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Friday, July 19, 2013

Next Door Bar & Grill, Pittsford

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I finally made it to Next Door Bar & Grill, the Wegmans-owned restaurant across from the Pittsford store. What led me to want to go there in particular was, of course, pizza. I'd known for a long time that they offered very thin and crispy pizza, and I was curious to try it.
Next Door has two kinds of pizza, a Margherita and an apple-brie pizza. I chose the former.
Now before I continue, let me apologize for the less than stellar quality of the photos. They were taken with my phone camera, which has no flash, and the lighting was rather dim. I've tried to make them as good as I can, but there's only so much I could do. (You can see a better photo of the apple-brie pizza here, however.)
As expected, from what I'd read prior to going, the pizza was indeed ultrathin and crackly crisp. And I don't just mean crisp on the outside. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that that's all there was to this pizza - an outside. There really was no interior to speak of, save for a few pockets of air. Imagine a super-thin flatbread baked until it became crackerlike, and you'll get the idea.
There was some darkening on the underside, but I wouldn't call the crust charred. It had a pleasant enough flavor marked by a subtle sweetness.
The main action, by far, was happening up on top. Next Door's Margherita is topped with roasted tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella, and the toppings were surprisingly heavy for such a thin pizza. Ordinarily, I would complain about a lack of balance between heavy toppings and a thin crust, but this was just a different beast altogether. It was more like Italian nachos, or chips topped with a tomato-mozzarella dip than a traditional pizza.
The finely chopped basil was much less abundant than the tomatoes or cheese, and added only a little flavor. What was more noticeable was the sea salt, which had been sprinkled over the top of everything. It was unusual - as was much else about this pizza - but it provided an interesting contrast to the underlying sweetness of the crust.
To get back to the tomatoes and cheese, they were tasty. I've used Wegmans' roasted tomatoes on my homemade pizza, and they do provide a lot of flavor. They're sweet and moist, without the intensity or chewiness of sun-dried tomatoes. And the fresh mozzarella was nicely melted, neither too liquid nor rubbery.
What to say about this pizza? Well, it went down easy, for sure. The crust is usually the most filling part of a pizza, but it was easy to polish off this pie without feeling stuffed.
And I did like it, although if I'm craving pizza, it's unlikely to fill the bill. It's not classic pizza, but has to be taken on its own terms. So I don't think I'll give it a rating, as it's just too unlike any other conventional pizza around here. I think I've described it reasonably well, and I'll leave it to you to decide whether it's something you might like. But for what it is, I think it was pretty well executed.
Next Door Bar & Grill, 3220 Monroe Ave. 14618
(585) 249-4575
Mon. - Sat. 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30–10:00 pm
Bar open 4 p.m. - midnight Mon. - Thu., till 1 a.m. Fri. & Sat.
Closed Sun.

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