WINDHAM — I like people who are serious about pizza. Save me from the giant chains and the corner restaurants that advertise “Best pizza anywhere!” and then offer up something that tastes like it came out of your microwave.

A restaurant that does pizza right, according to my theory of eats, will probably do well across the rest of the menu, too.

Rose’s Old World Restaurant on Route 302 is serious about pizza. In front of a giant brick oven, a young man tosses dough into the air, spinning and loving it until the dough is just right. Pizzas are slid into the gaping maw of the wood-burning oven and removed when they are deemed ready. They are served on silver pedestal trays, with nobility, as all good pizzas should be.

But that’s all pomp. I will never be enticed by clever ceremony and presentation alone. As some old person said, the proof of the pizza is in the eating.

At Rose’s, the pizza is thin crust. That crust is perfectly crisp and crowded with toppings. As my dining companion Corey put it: “The toppings go all the way to the crust and the crust is just the right texture. It’s like a meal on its own.”

The sausages are as big as the pepperonis, so you don’t feel like one meat is out-muscling the other. Everything about the pie, from the dough to the toppings, felt and tasted fresh. It was not greasy at all. It was somewhere near pizza perfection.

I don’t know much about the science behind a wood-burning brick oven, but the benefits to flavor and texture are obvious.

At Rose’s, you can order a specialty pizza right off the menu for prices ranging from $7.95 for a small cheese to $15.95 for a “Tour of Italy,” with proscuitto, salami, anchovies and pepperoni. You can create your own pizza choosing from a long list of ingredients, from the basics to freakish stuff like eggplant.

The pizza is top notch, you should trust me on that. But the disservice I risk here, in my lust for pizza pie, is overlooking the rest of Rose’s menu. It is vast and impressive. There is a lunch menu where you can get just about anything Italian for around 10 bucks. There are brick oven calzones for just slightly more and they are served all day. There are family-style dinners for four that can be ordered to go. There are dinner specials, early-bird specials and a full bar if the pressure of making a decision has stressed you out.

The atmosphere falls in a nice place between ritzy and casual. Wine bottles are on display everywhere. There are customary paintings and photos of grapes, cheese and old men on the walls. Seating is in booths or at tables. At 6 p.m. on a weekday, service was quick.

I’m off pizza in this space for a while because I haven’t been offering you enough diversity. But as a final look at some of the area’s best pie, Rose’s was a good place to go out on a high note.

Samples from the lunch menu:
Linguine primavera $9.95
Chicken parmesan sub $7.95
Veal Marsala $11.95

Nightly dinner specials:
Mariners chicken $15.95
Pesce de Mar $15.95
Veal la Rosa $15.95

Dinner specialties:
Shrimp and scallop primavera $16.95
Cheese ravioli and marinara $10.95
Baked haddock parmesan $14.95


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