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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Luigi's, Naples, NY

As I've mentioned before, one of my pastimes is hiking, and I do a lot of that in the counties to our south. One of my favorite places to go is High Tor, just east of Naples. (I'll post some hiking photos sometime on my Facebook page.)
There's one major thoroughfare in Naples - yes, it's Man Street, a/k/a Rt. 21 - so if you pass through Naples you will go through the main business district. And in doing so you will pass by Luigi's, which is Naples' hometown pizzeria. Every small town needs a pizzeria, and Luigi's fills that role for Naples.
I stopped in during a recent Saturday lunchtime for a couple of pepperoni slices that had just come out of the oven. The thin-to-medium crust was a mostly golden brown underneath, and had clearly been baked in a pan (note the indentation along the edge). It was more pliable than crisp, but it had some breadiness, which was more apparent along the slightly thicker edge. Nearer the edge, the crust had a pleasant aroma and flavor, with some chewiness from the rising of the dough, but it was not noticeably crisper than the rest of the crust.
The toppings were good, and well balanced. The middle-of-the-road tomato sauce provided enough liquid to balance out the crust, but not so much as to prevent the cheese from adhering to the crust. That cheese seemed to be straight mozzarella, which was baked just to the point of slight browning.  The pepperoni was thin sliced, and nearly but not quite crisp.
Luigi's is a basic pizza/wings/subs joint, although it has a kind of split personality, with the pizza joint on one side and a grill-type operation (literally called "Luigi's Other Side") on, well, the other side. There's not really much of a physical separation, it's mostly a way to distinguish between the two aspects of the business.
These weren't bad slices, and in some respects I genuinely liked them. The flavor was good, and they were well balanced. But the crust fell a little short. It was just too soft for my taste. Maybe thinner crusts just don't do so well in a pan. A thick crust can and should stay in the oven longer, which allows it to develop a crisp underside. This crust was soft, and not equal to the toppings, which were rather good. So averaging it out, I'll give this a C.

Luigi's, 101 N. Main St., Naples

I'll let them describe the two sides:

Luigi's pizza - Open 7 Days a week

Sun - Thurs: 11:30 am - 9:00 pm; Fri & Sat: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm

No matter the time of day or the day of the week, we offer the best pizza, wings, subs, calzones, pasta, salads and appetizers for eat in or carry out.

We also offer a full deli, with Italian salads, meat by the pound & fresh Italian bread baked daily.

Luigi's Other Side

Tues - Fri: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm

Offering an array of grilled options, from burgers to hots, garbage plates to ribs and fish, Luigi's Other Side is the perfect place for in-house dining or carry out "diner" food.

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