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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paradiso Mediterranean Dream

One of the first pizzas I reviewed on this blog was from Paradiso Pizza at RIT's Park Point development. I'm not sure why, I think I just happened to go there right about then.
Since then, Paradiso opened a second location on Lyell Avenue, which has in the meantime closed and reopened as Dom's Pizzeria, leaving the RIT location as the only Paradiso around (Paradiso's website needs some updating in that regard).
While I've seen mixed reviews on the web, I've thought that Paradiso made decent enough NY-style pizza, and their "Mediterranean Dream" sounded really good to me - feta cheese, fresh spinach, tomatoes and black olives, over a bed of garlic and oil.
When I went to pick it up, I also thought I might solve what had been a mystery to me, which is why Paradiso's website says that they've been "in the pizza business for 35 years."
In that regard, though, I was disappointed. I asked the person behind the counter if she knew why the website would say that, since Paradiso only opened at RIT within the past couple of years, but I got a very curt, "No" in response, in a way that did not seem to invite further inquiry, so I left if at that. So the mystery continues.
My quest for a good pizza was more successful. This was a tasty pie.
The menu offers a choice of thickness for the crust. I didn't specify, but this was a pretty thin crust. If this was "regular," then "thin" must be really thin.
The underside was dark brown, with some surface crackling. It was crunchy underneath and along the edge, though it lacked the slightly charred quality of classic NY style pizza. The crunchiness along the lip was reminiscent of the "fried" crunch you get with some pizzas, though this was not a particularly greasy pie. Still, I think there was a bit of oil in there somewhere to give the crust this kind of crunch. The overall texture and flavor were all right, if not quite as bready as I would've liked.
As I'd hoped from the description, I enjoyed the flavor of this pie. It was not overly cheese-laden, like some white pizzas, but the mix of feta and mozzarella (not listed on the menu description, but I took it to be mozzarella) contrasted well with each other, and provided a good background for the other toppings. My biggest complaints are that the tomatoes were pale and flavorless (which is not unusual, when they're out of season) and that the olives were of the canned variety. They were OK, just not as flavorful as the "fresh" kind (I'm not sure if "fresh" is the right word, since all olives are cured in some way, but you get what I mean. The kind of olives you get at the olive bar in the supermarket.)
Still, all in all this was a pretty decent pizza, on a pretty decent crust. There was room for improvement, but I had no major complaints. I'm still wondering about that "35 years" claim, but this was good enough to get a B from me.
Paradiso Pizza,  200 Park Point Drive, Suite #105, Henrietta 14623
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - midnight, Sun. noon - 9 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. The 35 year history probably has something to do with the owner also owning Cosimos Pizza in Marketplace Mall and prior to that Luca Pizza in Midtown Plaza. I believe John started Luca Pizza in the late 70's thus the 35 year reference.

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