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Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Cosimo's, Marketplace Mall

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I've written before about Cosimo's, which I consider a hidden treasure, in spite of, or because of, its location in the Marketplace Mall food court. I guess you could say that Cosimo's is a great pizzeria hiding in plain sight.
Go to any mall, any Thruway rest stop, any airport, anywhere there's a food court, and you'll find pizza. To be honest, the pizza at these places is probably better than it used to be. But I don't go to such places expecting it to be all that good either.
Cosimo's is an exception. I can't say it's the proverbial exception that proves the rule; it's just an exception, pure and simple. It's really good pizza where you'd least expect it, in a mall food court. So I guess it's an exception that seemingly breaks the rule, the rule being that you can't find good pizza in a shopping mall.
There's a reason, or at least a cause, for everything, and the reason why you can get excellent pizza at Marketplace Mall is that many years ago, the proprietor, Nick, arrived in the U.S. from Bari, Italy.
Well, that's the start. Nick started off in Brooklyn as a dishwasher at a pizzeria in Brooklyn. From there, he went to Long Island.
After that, he ended up at a chain restaurant. But along the way, he learned how to make pizza. Boy, did he learn.
Eventually, an opportunity came up to run a pizzeria at a mall in Henrietta, and he grabbed it. And so Cosimo's was born.
I'm guessing there aren't too many malls where you can get authentic New York style pizza, created by an experienced pizzaiolo from Italy, by way of Brooklyn. For that, I'm grateful that Cosimo's is here, and it makes trips to the mall, fighting Henrietta traffic, a little easier to deal with.
Cosimo's offers more than just pizza - they do wings too - but pizza accounts for, by Nick's estimate, around 80% of their business. And probably 80% of that is slices. But there's no reason not to stop by for a whole pie, whether at the end of a shopping trip or on your way home from work.
I love Cosimo's for its thin, NY-style pizza. But Nick wanted me to try his thick-crust, pan-risen pizza, and I'm glad I stuck around long enough to do so.
This pizza is made from the same dough as the thin-crust, but is simply allowed to rise longer on a pan.
I got a single veggie slice, and it was damn good. The underside was crunchy and well browned, but not oily. The interior was airy but not insubstantial, with enough chewiness to keep my interest and balance out the toppings. And the overall balance was good, with contrasting textures and a pleasant bready flavor. The toppings were added in proportion to the crust, with chunks of tomato, shredded spinach, a mild but fresh tomato sauce and nicely melted mozzarella.
But why take my word for it? Nick has given me a gift certificate in the amount of $15.88, which will cover a large one-topping pizza. Of course it's up to you how to use it, so you could put it toward a medium with a side of wings, or Cosimo's other offerings, which include calzones, panini, salads and more. But I highly recommend a stop, with or without a gift certificate, and whether you're shopping at the mall or not. This pizza is too good to be relegated to occasional visits to the food court.
(To be eligible to win the gift certificate, please go to the accompanying blog post and leave a comment. You may leave a comment here, concerning Cosimo's generally, but that will not qualify you to win.)
Cosimo's, 611 Miracle Mile Dr. (Marketplace Mall)
(585) 424-6444
Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Sun. noon - 5:00 p.m.

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