Friday, October 16, 2009
DiRosato's, Elmgrove Road
DiRosato’s apparently has two area locations. I say “apparently” because it’s hard to keep track of them. At various times they’ve had several shops around the area, but right now I think there are just two, in Gates and Webster, at least according to their website. Last time I was in Webster, though, it looked to me like that location was now something called Roma Pizza, so I really don't know.
DiRosato’s opened its original store on Lyell Avenue. The Gates location, at the corner of Lyell and Elmgrove, was the second to open, in 1990. The Webster location - if it's still there and under the same ownership - traces its roots back to SS Coliseum Pizza on Dewey Ave., according to the RocWiki site.
Oh, and one odd note about the DiRosato's website - on search results, it comes up as “DiRosato's Pizza and Pasta- Home of the Five Free Toppings.” And if you click on the subpage entitled “The Owners,” which recites some of the history of DiRosato’s, it states that they were “the first pizza shop in Rochester to offer the ‘5 Free Toppings’ special. It was a huge success and other pizza shops followed their lead.”
So what’s odd about that? Well, they don’t seem to offer five free toppings. The menu says nothing about it. So presumably that offer has been discontinued. That’s fine, I don’t often want five toppings on my pizza anyway, but time to update the website, guys.
But on to the pizza. I stopped at the Gates store recently and grabbed a slice. It had a medium to thick crust, the underside of which was well browned and slightly greasy to the touch. Texturally, the crust had a certain oily crispness to it, and the outer lip was quite hard. The dough had clearly risen nicely, but otherwise there was nothing especially bready about the crust.
The slice was heavy on both the sauce and the cheese, which was fine given the relative thickness of the dough. Although some dried herbs were visible in the sauce, the sauce had a predominantly tomatoey flavor. The cheese was a bit browned, particularly near the outer edge.
The pepperoni slices varied in texture, and like the cheese, the ones near the lip seemed to have gotten more thoroughly cooked. Near the tip, the pepperoni was fairly soft and chewy; the ones near the outer edge were crisp, with an almost baconlike texture and flavor.
DiRosato’s has a pretty standard lineup of toppings and four specialty pizzas. They’re one of the few places around here that I’ve seen offer a potato pizza. From what I’ve been able to discover, you can find such a thing in Italy - it seems to be a Roman thing - but I doubt you’ll find one like DiRosato’s, which comes with “mild wing sauce, seasonal potatoes [sic], Mozzarella, Cheddar, and bacon bits served with sour cream.”
Besides pizza, DiRosato’s has calzones, subs, wings, hots and burgers, tacos, salads, and sides, plus a daily fish fry. The Gates location also has a dinner menu that includes pasta, “25-layer lasagna,” and several chicken dishes. I believe in the summer, they do an outdoor barbeque or “steakout” one night a week, or at least they did this past summer. And they serve wine and beer.
The menu indicates that the Webster DiRosato’s has “no dinner menu,” but you can get pizza there till 4 a.m., which is about as late as you’ll find it anywhere in this area, and they deliver countywide, according to their ad in the Yellow Pages.
This pizza was OK. I didn’t find any particular fault with it. But it didn’t wow me either. It tasted fine, but the crust was nothing special. Overall, it was neither better nor worse than your average pizza around here, so I’ll give it C.
DiRosato’s Pizza & Pasta, 3869 Lyell Rd. at Elmgrove Rd. 426-0270
Other location (not reviewed) at 2225 Empire Blvd., Webster (across from Loew’s) 671-8680
Both locations offer dine-in, delivery, takeout, and catering.