For well over a year before it opened, Coltivare in the Heights was buzzy and highly anticipated. That's because the names behind the project are Revival Market owners Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera, and because they had planned the seemingly impossible: A 3,000-square-foot garden in the Heights that would help to supply the restaurant with fresh vegetables and herbs. What they didn't mention until nearly opening day is that apart from using ingredients that were born at the restaurant, the wood-fired oven would provide pizzas that involve a three-day fermentation process with a dough that employees sorghum molasses mixed into the base. These pies are among the best new pizzas in Houston, topped with everything from Revival Market-sourced meats to slivers of Meyer lemon and, of course, fresh vegetables, herbs and locally sourced cheeses.
The dough-preparation-to-oven process is involved. After the ingredients for the dough are mixed, they're left to rest in the mixer for twenty minutes. The dough is then separated into fist-sized balls and set aside to rest yet again, this time for two whole days. One of the pizza-making pros, in this case it's Rico Mackins, then grabs a ball of dough, stretches it, spreads the dough with his fingertips and repeats the process. Then Mackins tops the dough with a layer of olive oil, stinging nettles, French feta cheese, compressed fennel and Fresno chilis. The pie is then placed into a 700-degree wood-fired oven for about three to four minutes, removed, brushed with olive oil, sliced and then handed to Pera before going out to the table. "We've worked really hard on it," Mackins told Eater about the pizza. And it shows, the young eatery is already garnering much praise for its fresh ingredients and chewy-but-charred crust. Here now, see Coltivare's Mackins take us through a behind the scenes look at how the pizza is made: