I heard an ad on the radio recently for a new pizzeria, Schiano's, on Alexander Street, which occupies the former site of the Alexander Street Pontillo's, just north of East Avenue.
First chance I got, I went over at lunchtime for a slice. The slices were quite large, so I just got one, a pepperoni slice. (The only other option at the time was plain cheese.)
The pie had recently come out of the oven, but I asked for it to be rewarmed. I've found that in general, that's a good thing to do.
The crust was thin, just a little browned underneath, but crackly. I usually consider surface crackling a good thing, but in this case the crust tended to separate horizontally into two layers, which is not such a good thing. I like a nice mix of chewiness and crunchiness, but the crust should also be a unified whole.
The cornicione was narrow, not too thick, but bubbly, and had a breadlike flavor and aroma. Overall, the slice was marked by an aroma of garlic and tomatoes, reminiscent of a slow-cooked spaghetti sauce. The sauce was mildly flavored, not particularly sweet or salty, and I mostly noticed the garlic in the aroma, rather than on my tastebuds.
The cheese was quite melted, almost semi-liquid. I'm sure the reheating had something to do with that. I liked it, but it was a little gloppy. I'm sure John Kasich would've used a fork on this one.
Schiano's pizza comes in three sizes (14" medium, 16" large and sheet) with 15 available toppings and . They offer five specialty pizzas, including the "Schiano Special," described as "our take on an old fashion Margherita pizza." I'm curious to know what their "take" is on a Margherita. They also do stromboli, salads, "plates," "hero's" [sic], wings, and several appetizers, including "Geo's meatball ina cup," which apparently is just what it sounds like, a huge meatball in a cup, with marinara sauce and cheese.
My slice was $4, which is a little steep for around here, although admittedly it was quite a large slice (a plain cheese slice is $3.50). So I guess I can't complain too much about the price. I think they also do a lot of bar business, and I'm sure that many bar patrons around there aren't too particular about spending an extra buck or two on a slice of pizza.
But in general, I was pleased with this slice. There was the one issue with the crust, but I'd rather have too crackly than too soggy. Otherwise, it was pretty nice overall, and I'd say that Schiano's is a welcome addition to the local pizza scene.
315 Alexander St.
Rochester, NY 14604