From Scratch is hidden away on Gallivan Avenue behind the Well’s Fargo building, easy to miss even from the Gallivan Center just up the stairs. It would be a mistake to overlook From Scratch, though this shy guy at the end of the bar is packing a big surprise once you take a closer look.
From Scratch isn’t just the restaurant’s name; it’s a challenge by owner David Brodsky to do as much as possible in house. Catsup, mustard, ricotta, bread; as many things as possible are made in-house. They even mill their own flour via a custom-built flour mill imported from Austria. When they can’t make it themselves, Brodsky and Chef Ryan Moore try and source ingredients as locally as possible.
The waitstaff is always very nice/friendly and service has been universally excellent. I also really like the ambiance; the space is open and casual, with eclectic chairs and reclaimed wood paneling. If you enjoy watching sweaty men with wooden paddles plunge their tools into a hot hole, you can sit at the bar for a great view of the gorgeous wood-fired pizza oven.
If you’ve just come in from Gallivan’s ice rink, and are looking for a hearty winter starter — the Wood Fired Bread is great, and is the ultimate in “house-made”. Another good winter starter would be the Risotto Cake featuring a nice roasted bell pepper sauce. On the lighter side, the Honey Apple Salad is one of my favorite salads anywhere. A perfect combination of crisp, sweet, and bitter, this arugula-spinach salad features apples, nuts, honey vinaigrette with a delicious drizzle of an Italian grape-must reduction called Saba that will make you moan in pleasure.
The Scratch Burger is simply one of the best burgers in the city. There are no gimmicks here. It’s just a perfectly seasoned meat patty on a delicious brioche bun with some fried onion strings and lettuce. Great ingredients, treated with care and consideration.
Brodsky set out to have the best pizza in the state. An ambitious goal, sure, but From Scratch does have some pretty formidable pizzas in its arsenal. The wood-fired crusts have a perfect smoky crispness without being dried and overdone. A choice like the traditional Margherita allows the crust to shine but I really enjoyed the White Out, which features a light Alfredo sauce, roasted garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Get it with a side of balsamic vinegar to drizzle on top. If you’re feeling like some salty meat in your mouth, the Salumi pizza is a great choice, featuring a selection of Creminelli meats with tomato sauce and house-made (of course) mozzarella cheese.
The highlight of the small dessert selection is the Buttermilk Panna Cotta, a silky Italian custard with a delightful lemon-thyme syrup.
Truth be told, I don’t really care where my flour is milled – but a place willing to put that much time into flour is going to treat the small things with care and consideration – and that just makes for some damn good food.