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Friday, April 20, 2012

New York Pizzeria, Trumansburg

With warmer weather, I've been indulging my passion for hiking a little more often, and since I prefer the hills of the Southern Tier to the flatlands of the Rochester area, this has given me an opportunity to check out some pizza places I wouldn't ordinarily get to.
After running across this website, I got particularly interested in checking out the pizza scene in Ithaca. On my last excursion, to this forest, I didn't make it to Ithaca, but I did stop in nearby Trumansburg, where I grabbed a couple of slices from New York Pizzeria.
To some extent, the very name of the place excited my taste buds, but I've also seen plenty of places that claim to make NY style pizza that fall far short. So I was hopeful yet wary. (I should add that Google doesn't always get it right - search for "new york pizzeria trumansburg" and you'll come up with a site for a franchise, which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with New York Pizzeria in Trumansburg, fortunately.)
My (cautious) optimism was more than justified. These were very good slices, and worthy of the "New York" name.
I was confronted with a nice selection of slices, both red and white, but opted for the most basic - two cheese slices. I also noticed that New York Pizzeria appeared to be just that - a pizzeria - no wings. no nuthin' but pizza. That kind of purism is admirable.
These slices were thin, and crisp, and upon folding, they cracked down the middle but didn't break. In other words, the bottom surface cracked, but the interior stayed whole. They nailed that part of a good NY slice.
The underside was pretty good looking, as well. There was a smattering of corn meal (which I haven't typically seen in New York City, but it's not a big deal to me) and some very nice charring. The bottom side was blackened enough to give the crust a nice flavor, but by no means was it burnt. And the thin cornicione along the edge was just a little browned, which is also good. Why? Because it means that the heat applied to the crust was mostly coming directly from the oven floor, or deck. That tells me that this was a genuinely hot oven, with a good, hot deck, so hot that the underside can blacken before the top side or the edge get overcooked.
And this pizza passed the conventional test for a good NY style slice:  I could hold a slice horizontally, folded, and the tip didn't flop down at all. The entire slice remained perfectly straight. In fact I think I could've done that without folding the slice completely, it was that crisp underneath. I should've taken a picture of that but I was too busy eating.
Oh yeah, the toppings. The sauce was tomatoey - not particularly sweet, salty, herbal, or otherwise seasoned, and added in good balance with the thin crust. The cheese was lightly applied, and took a back seat to the crust and to some extent, the sauce as well. It was OK, but it didn't quite have the silky creaminess of premium mozzarella cheese that I look for in a pizza, especially a pizza as basic and minimalist as a NY style slice.
That one minor shortcoming aside, this was excellent pizza, and to my Rochester area readers, I'd say you should try to stop here some time when you're next driving through the Finger Lakes. Beyond the pizza itself, Trumansburg is an interesting little place. On the surface, it's just another little blink-and-you'll-miss-it, back-road village, but it's got a funky, laid-back vibe that's more Sonoma than Upstate New York (not that there's anything wrong with Upstate New York - I'm just saying it's an interesting place to visit).
I'm still rethinking some of my ratings policies. I haven't been rating pizzas from beyond the Rochester area, and I may simplify my ratings, so I may revamp things at some point, but my gut tells me to give New York Pizzeria a rating, and that rating is an A-minus. This was near perfection, with the only quibble being that the cheese was only adequate, and not truly great. So with that minor demerit, I'll say that New York Pizzeria comes strongly recommended from me.
New York Pizzeria, 2 W. Main St., Trumansburg
Hours unknown, I'll try to pin that down.


  1. If you make it to Ithaca, make sure you try Collegetown Pizza, although there are a number of pretty good options in the immediate area.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Ithaca might take several trips to explore properly. Hard to beat a college town for good pizza.