Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Savoia, Clifford Ave.
Thanks to a tip from a reader, I learned not long ago that Savoia bakery on Clifford St. serves mini pizzas, so I got myself over there last week to check it out.
With that unmistakable aroma that is unique to pastry shops greeting you as soon as you open the door, it would be easy to make a beeline for the impressive array of cookies, cakes and pastries in the front display cases, but if you do that, you'll miss the pizzas entirely. They're on a shelf in the center of the room, individually wrapped in plastic bags.
There were three varieties to pick from: pepperoni, a white spinach pizza, and what was labeled a focaccia pizza, topped with olives and parmesan. Though they all looked good, I went with the pepperoni, since its ubiquity among pizza shops makes it a good benchmark. There was some variation among them in terms of the apparent doneness of the crust, so I picked one that was a medium, even shade of brown.
Figuring that the plastic bag probably hadn't done much for the crispness of the crust, I reheated my pizza in a toaster oven at 350 for about eight minutes before eating it. It measured about 8 1/2 inches across, and, once rewarmed, had a nicely crunchy bottom that was not at all greasy. The crust was a little on the thick side - about a half inch, on average - with an underside that was browned and cratered from air bubbles.
The crust was topped with a thick, well cooked sauce. The sauce seemed to have been reduced quite a bit, to the point that it was somewhat dried out. It had a concentrated, tomatoey flavor.
The mozzarella cheese was a bit browned in spots, and it seemed to have exuded some orangey oil that was mostly visible around the edge of the pizza.
Speaking of the edge, it was on the crunchy side, and filled with small air holes. All in all, the pizza was pretty well balanced between the crust, sauce and cheese.
Whether you're there for the pizza or not, you'll want to check out Savoia's other offerings, which run from Italian and other breads to pastries, cookies, pies, and just about any other baked confection you could want. If there are nuptials in your future, Savoia is also well known for their wedding cakes.
Getting back to the pizza - well, first let me say that you have to approach a pizza like this with realistic expectations. What I mean is, if you are getting a room-temperature pizza in a plastic bag off a shelf, you cannot expect it to blow you away, or to be on a par with the best pizzas you've had, fresh out of the oven. The reheating helped, and I think is definitely advisable if you can do it, but no matter what, you're talking rewarmed pizza here.
Having said that, I'm still going to rate this based on how it struck me at the time, and I found it to be pretty good, not great by any means, but certainly not bad. One of these and a cannoli or a slice of tiramisu, and you've got yourself a meal. So while the bakery as a whole would easily earn a spon on the dean's list, the pizza comes in at a C+.
Savoia Pastry Shoppe, 2267 Clifford Avenue, 482-1130