What a pie!

What: The margherita pizza

Where: Ferro, 25840 Cedar St., Idyllwild

How much: $14

Contact: 951-659-0700; www.ferrorestaurant.com

Why: It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve had in SoCal.

I was part of a group of friends who decided to splurge for a cabin in Idyllwild one recent weekend. We were celebrating a birthday, and we figured it would be lovely to escape the broiling heat for a few days.

Unfortunately, the cabin wasn’t air-conditioned. And temperatures rose into the mid-90s each of the days we were there. Oops.

Despite the sweatiness, it was still a nice weekend—and one of the highlights didn’t even take place at the cabin. It happened a couple of miles down the hill from our non-climate-controlled cabin, at Ferro restaurant.

While we dined in for most of our meals, we decided to give ourselves a break from cooking for two dinners. Both Ferro’s dog-friendly patio and outdoor wood-fire pizza oven caught my eye during my Idyllwild restaurant research. We initially tried to go on Friday night, sans reservations—but we were politely told there was no availability. We promptly made reservations for Sunday.

We are very glad we did.

From the polenta con parmigiano side ($8) to the cacio e pepe (spaghettoni and pecorino romano with black pepper, $18) to the salmone arrosto ($34), everything we had was fantastic. But my personal favorite was the oh-so-simple, oh-so-good margherita pizza. Dough, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and garlic—that’s all there is to this pizza. But the dough was fresh and delicious; the ingredients were all high quality and perfectly proportioned; and the pizza was expertly cooked in that aforementioned woodfire oven.

Our meal was so scrumptious that we’re already plotting another trip to Idyllwild—perhaps just for dinner. In my mind, that margherita pizza alone is worth making the twisty, turny drive up the mountain.

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...