Short Order: GoreMade Pizza

Bailey Trask
The Annie Social

Fourth Street has its share of new and trendy spots to dine and imbibe. Nick Gore's GoreMade Pizza, which opened last September, feels like it's been a neighborhood staple for decades. The wood-fired pizza joint—a cart-to-table success story—is pleasantly lacking in subway tile, Edison bulbs and succulents. The focal point of the dark, bare-bones restaurant is a sizable wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy. It's all about the pizza.

GoreMade's fold-and-eat slices—filled crust to crust with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients—please both crust people and toppings people alike. The simple menu features a small selection of suggested pizza options (with punny and insider-y joke names like Clintonvillain, named after a Facebook group for Clintonville's snarkiest), salads and a charcuterie board.

GoreMade's menu also takes a page from Alana's Food and Wine with a surprise pie ($18), a chef's whim that comes with a $2 upcharge. I wasn't surprised to find my order of the latter to be topped with many items adorning the “seasonal toppings” scrawled on a chalkboard: an enjoyable combination of Brussels sprouts, tangy Peppadew peppers (a new-to-me pizza topping), smoky bacon and squash sauce (a GoreMade original), topped with a balsamic glaze. The combo of ingredients showcased Gore's mastery as a chef and was well worth the extra fee.

Another must-have is the Annie Social ($16). Its decadent toppings of bacon, feta and red onion (“basically fat and salt,” said a friend) don't seem too bad for you when balanced with a crust so thin that each bite makes you hungrier.

Service can be sluggish due to a combination of a sparse wait staff and a backlog at the pizza oven. If you go in super hungry, keep in mind that the charcuterie board ($14)—expertly made with meats and cheeses familiar to patrons of the local farmers markets—features warm cheese-topped crust that has to be wood-fired, and thus needs to queue up for the oven just like the pies. Order a salad (market price) to start. This generous pile of flavorful greens lightly mixed with a sweet dressing will help stave off the hunger pangs while you wait. Or better yet, enjoy a cocktail from the bar (or an Ohio-sourced beer) and slow down for a leisurely dinner. It's well worth the wait.

GoreMade Pizza

936 N. Fourth St., Italian Village,