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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Olives, Pittsford

Olive's Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon
You might not ordinarily think of a Greek restaurant as a place to go for pizza, but why not? Although it's not too common around here, there are a couple of styles of pizza in this country commonly known as Greek pizza. I'm guessing, too, that the concept of putting toppings on flatbread and baking it is fairly widespread throughout the Mediterranean.
So it shouldn't come as a total surprise to find pizza on the menu at Olives at Schoen Place in Pittsford. I was tipped off to this by a reader quite some time ago, but I finally got around to trying it.
Olives offers eight different pizzas, and the "Spartan," with mozzarella, goat feta, and kasseri cheeses with tomatoes and onions, was both recommended and sounded good to me.
The crust on this personal-size pizza was about a quarter of an inch thick, and the dry underside bore some grill marks. The interior had some visible air holes and was a bit chewy, while the thin edge was dry and crunchy, with a toasted flavor.
As it often does in any dish, the feta took center stage here, lending a sharp, salty pungency to this pizza. It was not completely overwhelming, though, and I could also easily detect the flavor of the tomatoes (mostly from the underlying layer of sauce rather than from the sliced tomatoes, though the latter weren't bad, and of the onions as well. The pizza was also well dusted with dried herbs that gave it an added dimension to the overall flavor profile. All the toppings worked well together and with the crust.
You can look over Olives' menu on their website, but it generally covers all the standard Greek fare, from gyros to souvlaki, as well as some entrees that you won't find at your basic Greek diner. As far as the pizza goes, you won't find any cheese-and-pepperoni pies on the menu, but there are plenty of places around where you can get that. Next time I might try the Athenian, which is topped with roasted red peppers, artichokes, kasseri cheese and garlic spread.
And yes, this was good enough for there to be a next time. I generally don't care for "faux" pizzas made using pita bread, which I've seen at some Greek or Middle Eastern restaurants, but this was pretty good. Not an everyday kind of pizza, but a nice change of pace, and quite tasty. I'll give it a B.
Olives Greek Taverna, 50 State Street, Pittsford 381-3990
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

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