Fire In The Hole Offers Simple Basics Done Well

Fire In The Hole, a very recent addition to the dining scene here, reminds you, if you’re from the northeast at least, of one of the hundreds of pizza places that inhabit that part of the country. Usually they were family-owned, and probably still are, in just about every town of a certain size and they all seemed to have the same atmosphere too.
Pizza is always the main draw but there is always a menu of some Italian dishes, usually common standards, that were available too.
Fire In The Hole follows in this tradition and does a pretty fair job of things too. With thin crust pies and some good basic Italian dishes like meatballs, and garlic pasta, among a number of others, Fire In The Hole offers a comfort level for Italian food lovers that will remind you of that favorite neighborhood pizza place from when you grew up. The simple menu of entrees includes chicken Parmesan, linguine with clams, penne vodka, spaghetti and meatballs and ravioli — all basic Italian fare, and all done quite well too.
How good is an Italian restaurant’s food? We always check either the calamari or the meatballs for an indication of whether or not the chef knows what he’s doing. Here we went for the meatballs and were pleasantly surprised to find they were almost as good as my Sicilian mother’s and that’s no small accomplishment.
The sauce on the meatballs, while not as complex flavor-wise as dear old mom’s, possessed a fresh quality to it that was interesting and very tasty in its own way.
We also tried two dishes you probably won’t find on any traditional Italian menu, stuffed jalapenos and fries with truffle oil. Both were interesting and really, just about anything with truffle oil tastes good, especially when you add Parmesan too.
But what about the pizza, you may be wondering. Well first of all it was thin crust which is the most important factor to us. We hate eating big slabs of pizza dough so this was perfect for us. And the combination of flavors was quite good, the chopped pancetta flavoring the chopped clams a bit, creating an interesting mix of flavors along with the sauce and cheese.
There are many other combinations available, of course, all in the Neapolitan style (from Naples) and separated into White and Red varieties, the red having tomato sauce and the white not.
And the drinks part of the menu contains a decent selection of beer and also wines, red and white, from Italy and California.
If you grew up with these tastes you can reconnect easily to your past here and if not, you’ll still enjoy the food, only as a whole new experience.
Fire In The Hole, 5 Utility Dr, 386-302-3006.