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Friday, July 17, 2009

Leccese's, Spencerport

Note: as of January 2012, it appears that Leccese's is closed.
 Today we head out to the west side, to the Village of Spencerport. Leccese's Pizzeria (which used to be - under different ownership, I think - West Side Pizzeria), is in a plaza at the NW corner of Union St. and Rt. 31, just off the 531 expressway.
Leccese's menu says you can order your pizza "thin, thick, or in between" (which frankly, any pizzeria should be able to do, unless, God forbid, they're using premade crusts), but my usual approach is not to ask for a particular thickness and just let them make it the way they usually do. What I got was a medium thick pizza - no surprise there - with a better-than-average crust. It was slightly charred underneath, with a bit of crispness, a nice bready flavor and no greasiness.
In terms of overall flavor, the sauce was a major player here. It was applied fairly thickly and had a definite herbal flavor. Unlike a lot of pizzas where the sauce is very much in the background, it was quite prominent here.
The mozzarella cheese was a bit thick, but in good balance with the other components. It was browned here and there, but still had a "melted" consistency. The thin-sliced pepperoni had good flavor, and was surprisingly ungreasy.
Getting back to the crust, this was reminiscent of a crusty Italian bread, especially along the crunchy edge. Here and there it had bubbled up from the yeast, and the tiny air holes inside also showed that it had been given a good rise. I also thought I picked up a whiff of garlic powder in there somewhere, but I'm not sure where it was coming from - inside the crust, an outside dusting, or perhaps the sauce.
Leccese's has a pretty standard "expanded" pizzeria menu, meaning the usual wings and subs, plus quesadillas, grilled and fried items, wraps, "Lemessy Plates," but they also offer some Italian entrees like homemade lasagna, greens & beans and chicken parm. Only a handful of specialty pizzas, but they include a "spiedie" pizza made with white sauce, mozzarella and chicken spiedies, and a Greek pizza with feta, kalamata olives, red onions, spinach, tomatoes, white sauce and mozzarella. There's some seating, but it's mostly takeout and delivery.
Leccese's faces some nearby competition. Although Spencerport is blissfully free - so far - of national chain pizzerias, there's a big, shiny Cam's right across the street from (and in a much more prominent location than) Leccese's, and a Pontillo's on the other side of Union St. But if the locals have discriminating tastes where pizza is concerned, then I don't think Lecesse's should have to worry. This is good pizza. I'd put it in the "Rochester style" category, with its medium-thick crust, plenty of sauce, and fairly thick layer of cheese. This was another one of those pizzas in which the individual components complement each other, yet maintain their separate, noticeable presence with each bite. What made it a cut or two above average, for me, was the good, bready crust. Start with that, add good toppings, and you've got good pizza. Sounds easy, but a lot of places don't seem to get it. Leccese's does, and I'll give it a B+.
Leccese's Pizzeria, 42 Nichols St., Spencerport. 352-TOGO (8646).
Mon. - Thu. 10:30 am - 10 pm, Fri. & Sat. 11 am - midnight, Sun. noon - 9 pm


  1. Just ordered from there tonight based on your review but went with the thin pizza and it was awesome. Asked for it crispy just in case and didn't disappoint. Little stingy on the pepperonis, but best "thin" crust, almost NYS pizza I've had in a while. Thanks for the review!