Monday, August 31, 2009
Tom & Nancy's, Stone Rd., Greece
Tom & Nancy's Pizzeria is a name that goes back many years in the Rochester area. According to their menu they've been in business for nearly three decades. If I remember correctly they at one time had a place on Dewey Ave., and recently a location in Spencerport, which, sadly, closed last year. Currently their one location is on Stone Road in Greece. My understanding is that the original owners sold the business and the name, and have retired. If anybody knows differently, or has more info, please let me know or correct me.
I recently stopped by for a large pie, half pepperoni, half plain. The medium-to-thick crust had a toasted brown underside, with no greasiness. There was a bit of oven soot on the bottom, mostly cornmeal, as well as what appeared to be burned cheese (although it was blackened beyond recognition) that was stuck to the edge of the pizza in a couple of spots.
Despite that, I really enjoyed the crust on this pizza. It had terrific flavor and aroma as well as texture, with a chewy, bready, moist interior.
The sauce and cheese were both applied moderately, and in good balance with the crust. The sauce leaned more toward the tomatoey than the herbal end of the spectrum. The cheese was well melted but not browned, a little gooey, and had pooled a bit toward the center of the pie. The "cup & char" pepperoni was reasonably crisp and had good flavor.
Tom & Nancy's has resisted the trend among pizzerias to have huge menus offering everything under the sun. They keep it pretty simple here, with pizza (whole pies only, no slices) and calzones, a reasonable list of available toppings but no weird "specialty" pizzas, as well as wings, fried chicken, and a modest list of deep-fried sides. It's strictly a takeout and delivery operation, with a couple of chairs if you're waiting for your food, but no eat-in facilities.
This was very good pizza, in what to me is the traditional "Rochester style" - a tad thick, nice and bready, with a healthy but not overwhelming dose of sauce and mozzarella.
One of Rochester's great culinary assets is the presence of some great old bakeries turning out delicious, traditional Italian bread, and I think some of that heritage is reflected in Rochester's older, established pizzerias as well. Tom & Nancy's is one of them, and based on this visit, it's a good one. With its fresh-baked-bread flavor and well-balanced components, this was a very enjoyable pizza, although on this particular one I have to take off some points for the oven soot (not so much the cornmeal as the burnt-to-a-crisp cheese stuck to the edge, which was pretty unappealing looking). A little more attention to detail and this could be a top-notch pizza, but this time around I'll give it a B+.
Tom & Nancy's Pizzeria, 423 Stone Rd., 663-1274
(I'm not sure of the hours at this point but I think they generally open sometime in mid-afternoon.)