The panhandle seems to be the proving ground for westward-expanding restaurant chains, especially from the Midwest and Montana. While many have staked claims — Ciao Mambo and MacKenzie River Pizza, for example — not all have survived the Coeur d’Alene-area market mix of resort-y, rural and suburban sensibilities.
Bullman’s Wood Fired Pizza, however, might have the goods to endure the mostly-locals winter dining season, maybe luring folks to check out the unabashedly upscale Riverstone development. With its urban lodge décor — slate wall tiles embedded with copper, industrial droplights, distressed wood seating, earth-tone walls and floor — Bullman’s style might remind you of Fire Artisan Pizza, which opened downtown in 2011, then expanded to Spokane late last year.
Characteristic of wood-fired pizza, Bullman’s delivers crisp Neapolitan-style pies with a telltale char and enticing smokiness. The sauce is neither overly salty nor sweet, the perfect medium for toppings that range from traditional (sausage, mushrooms, Parmesan) to esoteric. The Bitterroot, for example, features pistachios, red onions, rosemary, mozzarella, olive oil and sea salt.
Named for areas throughout Montana, pies range from about $9 for a small 10-inch that easily feeds two people to just under $20 for the 14-inch large. Child-size pies for less than $5 will appeal to families.
Besides pizza, Bullman’s menu includes a half-dozen hearty salads as well as sandwiches like the Dearborn, with ham, Gouda, caramelized onions, arugula and Dijon aioli ($7). Appetizers include three kinds of “sticks”: cheese, bread or Fire Sticks: cayenne pepper sauce, spicy chicken and mozzarella ($7). Beer is bottle-only but features a decent selection of microbrews like Laughing Dog’s IPA and Huckleberry Cream Ale.
Just across from Riverstone cinemas and within walking distance for Riverstone’s increasing resident population, Bullman’s is also right off Interstate 90. That’s especially convenient for Washingtonians heading east for good eats.
Bullman’s Wood Fired Pizza • 2385 N. Old Mill Loop, CdA • Open Mon-Thu 11 am–9 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun noon-8 pm • bullmanspizza.com • (208) 930-0219