Monday, February 15, 2010

Conte's Pizza - Princeton, NJ

So after hearing about Conte's Pizza in Princeton for the last year and a half or so from friends, as well as reading about Conte's on a thread on Chowhound for "Best Pizza in N.J.," tonight was the night that we finally gave it a whirl.
As Conte's website states, "During the snow season, we recommend that you call ahead to confirm that we are open." That I did, and was told that the kitchen was open until 8:30PM sharp.
So we arrived at Conte's around 7:45PM, and there was parking out front, which kind of surprised me given the mystique of this establishment. Regardless, we walked in, and grabbed two seats at the bar.
If it is ambiance that you are looking for, then I suggest looking elsewhere. Like Delorenzo's on both Hudson Street and Hamilton Avenue in Trenton, you are going for the pie, not for the ambiance and decor. It's all about the experience. In all honesty, this place could easily be converted into an Elk's or VFW lodge with no modifications other than changing the name on the sign, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
We ordered a couple of Bass Ale's as the magnums of vino behind the bar didn't look all that interesting, but after ordering our beers, we did notice that they do have a full bar. Not a bad thing at all, and good to know for the next time we visit.
We ordered our pie, and waited for the Olympics to come on one of the 3 large flat screens hanging on the wall behind the bar. We opted for a large pie, half plain, and half sausage. About 20 minutes later, the pie came out piping hot, and looked really nice.
After hearing all the hype about how Conte's has a better pie than Delorenzo's, the first thing I noticed was the simple fact that the crust didn't even compare, and was much thicker than that of Delorenzo's. To me, this is not a tomato pie, and more in the style of a true pizza than Delorenzo's. The next thing I noticed was the sausage, with the nice fennel seeds in the sausage that looked ridiculously tasty. Finally, I noticed all of the cheese on the pie, which was quite a bit more than you get on a tomato pie in Trenton. This is not a bad thing in the least.
After giving the pie a minute or so to cool, I cut into my first piece, and noticed that the crust didn't have the crunch to it that a tomato pie has, which proves the fact that this is more of a pizza, than a tomato pie. Maybe some of you will disagree, as many people have said on the different boards when talking about Conte's. Call me crazy, but this is a thin crust pizza, not tomato pie. Even the Conte's website calls it "thin crust," so now that that is established, let's get down to the nitty gritty.
For a pizza, this had a nice flavor. The crust was good and airy, and the sauce has nice Italian spices to it. The sausage was good, but definitely not as tasty as my favorite sausage from City Beef in Trenton. The cheese was also good, and piled on, and overall, it was a good pie. All in, 2 Bass Ale's and a large pie with sausage on one half came to just over $25. Not bad.
Now, would I go out of my way for this pizza? Probably not. But I would definitely go back there in the future. It didn't knock my socks off or blow my hair back, but it was a good pizza for what it was. The flavors were nice, and it was just an all around good pie. But that being said, Delorenzo's on Hudson Street or on Route 33 in Robbinsville still has my heart for the best pie in New Jersey. Cheers! -F. Scott
. Conte's Pizza
339 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609)921-8041

1 comment:

Artisan Vineyards said...

That looks like a great pizza! It seems like everyone has a little bit of a different opinion when it comes to pizza however it's all good... some maybe just a little better than others.

I personally love to try new pizza placed. Believe it or not I find the best pizza comes from the smallest places that tend to be "tucked" away into corners or obscure places.