Just like in the Matrix, Neo was “The One” (well, maybe it’s “The Three” in this case). Neo in Victory Park, the sister restaurant to Olivella’s by SMU, has been on my “To Try” list since it opened. Finally, I made it in and luckily caught their all-night happy hour (or at least the barkeep told me it was).

When I walked in, I was greeted by the bartender (Jake?) and chose a table. I enjoyed a snappily-poured $2 vodka sprite while waiting for my party as the place began to fill up (well, past the 12 people that were there when I walked in). My drink was just strong enough to give me a slight buzz which wasn’t hard due to my completely empty stomach. Once my party arrived we quickly realized that the bartender was not only the bartender, but also the host and waiter.

Overall, our boy, Jake, was quick but not quick enough to serve the 30-or-so patrons all at once; we waited quite a while for him to take our order. While it wasn’t his fault, management may need to revisit their staff schedule.

The drinks aren’t so strong, but they are quick to be made and you can always go with one of their wine or beer selections (both of which have some Italian and American options). I didn’t get to try the frozen lemonade but it looked delicious … just what I’d want on a 102° day.

The pizza is great; as I said, my third favorite in Dallas third only to Coal Vines, the one restaurant in Dallas about which I won’t listen to you talk smack, and Il Cane Rosso. I figured it must be good because their pies were voted “Best Pizza in Dallas” by “The Observer”. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning stove and are $13-23 (the regular/metro will feed 1-2/2-3 people, respectively). They don’t limit their menu to just pizza, they have sandwiches, salad wraps, pasta, and desserts. Skip the focaccia bread.

Their decor is rustic with a modern twist – large, black banquettes, pretty cheeky old-school-looking light bulbs, and some exposed brick. They don’t seem to have much lightning and we wondered what happened after the sun went down — apparently they just go with tall jar candles on each table to give it a bit of a romantic Italian vibe.

Bottom line: I’d go back if a friend wanted to go, but I wouldn’t volunteer it again unless I know there will be at least two people on staff for the night … but it’s tough to beat a $2 drink.

Drink strength: 2.5
Overall: 3.5

NEO | @neo_pizza
2340 Victory Park Lane | (214) 522-9898

Monday-Friday | 2-7 p.m. (ends at 5 p.m. on AAC event days) | $2 wells, domestics, and frozen lemonade

Wednesday | 1/2 price bottles of wine after 7pm