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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ciccino's, Geneva

As I mentioned in a post last week, I was in Geneva, NY recently, and used the occasion to hit a couple of pizzerias.
One of which was Ciccino's, which for Rochester-area visitors is conveniently located on Rt. 14 (Exchange St.) just as you get to downtown Geneva.
Ciccino's is a full-service restaurant, but there's a separate counter area if you want something to go, with a decent selection of pizza slices.
Since I'd just gotten a cheese slice at Uncle Joe's, I went with the same here. A reader once complained that I so often order and review "plain cheese," but (1) I like it, and (2) it provides a good universal standard to compare pizzerias. And this thin, triangular slice made for an interesting contrast with the thicker, square-cut slice I'd gotten from Uncle Joe's.
I opted to have my slice rewarmed. I've found that's generally a good idea, even if you don't plan to eat it immediately, as it makes the underside more crisp. I noticed that while Ciccino's pies were baked in some large deck ovens, my slice was reheated in a small, stand-alone side oven.
I was impressed with the result. The slice was nicely charred underneath, with some surface crackling. The charring added some toasty notes, and the crust had a pleasant chewiness.
Ciccino's doesn't call its pizza New York style, but it generally fits into that category. I gave my slice the "fold test" for New York style pizza - can you hold the slice, folded, horizontally, without the tip flopping down? I found that if I held my folded slice at a slight upward angle, the tip would droop down just a little. I don't mention that to pass judgment on the slice, but only to give you an idea of its relative pliability vs. rigidity. On the scale of floppy vs. brittle, it was a shade closer to the former.
One of the things I like about cheese pizza is its simplicity, and the trinity of crust, sauce and cheese was well balanced here. The crust was topped with modest but adequate layers of basic tomato sauce - not too salty, not too sweet - and well melted mozzarella, which was just a bit blistered and browned, with a bubbly spot of dough bulging up here and there.
On my visit, Ciccino's had a few other sliced pies available, including one with standard, thin-sliced pepperoni, a white pie, Buffalo chicken, and a sausage-and-peppers pie. If you're ordering a whole pizza, Ciccino's offers a traditional Margherita with crushed plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, and a selection of other pies, including thick-crust Sicilian pizza; the family behind Ciccino's is of Sicilian origin, so I imagine they do a good job on that. For further exploration of their pizza offerings, I refer you to their menu, where you'll also find their meat and seafood dishes, pasta, salads and sandwiches. There's a full bar as well.
For a number of reasons, I have been assigning fewer letter grades of late. That's a topic for another day. But one factor is a pizzeria's proximity to Rochester. Geneva's a bit of a drive from Rochester, and I don't expect to become fully familiar with the pizza choices out that way anytime soon. So I'll pass on giving a letter grade to this slice. But I will say that I enjoyed it. I'd recommend a stop if you're in the area.

Ciccino's Pizzeria & Restaurant, 401 Exchange St., Geneva
(315) 789-4613

22 East Main St., Waterloo
(315) 539-1064

Both locations hours: Mon. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 - 11, Sun. noon - 9 p.m.

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