Wood-fired pizza is house specialty at new Brick restaurant in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

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Wood-fired pizza is house specialty at new Brick restaurant in Steamboat Springs

— One of the area’s newest restaurants, Brick, has been operating "on the down low" since December, but it won’t for long, as the smell of wood-fired pizza wafts through the meadows near the bubble at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

"We wanted to work out all the kinks, so we haven't done a bunch of advertising," said Brick owner Lee Demusis. "We started out slow because we're in it for the long haul."

Since Demusis spent a lot of his childhood summers near Naples, Italy, the home of pizza, he takes his pies seriously. He even built his own pizza oven, powered solely by the sweet fires of slow-burning oak.

"Since I don't have a kiln-to-fire stone, I bought (the oven) in a kit. I put it together myself and did all the tile work," Demusis said.

The huge homemade oven sits in the corner of the bright kitchen, staying at 750 to 800 degrees as pizzas are shoveled in and out.

Brick's location in the Wildhorse Meadows makes it a little difficult to find, but connoisseurs of the classic Neapolitan pizza of Italy will find it soon enough.

"Pizza started off as peasant food," Demusis reminds people. "We just stick to a very traditional Italian pizza — not a lot of toppings — which a lot of Americans are not 100 percent use to. We use the highest quality caputo flour and good yeast."

Though wood-fired pizza is the star of Brick's menu, entrees like beef shortrib, roasted chicken and salmon offer flavorful alternatives that the kitchen does well.

The simple menu, with additional salads and antipasta, allow Demusis to offer quality food at surprisingly reasonable prices for a resort town. And staying true to his Italian roots, Demusis managed to talk one of his sweet Italian aunts into giving him her incredible Tiramisu recipe for dessert.

For now, Brick remains open only for dinner, but starting in July, they'll be serving both lunch and dinner.

And word is out that Demusis' 80-year-old father, born and raised in Italy, was in town helping his son make limoncello. The after-dinner liqueur, popular in southern Italy, should be aged enough by April 15 to share with customers.

Funny enough, Demusis might have taken the "Italian" thing too far. He was determined to serve his Neapolitan pizza Italian-style, where they tear it apart with a fork and knife at the table.

"When I brought the pizza to my dad, Italian style, he sent it back and said 'cut if for me,'" laughed Demusis. "I figure if he's pure Italian and wants it cut, we'll do it that way."

Brick is located on the bottom floor of the Deer Park Management office on Bangtail Way, with plenty of parking.

"It's across from the Trailhead Lodge, down by the 'baby gondola,'" Demusis added for good measure.

The Wildhorse Meadows can be accessed from Mount Werner, Walton Creek and Pine Grove roads.