Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria (Corning, NY)

Coming back home to New Hampshire from Cleveland requires a rather lengthy drive across New York State, with two options: the Thruway, or the slightly longer route taking the Southern Tier. Due to some rather heavy snow coming off of the lake, we opted for the Southern Tier route, which resulted in us passing through Corning, NY around lunch time. We decided to stop there, since the location was convenient, and I’ve got a soft spot for Corning since I was born there. Like most of our visits there, we ended up on Market Street downtown, this time giving Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria a try.

Atlas is like a lot of the places on Market Street, a fairly narrow building that they’ve converted to a restaurant by having the main pizza making operation downstairs, with some seating and the prominent brick oven, while having the upstairs configured as a large bar and dining room. Taking a seat upstairs, we quickly decided on some Southern Tier beer, some green salads, and our standard pizza order, a large sausage and mushroom pizza.

The pizza came out about 15 minutes later. Compared to a lot of the places I’ve been for pizza in upstate New York, Atlas did quite a good job with the toppings: the sausage was more spicy than sweet and not overly applied. The cheese was good and starting to get a good toast on it, and both the sausage and mushrooms were good quality: the sausage having a pleasant spiciness to it, while the mushrooms were fresh (anyone else hate canned mushrooms on a pizza?). So they had that part of the pizza down pat.

The crust, however, was a letdown. They had a good enough dough, but the resulting crust was a little undercooked. The whole point of having a large brick oven is that you can get a really nice crust, with a good amount of toasting and a bit of charring. Here, the crust was just past “cooked”, and really could have used a few more minutes in the oven, and the cornicione was just lightly toasted. The result was an “okay” pizza, when just a little more cooking, or a slightly hotter oven, could have made for a really good pizza. Next time I’ll have to specify that I want my pizza well done.

Overall, Atlas was a rather decent pit stop, however, and they had enough good things with the pizza that I’ll give them another try at some point. But on this trip, the pizza was just a bit disappointing.

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