Giovanna's offers students a new option in Italian cuisine

Giovanna's Pizza and Pasta might be a little out of the way, but it's well worth the trip. Located in the Genesee Valley Shopping Center next to Wegmans, this new pizza place blows the competition away.

Dave Ball, who owns Giovanna's with business partner John Pontillo, has a history in the pizza business. His family owns the popular regional chain of Pontillo's Pizzerias that has thrived for over 60 years. Though the name has changed, Giovanna's uses recipes steeped in family tradition.

The menu offers a standard array of pizzas, calzones, wings and appetizers - subs and pasta will be coming soon. Each item is available in many varieties: numerous toppings, fillings and sauces are available and should satisfy even the pickiest customers.

Not only are the pizza slices delicious, they are quite filling. I was satisfied after one, but it was too good not to have another. And who can resist dessert? Both the original and pumpkin cannoli provided an unexpected and very satisfying end to the meal.

The location may not be as convenient for students as Mama Mia's or Pizza Paul's, but Giovanni's definitely serves a better meal and at a reasonable price: $2.50 per slice, $7 for a calzone and $7.25 for a dozen wings.

"There's a lot of volume up here; a lot of traffic," said Pontillo of the location. Main Street may be busy during the school year, but it gets quiet when classes are not in session. Pontillo said that being so close to Wegmans will be beneficial: "Everybody has to shop," he said.

"Being next to Wegmans raises the bar for us," Ball said. Giovanna's will have to keep its standards high in order to compete, but if the subs turn out to be as good as the pizza, it should be no problem.

The restaurant itself is small but welcoming. Pontillo and Ball created a friendly atmosphere, striking up conversations with their customers. Altogether, it was a fantastic experience.

Giovanna's offers delivery and can be reached at 585-243-2929. The store is currently hiring drivers, cooks and counter help.