Friday, December 12, 2014
Bee Hive, Canandaigua
In addition to watching for new pizzerias, I'm always on the lookout for pizza popping up on restaurant menus. Recently I learned of one such example, the Bee Hive Brew Pub in Canandaigua. It's located in a converted train station, which it shares with Twisted Rail Brewing Co. My understanding is that there's no direct connection between the two, but Twisted Rail does make some house beers for Bee Hive.
While Bee Hive does carry an impressive lineup of beer, my sights were set on the pizza. There were several interesting selections to choose from, but I opted for "Ann's Favorite Pizza," which is topped with tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella and garlic aioli, which is a fancy way of saying sauce. It sounded good to me to begin with, and its identification as a house favorite tipped the balance for me.
This was a personal-size pie, about 12 inches across. The medium-thick crust was dark brown underneath, and slightly oily to the touch. It was firm but not crisp, and the interior was likewise right down the middle, texturewise: not dense, but not puffy, with a moderate chewiness.
Aside from the diced tomatoes, this was a white pizza, in other words, no tomato sauce. As with most white pizza, the cheese played a prominent role, and played it well. It was nicely melted and stretchy, smooth but slightly chewy, with just a bit of lactic tanginess.
The cheese was well complemented by the toppings. I'm guessing that there are people out there who don't like the taste of artichokes, but I'm not among them. Their sharp, almost citrusy flavor works well with cheese, and here it was also well balanced by the background of garlic and olive oil, making for a tasty combination. By comparison, the tomatoes were, if not quite an afterthought, less important. They weren't the rock-hard, flavorless chunks that you often find, but they weren't particularly sweet, and their contribution was comparatively minimal.
As I mentioned, Bee Hive has an interesting pizza menu, with options for both carnivores and herbivores. That's in addition to the rest of their menu, which includes salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and various sides and appetizers. From what I've read, they're particularly renowned for their burgers.
Getting back to this pizza, I enjoyed it, but rating it is a tough call. It was tasty and distinctive, but I can't say it was so good that I'd drive out of my way to get it. I'd have no problem ordering this again, or trying another of Bee Hive's pizzas, but if I'm holding them to the same standard as I would any pizzeria, I'd have to say that this pizza was somewhat, but not a lot, better than average. So I'll break my own rule about not using pluses and minuses, and give this one a B-minus.
Bee Hive Brew Pub, 20 Pleasant St., Canandaigua
Open 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. daily