The pies come straight from Cane Rosso’s 900-degree brick oven. Brian Hutson
The pies come straight from Cane Rosso’s 900-degree brick oven. Brian Hutson

As an old acquaintance of mine once slurred over his congealed hollandaise sauce, “a brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast.” My friends and I treated the meal back then as a drinking-related speed-dating event. We chugged gallons of esophagus-scorching mimosas made with Capri Sun and fermented grapes from the dregs of Robert Mondavi’s dumpster because “bottomless” is a dare. After adding two dogs, a manfriend, and a pinch of maturity, our heartburn-inducing Sunday singles mixer was about as enticing as $20 scrambled eggs under a heat lamp. Grabbing pizza and prosecco on the dog-friendly patio of West Magnolia Avenue’s Cane Rosso slowly crept in as my new weekend brunch ritual.

Neapolitan-style pizza always had a legitimate case for a restraining order against me, at any time of day. But when Cane Rosso expanded its original, limited menu of craft brew and wine to include specialty cocktails, my perception shifted from beer and pizza to an ideal spot for firewater at high noon on the weekend.

If you follow owner Jay Jerrier on his public Facebook page, you know he is passionate about his family, cargo shorts, rescuing dogs, and meticulously crafted food and drink. Cane Rosso’s specialty cocktail menu reflects that attention to libationary detail in the house-aged limoncello, top-shelf liquors, and fresh ingredients like rhubarb, fennel, basil, and lavender to complement a well-rounded wine and craft beer list.

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Cane Rosso does offer dollar traditional mimosas during brunch, but I recommend swapping one of them for the outstanding frozen limoncello, a combination of fresh lemon, sugar, and Skyy Citrus vodka. It’s like an adult version of the frozen lemonade cup at Six Flags, without that weird wooden tongue depressor spoon or Tilt-A-Whirl whiplash.

I am a fan of the Greyhound –– dog and drink but never bus –– and Cane Rosso’s version of this classic cocktail, called L’Aurora, with grapefruit vodka, Campari, and freshly squeezed orange juice has the perfect bite to wake you up.

[box_info]Cane Rosso
815 W Magnolia Av, FW. 817-922-9222.[/box_info]

When you need less breakfast, more hair of the dog, the Santonicola Smash (Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, Galliano, fennel, mint, and lemon) can be Super Glue for a broken head. If you prefer not to hang upsidedown from the rafters at 11:30am, perhaps the Mulo Messicano (Espolón reposado tequila, lemon ginger syrup, tiki bitters, and ginger beer) is a better way to ease back to life.

If your Federico Bellini is toasting no one right now, these pizza makers also have a solid matchmaking service. Your drinking money helps abandoned or homeless dogs via Cane Rosso’s nonprofit side, Cane Rosso Rescue, and the autumn 2016 debut of Cane Rosso Rescue Adoption Center in Carrollton. Adopting a dog from the rescue merits a VIP Black Card, which means you get to skip lines. Like a boss. Temporarily fostering also earns you pizza and a darling wingdog to help break the ice with the opposite sex down on the Trinity Trails this fall.

The best part? When you pay your brunch tab, donate online, or attend one of Cane Rosso’s rescue events, you are supporting a dog’s survival. For my sweet little Pointer-mix Gigi, without the Cane Rosso Rescue network of volunteers, fosters, and funds, her tail would have stopped wagging forever last September. Next time you grab a seat and a Rosso Rum Punch, yank out your phone and check out to find out about local dog-focused events, fostering, or adoption in Fort Worth, and perhaps find a buddy that will never let you brunch alone again. –– Susie Geissler


Follow Susie on Twitter and Instagram @Zens7s.