better integrated than other Neapolitan pizza places in NYC. New York Magazine declared a Neapolitan pizza revolution back in 2009, and as far as we know, this pizza revolution has continued through NYC and now comes to Dumbo.
For those who don’t know about Neapolitan pizza, it’s a specific style that even has a designation. Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) was officially established as a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government, a designation that made the VPN a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making. Slice has a good article about What to Expect at a Neapolitan Pizzeria and what is VPN pizza if you haven’t tried one yet. Wild Rise follows authentic Neapolitan pizza-making traditions using “wild, fresh, natural ingredients” but with a modern twist using a custom oven. We asked the artisan pizzamakers at Wild Rise about the new pizza place:
Q: The name Wild Rise – presumably it’s a reference to the yeast. Is that so, and how did you come up with the name?
A: Yes, Wild Rise is a reference to the fact the dough is leavened using a wild yeast culture captured in Italy and kept alive in scientific incubators. Many names were considered, but this one was chosen because it speaks directly to what makes a Neapolitan pizza different and special (the crust/dough) and it speaks directly to what makes Wild Rise Neapolitan pizza different and special (the wild yeast culture).
Q: Wild Rise looks like 1/3 science lab, 1/3 traditional pizza location, and 1/3 bar. It’s a comfortable place to grab a drink, watch the pizza action, and eat one of your pizzas. Is your idea to show us the Neapolitan style using modern techniques?
A: The physical location continues to be 68 Jay Street Bar. Wild Rise is in partnership with 68 Jay Street Bar to serve, in quasi-pop-up fashion, 3 nights a week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) for now, possibly expanding to more times down the line. The science lab part is right on. There is plenty of scientific and freaky custom made equipment behind the scenes you didn’t see on display. Will be showing glimpses of that on the Wild Rise blog over time as well as diving into the story behind the ingredients.
Q: What are you most excited about opening Wild Rise?
A: We’re most excited about finally sharing with the public the end product of years of R&D that has until now only been eaten at private pizza tastings. We think of it as thoughtful pizza – pizza with soul. We produce pizza like producing fine wine – with great care in the making and pedigree of the ingredients to achieve a nuanced, complex, and harmonious flavor profile. If Neapolitan is a step up from typical pizza, we aim to stand on the shoulders of that Neapolitan tradition to take pizza to a higher level.
Welcome to Dumbo, Wild Rise!
Wild Rise (wildrise.com)
at 68 Jay Street Bar (Corner of Jay Street and Water Street), Brooklyn, NY 11201
Open Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings