Romeo’s Pizza opened their newest location in Clintonville just a week ago, which marks the eighth installment of the business in Central Ohio. This Medina-based chain has quickly grown over the past decade from one shop in suburban Cleveland to over 30 locations throughout the state, with no signs of slowing down.
The new Clintonville store has set up in the former Hungry Howie’s space at the corner of High Street and Tulane Road. The ambiance of the shop is minimal, consisting of an ordering counter, a cooler of 2-liter beverages, and not much else. Needless to say, there’s no option for dining in, so my order was placed to go.
The signature pizza is the Romeo’s Deluxe ($11 small/$16 medium/$18 large) which has a red sauce base, and is topped with pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, red onions and mushrooms. Romeo’s red sauce is sweet and zesty, not too distant a cousin from the sauce at Plank’s on Parsons. Their traditional-style crust is of a medium thickness that is crispy and firm on the bottom while remaining soft and semi-gooey against the toppings. The combination of toppings on The Deluxe is a fairly standard variety, and the quality of ingredients shines through as the star of this pie.
The Great Ranch & Potato ($11 small/$16 medium/$18 large) is something you might expect as the norm from Clever Crow or Element Pizza, but it’s quite a daring menu option for a medium sized pizza chain. This one is topped with Italian sausage, caramelized onions, red potatoes and roasted almonds with a base of the unique “Ranch Bacon Sauce”. I wasn’t sold on the first bite, but after a few more, the flavors grew on me. These interesting ingredients compliment each other quite well, with the soft potatoes balancing out the crispness of the onions and candied almonds. The ranch flavor really pops in the salty sauce, which is surprising yet satisfying. It almost felt like I was eating a loaded baked potato, disguised as a pizza.
The New York White ($11 small/$16 medium/$18 large) was the third pizza that I tried, which has a garlic butter sauce as the base with a topping trio of broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. I found the soft roasted greens to be a nice alternative to a more traditional “veggie” pizza. The sauce was flavorful, but used sparingly, leaving this pizza feeling a bit on the dryer side compared to the other two. Probably the lesser of the three on my visit, but not at all a bad pizza in its own right.
Overall, I think that Romeo’s will make a solid addition to the Clintonville pizza scene, and being the chain’s most central location, should give them some exposure to new customers who have not yet ventured to their more suburban locations. The prices are a slight bit on the higher side, but so are the ingredient options and quality, which makes the higher cost a wash if you don’t mind shelling out for some good eats.
Romeo’s Pizza is located at 2995 North High Street in Clintonville, in addition to seven other Central Ohio locations. Hours, menus and more can be found at www.romeospizza.com.