Though by now I've covered nearly all the independent (i.e., non-chain) pizzerias around Rochester, there are always a few more to get to, and so I keep a to-do list. Right now, I've got fifteen places on my list. Many of them are not traditional pizzerias, but bars, restaurants, and even a winery that serve pizza. But in time, I'll get to them all.
One places that's been on my list for some time is Edibles on University Avenue. I stopped in for lunch recently and got a pizza.
It looks as if Edibles may have recently changed their menu, because when I went, my choices were a fig & feta, chicken pancetta, and steak & onion pizza. Now their website lists a Margherita in place of the fig & feta. On this page, though, they still list the fig & feta pizza. So I don't know.
If they no longer offer it, that's unfortunate, because that's what I ordered. So that would mean that this review is, to some extent, obsolete even before I've written it. Plus, if I'd had the option at the time, I would've ordered a Margherita instead. Oh well. I did like this well enough, so I can't complain too much.
And regardless of whether it's still on the menu, at least I can still tell you about the crust. Lots of adjectives came to mind as I was eating this one - thin, crisp, crackly, dry, and flaky. Oh, and floury (on the bottom), as well as sweet and wheaty. I don't know if wheaty is an adjective, but it is now.
So yeah, this was one of those crackerlike crusts, which is fine as long as you know what to expect. It was well browned on the bottom, and, in its simplicity, both rustic and nouveau (or should I say "nuovo") as the same time.
But I may as well describe the toppings, too. Who knows, maybe if people ask about it, Edibles will decide to bring back the fig & feta pizza.
And that would be a good thing, because this was a pretty good pizza.
In addition to the eponymous ingredients, it was topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh greens, and lemon dressing. Figs on pizza may seem strange, but I've seen it before, and in fact I've even used figs on homemade pizza. They have a certain depth and complexity of flavor that's almost meaty, and that makes them a natural companion to a sharp cheese like feta.
And that's what I got here. The figs - which were not as "seedy" as I'd expected, or feared - were caramelized and subtly sweet. They contrasted well with the salty feta, which in turn was not as pungent as I'd expected.
The tomatoes were flavorful and sweet - the menu described them as "cured," though I can't say I noticed anything particularly unusual about them, other than their good flavor - and the greens were a nice touch, even if I'm always a bit puzzled on those rare occasions when I get fresh greens on a pizza. Do I eat them first, with a fork, and then eat the rest of the pizza? They don't adhere to the crust, so it's a little awkward trying to eat them with the pizza, either with a knife and fork or by picking up the pieces by hand. I did a little of both, treating the greens as both a topping and a first-course salad. The lemony dressing was another unusual pizza topping that worked well here, giving the entire pie a tangy acidic bite that cut through the sticky sweetness of the figs and added some zing to the proceedings.
I could've, but didn't finish the pie in one sitting, but opted to take home a couple of pieces. My server was kind enough to give me some helpful tips on how best to reheat them, which she recommended be done in a hot frying pan on the stove.
Edibles is a pleasant spot for lunch or dinner, and straddles the line between casual and upscale. The prices are likewise somewhere in the middle, with most entrees in the teens and twenties (pizzas are priced in the low teens). The eclectic menu offers plenty to choose from, but don't overlook the pizza. Though not baked in a wood-fired oven, it falls within that amorphous category known as "artisanal," and while that's not one of my favorite adjectives, it conveys the general idea here. This pizza won't be to everybody's liking, but it was flavorful and well made, and I'll give it a B.
Edibles Restaurant, 704 University Ave., Rochester 14607
Mon. - Thu. 11 am - 2:30 pm, 5 pm - 9 pm, Fri. 11 am - 2:30 pm, 5 pm - 10 pm, Sat. 11:30 am - 3 pm, 5 pm - 10 pm