Well surprise, surprise, surprise…
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but sometimes I don’t expect the obvious.
Of course the folks that are super particular about food are going to produce great pizza.
The gang at Clark House Hospitality are very particular about what they serve.
From their fancy-pants Foie Gras, to great wines, cocktails or coffee, right down to the proper selection of mustard to accompany their amazing pretzels, these folks know how to please.
They know hospitality….. Hell, they even make great POPCORN.
You can be confident you’re going to get great food and drink at any of the CHH establishments.
Of course they’re going to put out an amazing pizza.
I’ve been spending the past few months eating my way through the pizza of Troy.
While CHH pizza wasn’t on my initial list, I figured I should give it a try.
I knew they were making square-pan pies. Since this is a fairly easy pie to accomplish, I expected a decent rendition from CHH.
I wasn’t expecting quite what I got.
I’m a big fan of the “Sicilian”, “Grandma”, or “Square-pie”.
I’ve eaten enough of them to have an opinion.
This particular pie was one of THE BEST square pies I’ve ever had.
This was also one of the best pies I’d eaten in Troy (or the 518).
Technically I had my pie at “Little Pecks”. I was heading to “Tavern Bar” but they were closed for a private event.
I wanted to eat in “The Garden” but that was also closed for the night.
I believe you can, at times, get the same pie at “Peck’s”, but I don’t think it’s ever offered at Lucas Confectionery.
(It may sometimes also be offered over at “The Bradley”, maybe even “Alley Carte”).
My only complaint with CHH is there are way too many venues under one roof, all available through one street entrance.
I’m never quite sure where I want to be..
But back to that pie.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know a little bit about the square-pan pie.
The act of baking pizza in a pan that’s been coated in oil allows for a very special crust.
If done properly, the bottom and edges of the crust actually get fried, nice and crispy.
In contrast to that crisp bottom, the heart of the crust is light, and airy, filled with big-and-small bubbles.
The crust should also be full of flavor.
CHH is doing it properly.
They’re also killing it with their toppings. I went with the simple cheese pie.
I think they usually offer a simple cheese, and a pre-determined topped pie.
I don’t think you can customize your toppings.
That’s OK because whatever they use to top is going to be fantastic.
The tomato on my pie was flavorful, and bright, while the cheese was clearly a great product, great flavor and texture.
This pie had it all.
Crust with great texture, and flavor.
Toppings with balanced flavor.
But alas, nothing is perfect (except my wife)..
Here’s my ONLY complaint about that pie.
One order of pie is actually – half of a pie.
I’m pretty sure they’re baking whole pies in “half-sheet” pans and serving half of that, as an order.
Whilst that’s plenty of food (13″x 9″), it’s only TWO corners per order.
We should all agree the corners of a square-cut pie are SUPERIOR.
Serving half-of-a-full pie gives me: two corners, three edges, and one dreadful middle slice.
Those corners were heavenly, with perfect crispy fried bits on the edges.
I lay awake at night contemplating the PERFECT pie..
This perfect pie of my dreams is baked on an 8″x 8″ square pan, giving me only corner slices!!
But until CHH buys some little square pans, we’ll all have to settle for near-perfection, and only two corners.
Get out there and eat some pizza.