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Monday, September 8, 2014

Eddie O'Brien's, Farmington

The wood-fired pizza trend continues. From my perspective, it’s been hit and miss - I've had some world-class wood-fired pizza, and some clunkers - but if nothing else, it's given me a steady stream of new places to try.
One of which is Eddie O’Brien’s in Farmington, near the racetrack/casino. This is the third Eddie O'Brien'’s location - the others are in Canandaigua and Geneva - but the only one that offers pizza. My wife and I stopped here recently for dinner.
My first instinct was to go for the Margherita, but I ended up ordering “The Bronx,” partly because its NY Yankees connotations caught my eye, but also because it just plain sounded good.
And it proved to be a good choice. Topped with sausage, pepperoni, red onions, roasted garlic, San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella, it was a very tasty pizza.
The crust was thin, with a crisp, blistered edge that was blackened in spots, and dusted with powdery Parmesan cheese, which frankly didn't do much for me. The interior was chewy and pleasantly breadlike, but a bit unevenly done. Some parts of the underside were well blackened and others were relatively pale, as you can see in the photos. The pie was also a tad floury underneath.
But it was certainly a flavorful pizza. The toppings were about as heavy as this thin crust could withstand, but it wasn't overloaded. There was also enough meat to satisfy the carnivore in me, but not so much as to overwhelm the other toppings. The tomato sauce was rich and slightly sweet, there was plenty of aromatic roasted garlic (can you ever have too much roasted garlic?), and an even distribution of shredded basil. The mozzarella cheese was well melted and smooth. I could easily have finished the whole thing in one sitting, but I exercised enough self-restraint to take some of it home for the next day. (It did not survive the next day.)
In addition to The Bronx and Margherita pizzas, Eddie O'Brien's offers a veggie pizza with a basil pesto base, a "Bostonian" (which I took to be a "Bronx" alternative, much to my displeasure) topped with prosciutto, sherry mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, tomato sauce and mozzarella, and a BBQ chicken pizza. If you prefer to design your own pie, they also have a lineup of 20 toppings to choose from. 
If pizza's not your thing, well, what's wrong with you? But if so, Eddie's also has a full menu of burgers, chicken, pasta and more.
The physical setting was comfortable, although the place has a somewhat chain-like feel. The latter is to be expected, I guess, given its location and newness. The ceiling is high, and a partition separates the dining and bar areas. The interior is done in dark wood, but the room was well lit at dinnertime thanks to the large plate glass windows. Sports fans will appreciate the numerous televisions (our booth had its own B&W TV, although I couldn't change the channel directly), but the place wasn't overly sports-crazy, at least on this NFL preseason Sunday.
Before leaving, I spoke briefly with the pizzaiolo, who told me that they use a mix of hardwoods for their wall-mounted oven. They can crank it up to 900 degrees, but it's typically maintained at a temp well below that.
I liked this pizza, and I liked Eddie O'Brien's. The pizza wasn't flawless. It was a little unevenly done, a little floury underneath, and I would've liked it a bit more crisp. But it had its virtues. The crust had good bread flavor, and the pizza was tasty.
This is a pretty new operation, so I'm declining to give it a grade at this point. I found a lot here to like, and I want to go back. For now, I'd say it's worth a stop, for pizza or otherwise. And I'm intrigued see how the pizza evolves. 

Eddie O'Brien's
5975 Route 96, Farmington NY 14425

Serving Food:
Weeknights until 11:00 pm & Weekends until 12:00 am

Bar Hours:
All week until 1 am
Saturday until 2 am

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