Manchester: Venice Old Style Pizza

The skinny: The spot now occupied by Venice Old Style Pizza has housed pizza places before, but had sat vacant for quite awhile. After about a year, Venice seems to have settled in to the take-out/delivery business quite nicely.

Venice Old Style Pizza Manchester NH chicken finger pizzaWhile there are a few tables, it’s not quite big enough inside for a family dinner. Luckily, there’s a special spot outside for carside to-go orders.

Pizzas here come in two sizes, 12-inch small and 16-inch large. A small cheese costs $6.95 and the large $9.95. Each topping adds $1 to the cost of the pizza. Among topping choices is double dough, a bargain at only an extra $1.

There’s also a slew of specialty pizzas — 20 in all — and they have their bases covered. All specialty pies cost the same, $11.50 for a small and $15 for a large. There’s typical options, such as the Hawaiian and several atypical choices. One is the Cordon Bleu, which includes butter garlic sauce, grilled chicken, ham, and Swiss and mozzarella cheeses. The Florentine starts with that same butter garlic sauce, and adds spinach, mushroom and mozzarella cheese.

Venice also has 12-inch calzones for $9.50 each, and there’s a large selection of fillings to choose from. One note: Venice’s calzones comes standard with mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese and sauce, so if you’re not a fan of any of these, be sure to mention it.

Review: We ended up ordering one of the specialty pizzas, a large Chicken Finger Pizza ($15).

The dough was kind of on the thick side, so we can’t imagine what the double dough option would have been like. Deidre found the end crust to have a slight crunch, but it was still on the soft side. However, she also thought it was a little dull and even a bit dry.

Deidre thought the pizza had too much cheese. She appreciated its lack of greasiness. Andrew thought the mozzarella cheese itself tasted alright, but agreed that the amount was just too much.

Both Andrew and Deidre immediately noticed how sweet the tomato sauce was. Deidre was satisfied with the amount of sauce, and she liked that it was on the thin side, which worked well with the thicker crust. Andrew was also glad it was light, because a heavy amount of sweet sauce can overwhelm the taste buds.

The chicken finger topping was closer to the impressive side in terms of quantity. There was a piece of chicken in almost every bite. Less impressive was the taste of the chicken, Deidre thought. While there was some crunch to the outer layer, she found the taste of the chicken to be a little bland. Andrew tends to judge places based on their chicken tenders — mainly because of what it says about the attention to detail. If they’re willing to make tenders by hand instead of just going with the frozen ones, it shows the restaurant is focused on the little things. Which brings us back to these tenders, which seemed to be of the frozen variety. Not bad, but nothing special.

The tenders did hold up well in the cold pizza test. Andrew thought they would have dried out more, but they were still moist and chewy. The crust, however, didn’t hold up as well. Despite the fact that it was big and doughy, it was dry and flavorless after just a bit of time in the fridge.

Rating: Deidre: 2.5 / Andrew: 3 = 5.5/10 slices

Venice Old Style Pizza
610 Front St., Manchester

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