Paradiso Pizza on Lyell Avenue. (The Paradiso at RIT is still open, though they need to update their website to reflect the closing of the Lyell location.)
I stopped by recently for a couple of slices. Well, actually, I stopped by for one slice, but two slices and a drink were only five bucks, so I splurged.
The first change I notice from Paradiso was that the front doors were locked; I had to get buzzed in. That's sad, but more a reflection of life in Rochester than of the pizzeria. (I wouldn't consider this an unsafe neighborhood, but the way, particularly in the daytime. But the pizzeria may have reason to keep some control over who comes in.)
Second change, only two types of slices available, cheese and pepperoni. The latter are 50 cents extra, but the pizzaiolo, who I took to be the owner, gave me a break.
OK, so the slices - these were thin, but not New York style, as Paradiso's had been. They were rather heavy, for their thinness, more of a cross between New York style and a typical Rochester style slice, with a fairly heavy layer of cheese.
The owner told me that the cheese slices had just come out of the oven and didn't need to be reheated, but he graciously offered me a reheating of the pepperoni slice, which I accepted.
Despite the brief reheating, the bottom on the pepperoni slice, like that of the cheese slice, was on the pale side. It was dry, not oily, but not very crisp. The top of the crust on both slices was also just a bit gummy, as if some liquid, perhaps from the sauce, had soaked into it.
There wasn't a lot of sauce, but it was added in reasonably good propotion to the crust. I noticed some herb flavors (oregano, basil?), and found the sauce just a little on the sweet side.
Atop that lay a blanket of melted, congealed mozzarella. It was a little dry, making me think that perhaps it was part-skim cheese, which doesn't have the fat to ooze out become either stringy or oily. (Which makes me wonder, why do some cheeses become soft and stretchy in the oven, while others simply exude their oil? Any experts out there?)
The medium-thick edge was crunchy and bready, and in fact quite good, like a fresh-cut slice of Italian bread. If the rest of the crust had shared those qualities, this would've been a top-notch slice of pizza.
Dom's pizza menu lists 13 toppings and eight "gourmet" pizzas, including the "Mom's pizza," which is topped with spinach, artichoke hearts, alfredo sauce, roasted garlic, a hint of nutmeg, and quattro formaggi (four cheeses). They also have the "Old World style," with "a crispy crust, topped with fresh herbs & spices in a traditional red sauce and grated parmesan." Other items include calzones and strombolis, wings, hot and cold subs, pasta, salads, sides, and desserts.
For now, I'm not going to rate Dom's. Not that it would get a bad rating, I just think it's too early. And I intend to go back before very long to check out that Old World pizza. These slices were tasty, with a very nice bready lip along the edge, though I would've liked a little more crispness underneath, and a little less gumminess on top. But I have a good feeling about this one. Look for another report in the next few weeks.
Dom's Pizzeria, 1074 Lyell Ave., 647-6777
Sun. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Free delivery within a 3-mile radius