Wood-Fired Pizza Rosso

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Restaurant:  Fiorella, 5 Rochester Public Market, Rochester, NY  (585) 434-5705

Chef/Owner: Gino Ruggiero
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Ah, the humble pizza. This open-faced sandwich has had more incarnations than Meryl Streep has accents, and I love them all (except for you, dessert pizza. You sir, are an imposter). As a food writer I’ve sampled some of the best dishes coming out of today’s kitchens, from the truffled to the bruleed, but there is nothing I love more than a simple slice of pizza.

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The tricky part, as anyone who has ever traveled outside of New York knows, is that making a truly delicious pizza really isn’t all that simple.

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Enter Fiorella.

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Nestled in the heart of the bustling Public Market, Fiorella is taking a traditional, heartfelt approach to Italian cooking, executing classic dishes in the way they were meant to be served.

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The wood fired pizzas are a perfect example of the care and intention that goes into every dish they serve. Sourced from the highest quality ingredients (that public market location was no accident) and prepared thoughtfully in a fashion that honors its heritage, the pizza at Fiorella is not the greasy, convenience meal we’ve come to expect here in the United States. This is a meal you are meant to savor; a dish you sit down for and enjoy slowly and in good company. And that’s how it is prepared – slowly, by someone who loves what they are doing.

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Chef and owner Gino Ruggiero starts with organic flour milled here in New York State, and leavens it naturally – no yeast here, nor any of the preservatives or additives that come with it. This is traditional pizza making and the result is an airy, tender yet chewy crust with a subtle sourdough tang, complemented beautifully by the blistered edge created by the 800 degree oven. It’s topped with a bright, acidic sauce that is perfectly balanced by fresh, creamy mozzarella, pungent oregano and sweet, aromatic basil.

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Every bite of this dish is a treat, and a brilliant reminder of the way that integrity in preparation and sourcing, combined with a true passion for the process and the product, can elevate something so simple to something truly remarkable.

-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor
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