Pizza Today - October 2019 - 53

"My roots are definitely Neapolitan,"
he says. "The diversity of ingredients you
can use with Neapolitan pizza and the
living, breathing thing that is a wood
oven is ideal to me. It's ideal to my style
of cooking."
Seasonality shines with revolving
menus. Strawhecker admits that he has
thousands of menus for Dante and Forno.
Daily specials menus showcase delicate,
seasonal favorite heirloom tomatoes and
are featured raw on the Basilico pizza
Napoletana with basil pesto and mozzarella. Another special is the Rucola, featuring arugula, wood-roasted mushrooms,
tomato sauce and mozzarella.
Strawhecker is able to source some

"

social media. He and his wife, Michelle,
share social media duties. He also works
with a public relations firm for regional
and national exposure.
Dante has Omaha's only all-Italian
wine list with over 200 labels. Wine
accounts for nearly 35 percent of sales.
As he presents a wood-roasted Santa
Barbara Halibut with wood-roasted
shishito peppers, okra and bottarga, he
shares his recent travels to Alaska. He
witnessed firsthand where his fresh seafood comes from. "I had been selling this
one type of salmon for three or four years
and I'm really hot on it," he says. "It's so
delicious and our guests really love it. To
be able to see it, we're actually selling fish

conclusion of the flavor of the fish. Then
we talk about it together and we come
up with general conclusion of how we
would describe it."
Staff meetings are critical to Dante's
success. "We talk about menu changes,
counts on menu, VIPs, always some
kind of wine education and general
announcements.
With a staff of 40 at Dante and
Forno, Strawhecker says, "I'm very
big into communication, especially
communication with managers, and then
what we call cascading messaging to the
rest of our staff. That is the best way for
our staff to describe and be able to sell
things to our guests."

THIRST FOR LEARNING ABOUT FOOD IS JUST
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ME AND
LEARNING WHERE FOOD COMES FROM.
- Owner Nick Strawhecker

ingredients all year. Those pizzas and
other dishes become menu mainstays,
like the Giacomo (named after his
son Jack). It's a red-sauced pizza with
smoked provolone, soppressata, Calabrian chili and mint. There is also the
Cortona with farm egg, soppressata,
olive, chili, wood-roasted mushroom,
garlic and mozzarella.
Dante has earned its reputation as an
authentic Italian experience. Strawhecker
puts the same passion into scratch-made
pastas and main dishes. He showcased
some of Dante's seasonal specialties. He
was meticulous as he plated a ricotta tortellini with corn sauce, roasted corn, pea
tendrils, popcorn and smoked paprika.
Each week, Strawhecker highlights
seasonal ingredients used on each special
in a video shared on the restaurants'

that I was on the boat on that caught
that fish. The staff really love that and the
guests love hearing about that."
"Thirst for learning about food is just
extremely important to me and learning
where food comes from," he says.
EVERY PIECE OF FOOD AT DANTE HAS A
STORY. It is that story that has captivated

Omaha diners for a decade. From an
ingredient's origin to plate, Strawhecker
and his team translate its story to
customers.
"We do line up every day at 4:30 p.m.
at both restaurants," he says. "At that
time, we talk about the different changes
on the menu. A good example is last
week, we had a new fish in that I hadn't
worked with at all. We tried it with the
staff and we came up with our own

"

Many on Strawhecker's team have
been with him since the beginning,
including Hymie, who's in charge of all
dough production and Dante's pizza station and Dave, who oversees the kitchen.
"That is 20 years of experience at Dante
which make it a lot easier on me that I
can work on the creative things," he says
to grow his business.
It's mesmerizing to watch Strawhecker
interact with his kitchen team. He's soft
spoken, while keeping sous chefs on their
toes. He says he's glad that he's of the generation that balanced new and old school.
"I started at the right time for maybe
being a leader in Omaha in kitchens and
restaurants," he says. "My philosophy is to
be ultra hands on, make clear exactly what
the expectations are, live those expectations
yourself every day, show people exactly
O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 5 3


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2019

Pizza Today - October 2019
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Meet The Makers
Conversation
Man On The Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead To Know
Destinations
Background Music
Topping Trends
Dollops
Waste Management
Promoting Gift Cards
Holding Events
Independent Pizzeria Of The Year: Dante, Omaha, Ne
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - October 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Pizza Today - October 2019
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 6
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Meet The Makers
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Man On The Street
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Knead To Know
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 22
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Background Music
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Topping Trends
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 32
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 33
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Dollops
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Waste Management
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Promoting Gift Cards
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Holding Events
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Independent Pizzeria Of The Year: Dante, Omaha, Ne
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 49
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 50
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 52
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 57
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 60
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - October 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 65
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 66
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 67
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 68
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 69
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 70
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 71
Pizza Today - October 2019 - 72
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - October 2019 - Cover4
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