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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leonardo's, Victor - CLOSED

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Leonardo's, a/k/a Leo's, a/k/a Uncle Leo's, is on Rt. 96 in Victor, just down the road from where 490 meets the Thruway, about a mile and a half or so west of the village. According to their website, they've been in business since 1968, an impressive 41 years, although I think there may have been some moves over that time. For one thing, the building they're in doesn't look that old, and I also found this reference to Leo's having started out as "Joe's" on Thurston road in Rochester. Hmm.
Anyway, they're in Victor now, and that's where I headed for a pepperoni slice, which came very fresh out of the oven. The relatively thin crust bore faint but unmistakable pizza screen markings underneath. It was rather pale - just very lightly browned - and despite a slight outer crispness, quite soft overall, without much "backbone."
Flavorwise, I would describe the crust as more doughy than bready. The tomatoey, somewhat tangy sauce stayed mostly in the background, and the cheese, though not applied particularly heavily, was uniformly distributed across the surface, forming a single, melted layer of stringy, chewy mozzarella. No pockets of sauce poking out here, except at the tip, where the cheese had slid off a bit.
The wide and thin slices of pepperoni were applied fairly generously, and were OK, unremarkable but not too greasy. The outer edge of the slice had a thin lip of dough with a bit of crunch and a smidgen of stray, browned shreds of cheese.
Leo's has a pretty big menu, with a long list of specialty pizzas that include a potato skin pizza and a veal pizza, neither of which I recall seeing before. There are also wings, hot and cold subs, sandwiches and wraps, plus salads and appetizers. The weekend menu expands to include fried haddock, clams, and shrimp, as well as spaghetti and ziti dinners.
Leo's also boasts that it's the "Home of the Bomber," which is described as a homemade dough turnover, filled with your choice of meat and cheese, which is then baked and stuffed with your favorite sub toppings. I'm not sure how they can stuff something that's already been filled with meat and cheese (maybe it kind of cooks down in the oven) - but it sounds like a meal and a half in itself.
Leonardo's also deserves mention as one of the few places I've seen around here that offers gluten-free pizza (and bombers, too), the other being Nick's out in Chili (which I'll be getting to soon).
Leo's has takeout and delivery service, and plenty of tables for dining in. The large dining area doesn't have much in the way of atmosphere, but they do have a decent TV (I don't recall if there was more than one), which I assume is generally tuned to sports, and they offer both draft and bottled beer, so while it's not a bar, you could catch a game here over some pizza and brews.
I can't honestly say that I was crazy about this pizza, but I can't say it was bad, either. A little too soft and "medium rare" for my taste, with the chewy, melted-not-browned cheese taking center stage alongside the thin but doughy crust. On the other hand, the overall flavors were good, and by no means would I turn my nose up at this if you put a Leo's pie in front of me. In a word - and this isn't meant as a putdown - this was average pizza for around here, so I'll give it a C.
Leonardo's Pizza, 7387 Pittsford-Victor Road (Route 96), Victor. 924-1480
Mon. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. noon - 9 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

6 comments:

  1. Yes, sadly I gather they are out of business. This is a sad lost to the Celiac community. You may have rated it a C however for anyone with Celiac Disease this was the go to place for pizza, wings and many other GF offerings! I have found 3 GF products that taste almost or just as good as their made with gluten twin and personally I know Leo's GF pizza was the best and as close to "real" pizza as I have tasted, additionally you could order any toppings you'd like on your GF pizza or any of thier specialty pizzas GF as long as the topping(s) themselves were GF plus they even offered a GF wing night. That being said I would have gladly given their GF menu an A grade, sadly they are now closed and the only thing people with Celiac Disease have left for a pizza option is frozen pizzas or Mark's Pizzeria now offers GF. However you can only order cheese or pepperoni and while it's better than any of the frozen GF pizza's I've tried sadly it's aweFul and more than pales in comparison to what was once offered at Leo's Pizza. But, don't take my word for it! Order yourself a GF pizza from Mark's Pizzeria: about 10" cheese or pepperoni for $8.99 or $9.99 and try it for yourself! :)
    -A Farmington Celiac Family

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  2. I'll try to keep my eyes open for gluten-free pizzas and pass on anything I find.

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  3. Thank you, that would be very much appreciated! I haven't yet broken the news to my 5 year old son that they have closed, he loved to be able to eat in a dine in setting! :( Which is available else where but I am not sure it is possible without this family of 5 going broke in the process. Sharing you and this listing with Rochester Celiac Support Group on Facebook! :) Happy Hunting!
    ~A Farmington Celiac Family (again)

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  4. I can't believe they are closed. I just found out that Joe's pizza (which later became TJ's Pizza) lived on, only to find out that they are closed. Very depressing. They were one of my two favorite places for pizza (along with Chester Cab) and I was so looking forward to one of their pies!

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