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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Capish!, Le Roy

My daughter and I had dinner the other night at Capish!, which opened earlier this year in Le Roy. It's in a handsome, century-old building on Main Street. (You can see some photos of the exterior and interior here.)
Capish (I'm going to drop the exclamation mark from here on) offers a full menu of Italian dishes, but pizza is the main focus. Interestingly, they do both thin crust pizza and sfincione. I got both. Let me take them one at a time.
The thin crust pies are baked in a combination wood/gas oven. On this visit, I didn't see any sign of a wood fire. But the temp was set at 725 degrees - pretty high - and the results were good.
I suppose you could call these Neapolitan, or maybe neo-Neapolitan pizzas. I got my usual Margherita, and my daughter ordered an a la carte equivalent of a meat lover's pizza, with pepperoni, chicken, ham and sausage.
Both pies had a thin crust with a puffy cornicione.
They were charred underneath. My pie had some "leopard spotting," with some air holes having burst, leaving a small hole in the bottom of the crust. The crust was chewy but not tough, and the charred bottom added some flavor complexity.
Speaking of which, my Margherita had good flavor. A bright tomato sauce, complemented by liquefied dollops of fresh mozzarella, and shredded fresh basil, which was wilted but still a vibrant green. Capish adds a bit of oregano to their Margherita, but not enough to overpower the subtle flavors of this pie.
I sampled my daughter's meat-laden pie, and although I typically avoid that style, it was tasty. The pepperoni was thick-cut, and the well-melted processed mozzarella provided a good base for the meat.
My 12-inch pie was more than adequate for a meal, but I couldn't resist trying a slice of Capish's sfincione. I'd been aware of this close cousin to (or maybe "ancestor of" would be more accurate) Sicilian-style pizza, but by coincidence I got a bit more of an education in the style just recently, as a result of a Facebook post. Google it and you'll find plenty of information and recipes, but here's as good a description as any.
Capish's version comes topped with tomato sauce, oregano, onions, bread crumbs, and Pecorino Romano. So pretty close to style, in that regard. In Sicily, sfincione often includes anchovies, which were left off here, probably in a concession to American palates, but they are available as a topping, if you want to stay traditional.
The pan-baked crust was medium brown underneath, with large air-hole craters. The interior had a spongy texture. Although I can't claim to be a connoisseur of sfincione, this seemed to come pretty close to hitting the mark.
I was too full for dessert, so with some regret I had to forgo trying Capish's tiramisu. Next time.
On my way out, though, I paused to take a look at the oven, and chatted for a moment with the pizzaiolo. If I'm not mistaken, he was the guy seen here, and according to his Facebook page he hails from Sicily, as does Capish's owner Giacomo (Jim) Frascati, so it should come as no surprise they know their stuff, particularly where sfincione's concerned.
I've reproduced here Capish's pizza menu, but their full menu is available on their Facebook page. They offer a variety of pizzas, pasta and meat dishes, almost entirely Italian, with a nod to local tastes (as in, they serve chicken French). Since seafood is so popular in Sicily, I'm a little surprised there isn't more of it on the menu, but then again, Sicily's a Mediterranean island with a lot of port cities, and Le Roy is in Western New York, hundreds of miles from the nearest coast (and no, Lake Ontario doesn't count).
At any rate, that's pretty much a moot point for me, as I think it would take many visits for me to get past the pizza. This is one of those places where I'd like to try every pizza on the list before I even think about branching out into the other parts of the menu. With any luck and a little effort, though, I think I can get there.
I know I've been on-again, off-again with the letter grade thing, but I was quite happy with the pizza here. Capish is well worth the drive west on 490. So I'm giving this an A.

49 Main St., Le Roy
(585) 768-1000

Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Fri. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sat. 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Closed Sundays

Friday, July 14, 2017

Old Italy, Latta Road

I took a drive the other day at lunchtime up to Old Italy Pizzeria on Latta Road.
I posted about Old Italy about two years ago, shortly after it opened. A few things have changed in the meantime, perhaps the most obvious being the introduction of Old Italy's "Mamaluke slices." What you see here is a single Mamaluke slice, cut in half. This measured 13 inches along the sides. Figuring this to be a quarter of a 26" diameter pizza, that comes out to about 132.75 square inches, which is roughly equivalent to the surface area of a 13" diameter pie. So figure about the same as, or even a little bigger than, the average medium pie. For $5.
Now I'll be the first one to say, big and cheap doesn't necessarily mean good. But big, cheap, and good ... well, that's very good. And fortunately, this was good.
The crust was on the thin side, with some screen marks on the bottom, and some surface crackling. Mine came fresh out of the oven, so I didn't ask for it to be rewarmed, nor did it need rewarming, but I imagine a minute or two of reheating would further boost the crispness factor. The crust, which is made using high-gluten flour, was chewy but not tough, with some air pockets visible inside.
The components were well balanced, with nicely melted whole-milk mozzarella, a light layer of sauce, and wide pepperoni slices.
Owner Bradley Cedar, who's spent many years in the pizza business, developed his own recipes for the dough and sauce, which are both prepared in-house. The menu mostly sticks to the basics - pizza, wings, calzones, hot subs and sides - but I've found over the years that there's an inverse relationship between the number of items on a menu and the quality of the pizza. In other words, best to stick to what you know, and that's the impression I came away with here. Good pizza, well prepared by an experienced pizzaiolo.
Bottom line, this was good, not because it was big, or because it was cheap, but because it was good. The big size and the low price were gravy.
Bite for bite, compared to other local pizzerias (and considering that the bar is set pretty high to begin with), I'd give it a B. Good crust and good toppings. All this for five bucks kicks it up a notch or two, but I've never rated pizza based on price or quantity, so I won't start now. But dollar for dollar, you can't do much better than this.

Old Italy Pizzeria, 1250 Latta Rd., Greece
(585) 445-8782

Sun. - Thu. noon - 9 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. noon - 10 p.m.