Folino’s Wood Fired Pizza & Fiddlehead Brewing Company
6305 Shelburne Rd
Telephone: (802) 881-8822
Cost: approx. $ 80.00, growlette’s $ 19.00 USD
Chef Hats: 3.5
Vermont should be labelled “the Mecca” for foodies who are looking for fresh farm to table produce and new innovative ways of engineering creative ideas in the realm of foodie land. This foodie can vouch that whenever
I am on one of my visits to Vermont, and I try a new place, whatever it be, I am always blown away by their ingenuity and creative food skills. This was the case again and a pleasant surprise while visiting Folino’s Wood Fired Pizza in Shelburne Vermont.
Folino’s pizza opened very quietly in March 2012 by owner John Koerner, without an open sign on the road and limited parking space. Today they make up to 60 pizzas a day and have partnered up with Fiddlehead Brewery Company next door in the same building. Serving the discriminating taste of Shelburne locals and those day trippers from Montreal and beyond.
Their secret a naturally leavened dough; no commercial yeast is used here. “They keep a starter alive which is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (fungus). The bacteria give the dough flavor by making acid. The fungus metabolizes sugar creating CO2 which makes the dough fluffy”. I was told by my connection at University of Vermont that one of the part owners was a student in the greenhouse specializing in botany and the anything fungus. So the knowledge used at Folino’s is not haphazard, but an actual science.
Their methods do not only combine what a few others have to offer , but also an old Italian school method of mixing the dough and preparing it with a combination of basic simple ingredients. The massive fire brick oven then cooks the pizza through conduction at high temperatures with wood, creating a crispy thin crust pizza, with specks of char and a whole lot of flavor.
The other plus, cool and different thing about Folino’s is its BYOB, but with a special twist that we do not find often back home. Literally the next door over or in front as you enter you will find Fiddlehead Brewery. Here you can taste of free sampling of their brews and pick up a growler to take with you next door while having some delicious pizza. If you do not like beer, you can always head across the street and pick up some wine at Shelburne winery. Folino’s also has outdoor seating for those who want to enjoy the fresh country air along with their pizza, beer or wine.
Today we headed straight to Fiddlehead Brewery to first sample three of their weekly brews and smell the hops. Just a whiff is intoxicating. We sampled their Amarillo, Brett on the Dance floor and their Fiddlehead IPA. We chose two 32 oz. growlette’s to have with our pizza.
Next door the family had gotten seated in the corner of the restaurant in their private little nook. The pizza’s are ordered at the counter and then brought to you and placed on a multi-tiered wired stands. We started with a large family sized salad for $20.00 made with mixed greens, beets, diced cucumber, shredded carrots, pepper and goat cheese, or feta. Very refreshing and tasty, a real appetite opener.
From the pizza’s sampled , we tried the Yellow submarine made with yellow San Marzano tomatoes, goat cheese and arugula, a Margherita pizza, a pepperoni, a Prosciutto di Parma pizza and last but most interesting one was with Asparagus, 3 cheese, bacon and truffle oil. Only mozzarella di Buffalo is used on all their pizzas, with the freshest vegetables and basil that is so aromatic, even cooked it still retains its aromatic principles.
The pizzas were all good, with their different flavors. The crust not overly charred yet still chewy and not hard. You can also ask for your pizza to be blonde. Less cooked or charred, but the crispiness is more than a plus. The flavors of the wood, giving them a woodsy, almost smoky taste. The beer was a perfect accompaniment.
You can smell nature in all the products here. They smelled so delicious, everyone grabbed a piece before I could take a picture. Hence the missing pieces.
If you like American Flatbread in Burlington, you will love this place. A family run place with a mission. They also run a non-profit, “the 52 Kids Foundation”, which assists orphaned children in Uganda.
Service is minimal at Folino’s, they encourages diners to direct the tips they would give servers to the charity.
Also different at Folino’s customers can buy a $20 “gift certifistick,” which they redeem for pizza and the pleasure of watching their stick burn up in the oven. Folino’s may not be a fancy place, on the outside, if driving too fast you can miss it, but it sure makes up for it on the inside. A must try when in Vermont; it is totally worth the drive outside town.