It's been hard for me to find a favorite local pizza spot in the Tampa Bay area. People have recommended many, and I've tried many, but I just haven't been happy with what I've tasted so far, specifically the texture of the pizza crusts (they're either too thin and soggy or cardboard-like in flavor) and the robustness of the tomato sauces (they're either too sweet and thick or too zesty and runny).
Recently, I was invited to try Russo's NY Pizzeria in Clearwater - I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to try, both because I didn't want to make the 45-minute drive and end up being disappointed, and because I always hate disappointing a brand/company by saying I didn't feel the food/product was good enough for me to feature. Well, since you're reading said feature, then you already know - it was good.
I took my parents on the pizza adventure with me, and they're also kinda hard to please when it comes to pizza, pretty much for the same reasons as me. After being seated on arrival, we were given a basket of herb-dusted pizza crust bites, which were just as amazing in flavor as they were in texture.
While munching on our little snack, we browsed through the quite-large menu, trying to figure out what we all wanted to share. My gluten-free friends will be happy to know that Russo's does offer a 12-inch gluten-free pizza crust, available for all of its specialty pizzas.
We opted to share a House Salad and a large Mulberry Pizza, and both of the menu items came out looking fantastic - the House Salad was made up of fresh, green and leafy romaine lettuce and the Mulberry Pizza was straight out of the oven - hot, crispy and cheesy.
Overall, we really enjoyed everything that we ate! The salad was tossed in just the right amount of balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and the pizza was perfect in its crust texture and the flavor of its tomato sauce. We did think that the combination of meats on the Mulberry Pizza (spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and beef) was a bit salty, but we plan on returning to try the Margherita Pizza, because we do love ourselves a simple pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and basil. I would definitely be willing to make the drive to Clearwater to satisfy a pizza craving, especially considering that this is the best pizza spot in the area that I've tried so far.
Russo's NY Pizzeria in Clearwater is located at 2233 Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater. The restaurant is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can view the menu here. To stay updated on the latest happenings at Russo's NY Pizzeria in Clearwater, follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
*Disclosure: The meal featured in this post was provided by Russo's NY Pizzeria for editorial consideration. This post was written on my own accord, and opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Russo's NY Pizzeria.