When The Wedge was conceived, Ryan Parrott was still top stove-tender for the Deep Fork Restaurant Group, which, besides the Deep Fork concept, included The Mantle Wine Bar and Bistro, Cafe Nova, Charlie Newton's, Chicas, North Fork, Deep Fork Grill, Red Moon Cafe and the Sidecar Bar & Grille.
A visit to Phoenix's renowned Pizzeria Bianco sealed the deal for the original creators, which included Farrar, Parrott and Deep Fork managing partner Wade Starr.
“We were blown away,” Starr said. “It was amazing.”
Farrar agreed: “We were inspired by the simplicity, and the commitment to quality ingredients.”
In launching The Wedge, they even copied Bianco's no to-go order policy, but eventually backed out of that because demand dictated it.
“We had people who would come in and order something small plus whole pizzas, which they would just have boxed up.”
Much has changed with Deep Fork since The Wedge's opening. Parrott moved on to reboot The Iguana Mexican Grille and now hangs his tongs at Local in Norman. Chicas, North Fork, Red Moon, Charlie Newton's and Sidecar are gone while Cafe Nova has incurred a spate of bad luck involving original partner and ex-reality TV man-of-the-moment John Paul Merritt and a more recent scandal involving District Attorney David Prater that led to a state grand jury indictment of Starr.
“It's been a tough year for me,” Starr said. “It's been very humbling.”
Starr made it clear he's learned from the experience, and will rebound and grow from it. He also said Deep Fork has no shortage of new ideas on the horizon.
Neither kitchen changes nor legal embattlement has affected the success of The Wedge. The proof is in the growth of artisan pizza offerings since the restaurant opened. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone say, after taking a bite of pizza elsewhere, “it's good — but not as good as The Wedge” I could pay for a lifetime supply of Prosciutto E Formaggi.
The Wedge also offers Sunday brunch, which includes breakfast pizzas.
For more information, call 602-3477 or 270-0660.