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INSIDE DINING: World’s best pizza?


Pizza Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Station Casinos, Inside Dining, Christie Vanover, Inside Henderson

Pizza Rock uses a variety of pizza ovens to cook each style authentically. This woodfired oven that reaches 900 degrees is used for Napoletana style pizzas. Photos by Christie Vanovoer.

FOOD & DRINK: Is Henderson really home to the world’s best pies? Thanks to World Champion chef Tony Gemignani, the answer, surprisingly, is ‘yes’.

– Which city is home to the world’s best pizza? New York? Chicago? Naples? The decades-old debate is finally over. Henderson, Nevada is home to the world’s best. The world’s best Neapolitan pizza, the world’s best traditional pizza, the world’s best Sicilian pizza; the list goes on.

Eleven-time World Pizza Champion chef Tony Gemignani and his team are now serving up his award-winning recipes at Pizza Rock and Tony’s Slice House at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson.

“Tony does any style of pizza better than anyone else,” said Ricky Lewis, regional manager, Pizza Rock and Tony’s Slice House. “He was the first American to beat Italians in their own style of pizza.”

At Pizza Rock, diners can choose from Tony’s 11 award-winning styles: Napoletana, California, American, Sausage and Stout, Detroit Red Top, Classic Italian, New York, Sicilian, Chicago Cracker Thin and Gluten Free.

Pizza Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Station Casinos, Inside Dining, Christie Vanover, Inside Henderson

The Cal Italia classic Italian pizza is cooked in a 650-degree gas brick oven. It%u2019s a gold medal winner in the Food Network Pizza Champions Challenge. The pizza is topped with Asiago, mozzarella and imported gorgonzola cheeses, sweet fig preserve, Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano and balsamic reduction. $19

Other restaurants try to serve up variety, but Lewis said it’s the authentic details that set Pizza Rock’s pizzas apart.

“We don’t just make one dough recipe and top it with different toppings. We use different flours. We’re true to the ingredients. We cook the pizzas at the right temperature in the right oven,” he said.

The restaurant has a 550-degree and 650-degree gas brick oven, a 700-degree and 500-degree electric brick oven, and a 900-degree wood-fired oven that diners can view from the bar.

The 900-degree oven is used to bake the California and Napoletana style pizzas, which are 12 inches and available in the honey pie, quail egg white rose potato guanciale, pizza Campari, marinara, quattro carne (four meat) or Tony’s world famous Margherita.

Only 73 Marghertia pizzas are made each day. The hand mixed dough is made with Caputo red flour and is proofed in a Neapolitan wood box. It’s topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella Fior di Latte, basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and is available for $17.

Pizza Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Station Casinos, Inside Dining, Christie Vanover, Inside Henderson

Tony Gemignani became the first American to win the World Pizza Cup competition in Naples, Italy, with this Pizza Margherita recipe. The dough is hand mixed using Caputo Red Flour and proofed in Neapolitan wood boxes. It%u2019s topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella Fior di Latte, basil, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and cooked in a 900-degree woodfired oven. $17

For those who prefer American style pizza, Pizza Rock offers the picante, Frank’s true Italian, the butcher (all meat), classic pepperoni or cheese, and the Henderson, which includes pepperoni, salami, bacon, Italian sausage, scallions, mushrooms, red onions, bell peppers, black olives, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella for $21.

Classic Italian pizzas with a medium crust are baked in the 650-degree gas brick oven. They’re available in the Vedura (veggie), St. Anthony, Diavola, prosciutto and pear, artichoke Joe and the Cal Italia, which is a Food Network Pizza Champions Challenge Gold Medal Winner. It’s topped with Asiago, mozzarella and imported Gorgonzola cheeses, sweet fig preserve, Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a balsamic reduction for $19.

Pizza Rock is also popular for its salads and pastas. The Fried Green Tomato Caprese made with heirloom tomatoes, house made hand pulled mozzarella, peppadews and basil for $12 is a Green Valley Ranch exclusive. As is the gemeli pasta tossed with roasted zucchini and squash, garlic, crushed red pepper, pecorino and olive oil for $17.

Pizza Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Station Casinos, Inside Dining, Christie Vanover, Inside Henderson

Buccatini pasta with pork ragu cream sauce, calabrese peppers, ground beef, served with a spicy calabrese sausage link $17

Pizza Rock isn’t just popular for lunch and dinner. Every Sunday, they offer a brunch menu, featuring breakfast pizzas, eggs benedict and their famous French toast ambrosia made with fresh baked focaccia bread. They also offer $15 all-you-can-drink mix-and-match mimosas, house made sangria and Bloody Marys.

The vintage industrial restaurant has a very open layout with a mix of high-top and low-top tables, a long bar and patio seating. Big screen TVs can be seen from nearly every seat, and live entertainment and DJs are brought in regularly.

“People are not just coming to Pizza Rock as a pizza spot,” said Lewis. “It’s a place with full entertainment. We cater to locals, and we embrace the Station Casino’s concept, ‘We love locals.’ We’re dedicated to giving customers the same great Station Casino service.”

There are 40 beers on tap and around 100 beers altogether, including limited releases and local craft beers. Pizza Rock has happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

“We also have a reverse happy hour seven days a week from 10 p.m. to close with food and drink specials,” added Lewis.

Pizza Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Station Casinos, Inside Dining, Christie Vanover, Inside Henderson

Pizza Rock is located in Green Valley Ranch on the north side of the casino/resort. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating for up to 250 diners.

For those looking for pizza on-the-go, Tony’s Slice House, located in the Green Valley Ranch food court has New York, Sicilian and California pizzas by the slice.

Pizza Rock also has a local location in downtown Las Vegas, and it’s newest restaurant, Little Tony’s in Palace Station, serves up classic entrees, award-winning pizzas and more than 100 whiskeys in a 4,000-foot Chicago pre-prohibition mobster setting.

For more information and to see the complete menu, visit www.pizzarockgvr.com. | iH

Christie Vanover is a Henderson-based recipe developer, food writer/competitor and photographer. Find more of her work at  Zestuous.com and girlscangrill.com


This article was featured on page 14 of the October 2015 issue of Inside Henderson Magazine. 

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