Letchworth Pines recently. It's just south of Letchworth State Park, where I hike now and then. From the sign out in front, I've known for a long time that they serve pizza, but I've just never had a good opportunity to stop in. By the time I'm done with a hike, I generally want to get home and take a shower.
This past Valentine's Day, though, I was returning home with my wife and daughter from visiting my mom, who lives in the Southern Tier. And it was about lunchtime, so this gave me the opportunity I was looking for.
Letchworth Pines is a bar/restaurant/bowling alley, the kind of place you find in places like Portageville, which, at least to an outsider, seems like more of a dot on the map than an actual community.
But clearly there is a community around here, as evidenced by the number of vehicles in the parking lot when we pulled in at about 1 p.m. Obviously there was some truth, at least that day, to Letchworth Pines' slogan on their website, that it's "the place to go ... when you're going out!"
On entering, I found a large room with a long bar along the far wall, a pool table to the right, and a raised dining area to our left. Off in the distance came the sounds of the bowling alley, which is separate from but adjoins the bar.
There were a few patrons at the bar, and a group of people in matching t-shirts shooting pool. The place had a countryish feel, with wood paneling (pine, I presume) throughout. Several large flat-screen TVs behind the bar were showing college basketball. We seated ourselves at a booth near the front window.
As you can see here, Letchworth Pines' pizza menu is not terribly extensive, but they do offer pizza in several sizes, and there are several "gourmet" pies available. I kept it simple, going with a small pizza with pepperoni and banana peppers. My wife and daughter opted for non-pizza items.
My small pizza (which could easily have been denominated a "medium") was medium thick, with a lightly browned underside. The crust was firm on the surface, with a soft interior, pliable, with a light "chew," but not floppy.
The toppings were basic but OK, with an adequate layer of nicely melted mozzarella, and a scattering of thin, slightly crisp pepperoni. The tomato sauce was generic but serviceable. My only complaint in the toppings department was that the banana pepper slices were a little skimpy and dried out. Not really worth the extra buck-twenty-five.
In all, our meal was pretty good, basic bar food. My wife's wings were meaty and crisp (a little too crisp for her taste, but I like them that way), and my daughter's "double meat" burger, with two patties, was appropriately charred, with just a little surface grease. The skin-on french fries were not exactly crisp, but they weren't limp, and they had a reasonably good potato flavor.
Bottom line, this was decent pizza, nothing special, but OK. I don't know where the dough came from but it seemed to have been stretched, if not made, in house. Call it average, overall. The place itself was nice enough, an obvious gathering spot for local individuals, groups and families. And though we didn't avail ourselves of it this time, you've gotta love the bowling alley. I'll save it for my next visit.
Letchworth Pines, 6985 Fillmore Rd. (Rt. 19A, just south of Rt. 436), Portageville, NY 14536
Sun.-Wed. noon - 10 p.m., Thu.-Sat. noon - 2 a.m.