Peel Wood Fired Pizza: Italian Pies Plus Innovative Entrées and Craft Beer

 In Food, Guide

[Editor’s note: The Guided: Edwardsville print magazine hit the stands just as stay-at-home orders were rolling out. Please continue to check the websites and social media feeds for each business to learn whether they’re open and how you can purchase from them during this time of fast-moving changes.]

There’s a joyful exuberance about the wood-fired menu at Peel. The original concept was simple enough: Bake pizzas in an 800-degree oven imported from Italy. But the kitchen team—led by co-owners Patrick Thirion and Brandon Case—was clearly an inventive bunch. Both Thirion and Case already had lengthy culinary backgrounds when they opened Peel in 2009, so they didn’t just dump dishes into the flames with reckless abandon. Their combination of knowledge and innovation led to a menu filled with wood-fired entrées like chicken, artichokes, portabellas, meatballs, butternut squash, lasagna, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, salmon, Brussels sprouts and Kobe beef.

Now on their third location—in addition to the original in Edwardsville, there’s a Peel with a brewhouse in O’Fallon, Illinois, and an enormous new eatery in downtown Clayton—the team is still taking risks on both the food (wood-fired crab cakes, provolone, cauliflower, edamame and chicken wings) and beverage side. They brew craft beers at the O’Fallon location and serve them on tap at the other two. Highlights include a northern German-style ale called ALTerior Motive, the flagship Blood Orange Wheat beer and Perception, an unfiltered IPA that uses English yeast and generous dry-hop additions. Find your favorite brew via a tasting flight, then take home a crowler, growler or mini keg.

921 S. Arbor Vitae

While you’re in the neighborhood …

Mike Shannon’s Grill
Comfort food hits a home run at this upscale casual eatery from the team behind the former St. Louis steakhouse.

871 S. Arbor Vitae

Gulf Shores Restaurant & Grill
Seafood lovers let the good times roll at this Cajun-themed favorite (with a sister location in Creve Coeur).

215 Harvard Drive

Chava’s Mexican Restaurant
A family-owned Soulard standby since 2006, Chava’s is celebrating its seventh year of Mexican food and fiestas in Edwardsville.

217 E. Vandalia St.

This story originally appeared in Guided: Edwardsville, available now in a digital issue and in print at these locations.

Images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.

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