Peel Wood Fired Pizza Takeaway. Pizza that will always have a place for you. 7 / 10 Margherita pizza. Very good, crunchy crust with excellent mozzarella balls. Sauce is a bit liquidity and sweet. Expensive and small, I could eat a whole pizza myself. My friends liked the crazy garlic chicken and mushroom pizza more than I ever would. Those didn't have sauce, and the chicken was dry, but the crust was still strong. $16-19 for a pizza, depending on specialty.
Everyone but me had a beer, mocktail, or cocktail. The salads are huge. We had four pizzas, two salads, and two apps for eight adults. ~$40/person after tax and tip.
I called ten places on Thursday, and Peel was the only one with space for a table of eight at 7 pm. It's a huge restaurant. Service was slow, but we were not in a rush. Parking is a pain in the butt.
Peel Wood Fired Pizza Experience Summary
We went to Peel for a group date on a Saturday night. This visit was my second time to Peel and the first time in over a year.
Overall, it's a great place to go with friends and have a two-hour plus-long dinner when you're not rushing to do anything afterward. The pizza is a solid but unspectacular 7.0/10 Margherita pizza. All pizza rankings are based on plain/Margherita. I know round numbers are rookie ratings, but I have Katie's Pizza at 7.1, and this pizza isn't quite as good for something very similar.
We got three different types of pizza:
Margherita - $16
Garlic Fire Chicken - $17
Wild Mushroom - $18
I got these prices from the website, and they seem a dollar lower than what I remember from last night, but I didn't get an itemized receipt.
I think the table consensus was Chicken > Margherita > Mushroom. I really only liked the Margherita; the others were OK flatbread, but I'm a NJ pizza purest, and those have no home in my pizza palette.
We also got two appetizers and two salads. The salads stood out to me, in particular the kale Caesar salad. We got entree-sized salads to share, and they were ginormous.
Everyone else had alcohol and went through two or three glasses.
I could eat one pizza myself for a meal, so $20 minimum per person. After splitting it evenly, our bill came out to $40/per person.
Service was slow. They only had one server for our wing of the restaurant, and she seemed a bit overwhelmed. Every order was correct and came out hot, but some parts of the meal took longer than others. We had no place to be and were there for conversation, so the service wasn't a problem. We would not have made it if we had something planned for 9 pm.
Peel is great for a night out with friends with good food and drink, but not a fancy date night or a bring-out-of-towners type of place. I would keep our cadence of once-a-year date nights with friends, but I talked to people who live nearby who make the pizza their go-to for takeout on the way home from work.
The Food At Peel Wood Fired Pizza
We came to Peel for the pizza and drinks, but I think the most memorable part of the meal was the kale Caesar salad. We got the $13 entree size, and it was a mound of salad. Lightly dressed, the kale was cut into strips and topped with croutons. Nothing extravagant, but the kale seemed fresh, and the dressing was excellent - salty and creamy without being overly anchovie-y.
We also got an entree Mediterranean Salad, which was well put together and yummy without being worth more of a description.
The table shared a feta cheese dip with chips and wood-fired cauliflower for appetizers. The cauliflower was excellent for the two pieces I tasted. The sauce on them made the dish, but they cooked them perfectly - not too hard and not mushy.
On the pizza front, Margherita was my favorite. I could have eaten a whole one by myself, but unfortunately, I did not get the exact specs. I would guess it was a 12" pizza. The crust and mozzarella carried it, but the middle got slightly soggy because of an overly liquid sauce. That seems to be a common thread in wood-fired pizza: the middle doesn't hold up as well as the crust.
The flatbread, err, specialty pizza side, the Garlic Fire Chicken, and Wild Mushroom were good for what they were. Without any red sauce to be seen for miles, they come across as too cheesy to me. The crust was still solid, but the chicken was dry (Very common for chicken pizza), and the Mushroom was more cheese than mushroom. It's not the kind of thing I would typically order by myself.
Overall, the food was above average across the board. I wouldn't bring my parents here if they were visiting, but coming once a year with friends will stay on my schedule. The babysitters we had lived five minutes away and said they come once a month for the pizza with their family.
Peel Wood Fired Pizza Atmosphere And Miscellaneous
The atmosphere is that of a sophisticated pizza place for thirty-somethings. Peel now has three huge locations, and this Clayton location is no exception. We ate outside the last time we came, so I didn't realize how big it was inside. There are tables and tables for half a city block.
They were the only restaurant of ten that I called on Thursday that could accommodate a reservation for eight at 7 pm on Saturday.
Peel was also really good about our reservation, texting to confirm the day before and chatting with us when our table was ready when we got there a bit early, seated us, and didn't mind that only seven of us were there on time.
After that, the service was friendly but slow. We weren't in a rush, and the food was always hot, but it was like one drink at a time came out or twenty minutes for the extra pizza or fifteen minutes between salads.
Again, we didn't mind at all, but if we were in any kind of a rush for another event, we would not have made it.
Parking At Peel Wood Fired Pizza
Parking at Peel is about as bad as you're gonna have it in St. Louis. For a 7 pm reservation, it took me about five minutes of driving around to find a spot. I had some luck one street up and over, which was about a five-minute walk.
For some reason, it is hard to find a spot in this part of Clayton during prime dining hours. It's such a "thing" that they have a page dedicated to parking on their website.
Peel Wood Fired Pizza Receipt