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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lovin' Cup, Park Point at RIT

Park Point, the retail / residential development that opened a few years ago at RIT, has several dining choices available, including a full-fledged pizzeria, Paradiso.
But Paradiso is not the only place at Park Point where it's possible for a person to purchase pizza (how's that for alliteration?). Pizza's also on the menu at Lovin' Cup, a restaurant / bar / coffeehouse that features several personal-size pies on its menu. I had lunch there recently.
Though I really dislike cutesey names for dishes, I sucked it up and ordered a "Stroll Around the Moon," which is a Margherita in everything but name.
Before I get to the pizza, I must digress for a moment to say that I've no idea where they came up with the name for this pizza. A lot of menu items at Lovin' Cup - which itself is named after a Rolling Stones song - are taken from popular music, like the "Blue Suede Shoes" pizza and the "White Rabbit" burger (which is not made with rabbit meat, by the way). But googling "Stroll Around the Moon" did not turn up any songs of that name; the closest I got was "Circling Around the Moon" by John Mellencamp, "Walking on the Moon" by the Police, and several variations of  "Ring (or Rings) Around the Moon," by a number of artists.
At any rate, my pizza (which I will henceforth refer to as a Margherita) had a thin-to-medium thick crust, which was a little charred here and there underneath. It was very firm, and quite crunchy along the edge.
This is strictly my subjective impression, but to me there was something about this crust that seemed pre-made. Probably it was that firmness - the slices weren't really supple at all, and though they were a little chewy on the inside, they lacked the fresh-bread aroma and texture that marks what I consider a great pizza crust.
The crust seemed to have been given a light coating of olive oil, atop of which lay finely diced tomatoes, thinly shredded basil, and a layer of melted mozzarella. The menu describes the cheese on this pie as fresh mozzarella - the only pizza here given that "fresh" designation - and it was good cheese, with a smooth, creamy texture, but it was not the bright white fresh mozzarella that's typically applied in sliced rounds. It was beautifully melted but was gooier and spread more uniformly across the pizza than the fresh mozzarella I'm used to seeing. Maybe I just need to learn more about the different kinds of mozzarella.
Overall, this pizza was pretty flavorful, with a certain tanginess and a prominent flavor of basil. I frankly wasn't thrilled with the crust, but my impression was that the pizzas here are more about the toppings than the crust.
Lovin' Cup is a good-sized place, with a large dining area and a full bar, which features a well-chosen, oft-changing selection of microbrews. The rest of the food menu runs toward soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches, and there's a wide variety of coffee drinks available. I liked the place; the pizza, well, it had its ups (good cheese, good flavor, albeit a bit heavy on the basil) and downs (stiff, lifeless crust), which kind of cancel each other out, so I'll give it a right-down-the-middle C.
Lovin' Cup Bistro & Brews, 300 Park Point Dr. Suite 101 (at RIT).
Tel.: 292-9940
Hours:  Mon. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Tue. & Wed. 11 a.m. - midnight, Thu. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 2 a.m., Sun. noon - 10 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. Your analysis is correct. They 'outsource' there pre-fabbed pizza shells.