Featuring wood-fired pizzas, ice cream made in-house and a full bar, Piencone Pizzeria, Creamery & Pub in Eagle Rock has proven itself to be a place for everyone. Piencone (pronounced Pie N’ Cone), which opened in April, is the newest project from the husband and wife team of Corey and Michelle Wilton. The couple also founded another Eagle Rock favorite, Four Cafe.
Piencone Pizzeria, which took the place of Coffee Table Café, is divided into five themed rooms, each featuring its own unique atmosphere. Upon entering, the primary dining room feels like a casual dinner party at a good friend’s minimalistic home.
It is both inviting and comfortable, with appetizer plates, water glasses and a silverware caddy pre-set on each table. If you order water with your meal, for a $1 upcharge they offer water triple filtered through a Vero system. Full disclosure: I couldn’t taste a difference, but it was served in a glass water bottle and didn’t taste like melted ice cubes, so I was OK with the small fee.
Our ubiquitous love of pizza has led to a lot of pizza restaurants that are adequate at best. Piencone is not one of those places.
As the name suggests, pizza and ice cream are the main attractions.
They are taking the wood-fired pizza game to the next level. Pizzas are made with mostly locally sourced ingredients, including organic flour and greens coming from Country Fresh Herbs, a local farm.
The pizzas range in price from $13 to $24 and do not come sliced unless requested. I suggest going family style and opting to cut them up and pass around as a fun part of the experience.
The Honey Pot ($18), my food highlight of the night, is a thin crust topped with Salami Americano, spigarello, Sicilian oregano, sheep’s milk cheese, and fermented Aleppo honey. When I took the first bite I felt as if I had joined an exclusive club of people who know about this flavor combination. In the same way dipping French fries into a chocolate shake works, the honey and salami combo is fantastic.
The Truffle Shuffle ($24) had oven roasted mushrooms, truffle parmesan sauce, raclette and prosciutto cotto. This was topped with some of the best prosciutto I’ve had, and the truffle oil added an incredible richness. Alas, with truffle oil comes a bit of an odor so if you are sensitive to smells or on a first date and don’t want eau de truffle wafting in your vicinity, I’d suggest the Cauli Dreamin pizza ($16) garnished by currants, serrano aioli and a curried vinaigrette.
After an incredible appetizer experience I’ll trust anything Piencone does with cauliflower.
Their wood roasted cauliflower ($9.50) brought immense joy to my carnivorous heart. It’s made with cauliflower, a béchamel white sauce, green olives, garlic, breadcrumbs and grana padano cheese. As someone who orders buffalo wings every chance possible, I couldn’t believe the pleasure that a dish of vegetables could provide.
The bar area is darker aesthetically, compared to the earthy feel of the rest of the restaurant, even called by its own name, Pub 1954. It features dark wood paneled walls and two-tone brown leather booths, as well as a row of unmarked silver beer taps.
On tap are several California craft beers including hometown hero Eagle Rock Brewery’s Populist IPA and Little Bo Pils, from LA’s own Smog City Brewery. If you’re really looking to do some damage, give the Speedway Stout from Alesmith Brewery a shot. With a 12 percent ABV, it has a chocolate and roasted malt flavor that would pair perfectly with their housemade vanilla ice cream.
Since the honey pot pizza utilized flavors so well, I played the theme forward with one of their signature cocktails, La Maestra, which is a gin and Aleppo drink with honey and lime jalapeno syrup.
The honey and jalapeno in La Maestro exemplifies how well Pinecone merges ingredients that you wouldn’t think work well together, yet are somehow combined to reach a perfect blend of flavors.
In the same way, Pinecone brings together different dining experiences that are hard to imagine mixing as well as they does: a walk up 1950’s style ice cream counter, a serene dining area, a cool bar, and a family-centric patio.
The playhouse patio is enclosed with red brick and features a family friendly picnic table seating area, in addition to a playhouse and small gated area with different games to choose from like Candy Land and a larger size Jenga.
Arguably the greatest feat of Pinecone is that their succinct one page menu offers such an engaging medley of choices that appeal to the wide variety of customers walking in. For those with dietary restrictions, this place is perfect for both you and your meat-eating, gluten-consuming friends alike. With vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, there’s a pie for everyone.
When our waitress suggested a flight of ice cream, we couldn’t resist trying their handmade, unique flavors. We chose five flavors that really were in the style of beer flights, served in miniature cones held upright by a wooden rack, rather than small glasses.
As most ice cream aficionados know, the measure of a creamery is their vanilla, as chocolate and other rich flavors can mask lesser quality ingredients. Their vanilla ice cream passes the taste test with flying colors; it’s smooth with a clean creamy taste, free of the artificial aftertaste of store brands. As someone who has always enjoyed the aroma of lavender, the butter lavender was an easy favorite, although some may be put off by the herbal flavor. The Mexican Hot Chocolate is an early favorite on Yelp and its vegan! However, the chocolate hazelnut is the standout of the chocolate flavors, balancing hazelnut and chocolate so both flavors are equally present in every taste.
For families who want good, real food and a relaxed place to enjoy with their children, they are no longer relegated to Shakely’s. Pinecone offers pizzas with organic, locally sourced ingredients, sweet treats, and atmosphere and, more importantly, they can enjoy drinks that don’t come in a cloudy pitcher.