As wood-fired pizza becomes more common, here's some uncommon examples to try in the Buffalo area.
Most can be described as Neapolitan-style, baked in seconds or a few minutes in a blisteringly hot oven before making it to your table.
Crispy edged and often floppy in the middle, these are only distantly related to the thick, cheese-quilted Buffalo-style pizzas. Inspired by the Starters on Sonny Red's, a new competitor in the wood-fired pizza scene, here's a quick guide to other fiery options.
Jay's Artisan Pizzeria, 2872 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, 322-1704
The owner's search for Neapolitan-style perfection started in the OG Wood Fire truck before making it into a Kenmore restaurant. A dozen pizzas ($10-$16), a salad and charcuterie are all that's available, along with a brief wine and beer list. Since the place offers the best Neapolitan-style pies in town, it's enough.
Grange Community Kitchen, 22 Main St., Hamburg, 648-0022
Pizza ($13-$18) is part of the lunch and dinner menu at this all-day restaurant. Toppings range from simple pies like the margherita to complex numbers like the bacon and brussels sprouts, with mozzarella, caciocavallo, garlic, Calabrian chili vinaigrette, and local vegetables in season.
JT's, 905 Elmwood Ave., 882-0905
The restaurant group run by Henry Gorino and partners was a forerunner of the wood-fired pizza movement, first at Siena (4516 Main St., Snyder), then at Rocco's Wood Fired Pizza (5433 Transit Road, Clarence). At its new Elmwood restaurant, the pizzas ($15-$19) are at the heart of the menu.
Roost, 1502 Niagara St., 259-9306
Wood-fired pizza is a central part of Martin Danilowicz's Niagara Street restaurant. A massive oven was imported from Italy for a starring role. Pies ($16-23) start simple with margherita and get more complex with frequently updated specials like merguez sausage, Moroccan chickpeas, braised greens and mozzarella.
Elm Street Bakery, 72 Elm St., East Aurora, 652-4720
The massive brick wood-burning oven at the heart of the operation turns out pizzas from 11 a.m. through dinnertime. Available in two sizes, they range from $8 (small margherita) to $19 (large bacon and goat cheese with confit tomato and mozzarella).
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