Hancock wrote:So am I hearing that one should NOW try Bluestone if they want to get authentic Candlelite Pizza? Man, I hope that's not the case....
Here is the story as I understand it. The principal owner of the Bluestone, John, was a former co-owner of the old Candlelite. He and a business partner had purchased the Candlelite from John's aunt and uncle (I believe) who were retiring after owning the business (but not the building) for many years.
The original Candlelite was known for its ultra-thin crust pizza, a recipe that was passed on by the original owners to their nephew. It seems that several decades ago, there was a sort of impromptu competition between several bars as to who could lay claim to the thinnest crust pizza in town. The Candlelite's crust was so thin, it was almost transparent. Remember the Bucket o' Suds? They also made a super-thin pizza. I was not particularily enamored with the ultra-thin "tavern" style crust, but some people absolutely loved it.
My favorite thing at the old Candlelite was actually the homemade Italian Beef on garlic bread with hot and sweet peppers and Mozarella cheese which was cooked under a broiler until the cheese was bubbly and brown, and the crust of the bread was crispy (called a John's special). The superheated little hot peppers would explode in your mouth spraying out searing hot pepper juice, which required immediate dousing with cold beer to avoid blistering. They also made a decent steak sandwich.
Anyhow I digress, about 5 years ago, John opened the Bluestone in Evanston, shortly after that, the Candlelite closed (maybe because the lease was up). John kept a few of the original Candlelite favorites including the pizza and the beef sandwich, in the hopes of attracting some of the old Candlelite crowd. Other than that, the Bluestone had a completely different menu.
The original Candlelite space sat empty for a couple of years until it was re-opened and re-modeled by a group of investors who had nothing to do with the original operation. Since the original owners did not own the building, I do not think they made a dime off the deal. The new investors decided to feature thin crust pizza, since that is what the original Candlelite had been famous for. However, the recipe was completely new and not at all the same. The crust was not as thin as the original, but personally, I thought it was actually a much better pizza (though some of the old customers might disagree). Now it seems it may have changed yet again.
So when people tell you the Bluestone serves authentic Candlelite pizza, they are referring to the recipe that dates back decades, to way before the re-modeling and re-opening. However, to make sure it is the real thing, I would first inquire if John is doing the cooking, since he is the keeper of the old family recipe.