Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: George Voronov
Some things just go together. There’s peanut butter and Nutella, biscuits and milky tae, and the ultimate delivery combination: pizza and wings. Everyone knows that a slice of pizza is one of the best additions to a plate of chicken wings. Fuck off with your celery. It’s just a wonder more of the artisanal pizza spots haven’t cottoned on to this.
Vice has decided that this is the pairing worth going all in on. They’re on to something good, and something right up our street. So in pursuit of truth, justice, and taste, we sampled their menu ahead of the official launch this week.
Here is our behind-the-scenes once over.
If you want a gastro pub but are bored of the same few flavours, this is the spot to try. Ireland has a crowd of serious chicken-wing eaters. Every single one of us has fallen out with a loved one over whose spot has the best wings. It’s almost an Irish right of passage. This is the place to take your mate who is a steadfast stan of wings that you think are only okay. Here you can faux argue over a selection of flavours and dips while you work out which combo is your daring pairing. You’ll both likely be converted and have a new go-to in common.
It’s a perfect pre-theatre bros-before shows-spot. If you have tickets to a gig, sporting event or fringe show and wanna take in some grub on either side of it, this is the spot. Elevated fast casual is what you need if you’ve got to be somewhere but also want something quality to munch on. Fast-casuals splits the difference between a chef-driven restaurant and a fast-food outlet. Vice hits this nail on the head style by leading with quality food. So whether you’re the kind of mates who love to share and share alike, or you’re more I-eat-what-I-ordered, this spot will cater to you both.
So technically, this is two things, but each was high-key worth mentioning. Sweet and salty has been part of the food discourse for a while. Here the Sweet Meat pizza kicks it up a notch. The spice is present and persistent without overwhelming the pallet. It’s enough to stand up to their blue cheese dip, even though it’s made with the robust Young Buck cheese. The sweetness rounds it out nicely while not being excessively attention-seeking. As a slice goes, it kept me saying, “wow, that really works”. On top of all that, the crust is a deft combo of Neopolitan style and American. It’s an absolute best of both worlds interpretation that even the thin-crust-only die-hards will enjoy.
The Lemon Pepper wings are a complete about-face from what we think of as chicken wings. They veer more into spice bag territory but aren’t as heavy-handed. There is a little kick from the pepper, but the lemon finish is undeniable. They kick off well against the ranch dip but are just all by themselves.
Considering the inflation of it all this is pretty cheap. As well as the time it took to develop and make the sauces and the labour-intensive forty-eight-hour bread recipe, these offerings are priced moderately. The most expensive ‘za is twenty-two euros for an eighteen-inch version of what they call The White Vice, which is cheaper than an equivalent size pie with two or more toppings in Apache. And Dominos don’t seem to do bigger than fourteen and a half inches for around the same price.
The wings are the same price as most places; start at twelve quid for a small batch and go up from there. You could nab a small tenders for just seven fifty if your flat broke too.
The dips look expensive, but they are painstakingly laboured over with love, and some even have more than a dozen ingredients.
Drinks-wise, they come in the same as most craft beer bars. While their selection is small, it is curated to a tee. The pinot noir caught my eye as a personal fave from Wine Mason the Geil, and the Verdejo is bang on the money for the pizza they offer.
Having the option to personalise your crust is something I think you’ll see other pizza places homaging sooner than you think. Getting to upgrade and personalise your crust for only fifty cents is a dream. The sesame crust deserves a particular shout-out. It makes the crust a part of the meal and not an afterthought, which is something kinda wonderful.
The dips are pretty special here. They run a little spenny-henny at three euros each, but they are a proper labour of love. Each took aeons to develop and are a particular point of pride for Bobby and Cian, the team behind the venture.
I tried six pizzas, three different wing flavours, and loads of dips and crust finishes. There were no two things that tasted similar. That is a feat for any spot, let alone a small indie pizza and wing place. If you’re a flavour chaser, check it out and be blown away.
Elsewhere on CHAR: Sprezzatura x Gastro Gays