Monday, June 14, 2010
Amico's Pizza Bianco
Amico Pizza in April 2009, giving it a B for "good, basic, honest Rochester pizza." Not long ago, I went back and picked up a Pizza Bianco, which is described in the menu as topped with fresh chopped garlic, olive oil, Peccorino Romano, mozzarella, ricotta, tomatoes, onions and fresh basil.
This pie had a medium thick crust with a browned, flour-dusted bottom. The underside was dry and non-greasy, with some firmness, though the heavily-laden slices were a bit floppy at the tips.
This was a flavorful pizza, starting with the crust, which had the aroma, flavor and texture of freshly baked bread. The puffy edges of the crust were nice and chewy, without being tough.
Olive oil and garlic is pretty much a can’t-miss combination as far as I'm concerned, and here they made a terrific base for the other toppings, starting with the Romano, which added a sharp, salty tanginess to the pizza. I believe it was sprinkled on first, then layered with low-moisture mozzarella and finally the ricotta. Though the latter two cheeses didn't contribute as much flavor as the Romano, they added some varied textures. The mozzarella was smooth melted but not browned, except for a few stray strands near the edge. The mildly-flavored ricotta had a texture somewhere between the liquidity of fresh mozzarella and the thickness of cream cheese.
The remaining toppings - tomatoes, onions and basil - were judiciously applied, adding some further interest to the overall flavor profile without taking center stage. The chopped tomatoes were OK, not great, but not bad for still being out of season locally.
Different pizzerias make white pizza in different ways. Some keep it simple, with just some olive oil and a minimum of toppings, some use a lot of cheese, and others use an alfredo or other white sauce. Though the olive oil was an important component here - conveying flavor and keeping the crust from drying out on top - this was a cheese-dominated pizza.
At the same time, though, it was really an exercise in balance, with the various components added in inverse proportion to the assertiveness of their flavors. The strongly-flavored Romano was added in a small enough amount to keep it from dominating, while the milder mozzarella and ricotta were laid on in much more substantial quantities. The garlic, onions, tomatoes and basil were also noticeably present, but all in balance, complementing rather than competing with each other.
There are other places and other pizzas that I mean to try, but this will not be my last visit to Amico. I still want to try their minimalist-sounding "#1," which is topped with nothing but sauce and Pecorino Romano. But if you're a fan of white pizza - cheesy white pizza, in particular - Amico's take on it is well worth a try. I'll give it a B+.
Amico Pizza, 859 E.Ridge Rd. 544-8380
Sun. 1 p.m. - 9 p.m., Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 am - 11:30 p.m.
Pizza Guy note, 9/15/10: I'm not sure if these hours are accurate. I called the other day to order a pizza for lunch and was told that they didn't open until 4:00.