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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lucci's, East River Rd.

Lucci's is a relatively new place - new to me, anyway, as I only learned of its existence a few weeks ago - near RIT.  That means that RIT students now have three pizzerias within a short distance of the campus, the other two being Sylvio's and Paradiso (which is actually on campus). And supposedly, RIT's Food Services department is in the process of revamping its own pizza to try to make it more competitive with outside vendors. So in terms of the sheer number of choices, at least, RIT students should consider themselves fortunate, where pizza's concerned.
I grabbed a couple of pepperoni slices recently. They were quite thin, with a screen baked underside that was fairly pale, just a bit sooty, and dry to the touch but not very crisp. The crust had a chewy texture that made it more suitable for tearing off a mouthful at a time, rather than biting cleanly through. It was a pliable crust, though, and the slices were easily foldable.
Topside, both slices were quite greasy, mostly, I assume, from the pepperoni. These were what I'll call “2 napkin” slices, meaning that it took two napkins apiece to sop up the layer of grease on each one.
The sauce was noticeably, though not liberally, applied, and had a slightly sweet flavor. A light dusting of dried herbs was visible, mixed in with the sauce.
The cheese was applied somewhat thinly, though in good balance with the thin crust. There were some bare, cheeseless areas along the outer edge, which was formed into a thin lip. The dough had bubbled in a couple of spots along the edge, creating some large pockets of air.
Lucci's available pizza toppings are pretty basic, but they do offer seven specialty pizzas, including a "monster" (essentially a garbage plate pizza) and what they call a Sicilian, which is described as topped with Italian olives, mushrooms, hot peppers and cheese. Sounds good (except for the mushrooms - I don't like mushrooms), but can we get a definition of "Sicilian" pizza? I've seen all sorts of pizzas around here going by the name Sicilian, that don't fit the profile of what I always thought of as Sicilian pizza.
The non-pizza part of the menu includes wings, hot and cold subs, burgers, hots, chicken dinners, seafood and fish, pasta, "plates," salads, soup, sides, and a few breakfast items (including breakfast pizza) as well. And since it's in a convenience store, you can also pick up basic groceries, beer, tobacco, and of course Lotto tickets.
As far as the pizza's concerned, this was not bad, not great. All three of the basic components - crust, sauce and cheese - were well integrated with each other, and generally it tasted pretty good. But the crust seemed a bit undercooked and lacking in crispness. It may have been the first pizza of the day when I went there, and sometimes that can be tricky because the ovens may not be quite up to full temp, I don't know.
Based on my limited experience, if I were on campus and wanted pizza, I might go to Lucci's, especially if I wanted to pick up some other stuff too. For a convenient, decent NY style slice, I'd probably walk over to Paradiso, and if I wanted a monster slice or to go somewhere with a bar, I'd head to Sylvio's. Now let's wait and see what RIT Food Services can come up with. In the meantime, Lucci's gets a C+ from me.
Lucci’s Pizza & Grill, 3289 East River Rd. 292-6780
Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sat. 9:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m., Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.


  1. Growing up in New Jersey, just outside NYC, Sicilian always meant a rectangular, thicker crusted pizza. I have never seen any other definition, but I never really look, though.

  2. That's what I've always thought, but I've been surprised to see several places around here where "Sicilian" refers to a regular pizza with some particular combination (which varies from one place to another) of toppings.

  3. You mention that Paradiso is on campus at RIT. This is incorrect. Park Point is not RIT. It is a separate development that's owned by Wilmorite, the mall people.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, but according to wikipedia (which is never wrong, as we all know), the property is being leased by RIT to Wilmorite:

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