The Pizza Stop. Pictured here is a slice (cut in two, for sharing with my lunch companion) of what is listed on The Pizza Stop's menu as their "spinach, artichoke hearts, & Ricotta" pizza.
I say it's "listed" that way because in fact there's more going on here than just those three toppings. Besides torn spinach leaves, marinated artichoke hearts (no hard, unchewable leaves), and several dollops of Ricotta, this slice was also topped with shredded Asiago cheese, a bit of chopped garlic, and cracked black pepper.
For me, white pizza's always been an occasional thing. Nothing against it, particularly, I just really love the flavor that tomatoes bring to a pizza, and that way that it complements the crust and cheese.
But this was good. I found the toppings well chosen, and thought they worked very well together, giving this pizza a complexity that made this more than just a pizza minus the red sauce.
One of my other complaints with some white pizzas is that I sometimes find them too heavy on the cheese, as if the pizzeria's trying to compensate for the lack of sauce by piling on the cheese. Not so here. The relatively light-textured Ricotta, and the restrained yet distinctive tanginess of the Asiago gave this pizza good cheese flavor and mouthfeel without that heavy, sinking feeling in the pit of one's stomach afterwards.
And of course I need hardly mention at this point The Pizza Stop's signature crust underlying it all, with its near-perfect balance between crisp and chewy. It's another "A" for this downtown institution.
The Pizza Stop, 123 State Street, Rochester 14614
Hours: Mon. - Thu. 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Closed weekends.