Colony Grill Or Rico’s Pizza: Hot Oil Pizza War In Stamford
By Andrew Dominick
Colony Grill in Stamford (another location is in Fairfield) has been a Connecticut staple for many years. Rico’s Pizza, also in Stamford, has only been around since mid-2011 and is already creating a buzz. Why are these two places mentioned in the same paragraph and often in the same sentence? Colony’s bar -style pizza and Rico’s are virtually identical, almost. Along with similar pizza recipes, both places have something else in common, father and son duo Walter and Jonathan Martinez that once worked for Colony, helped Rico Imbrogno open, yes you guessed it, Rico’s Pizza.
And so began the dispute. Did Rico steal Colony’s recipe? Colony owners believe so. But that’s hard to prove, right? A pinch of salt difference here, a tweaked sauce recipe, and technically it’s not the same pizza pie.
Now that you have the summarized back-story to this feud, let’s talk similarities, differences, and pizza.
Colony Grill has its fans, and lots of them, some of them swear it is “the best.” Truth is, Colony is all about atmosphere. It is a good, no frills bar where you go to knock back a few beers with your buddies, watch the game, and if you look on the tables, pizza is usually an extra guest in your group. However, Colony can be frustrating when you are hungry since there is typically a long wait to find a seat and for your pizza to be served. Colony makes only one food item and it is pizza.
Rico’s has a completely different swagger. It is your typical in and out pizza joint. Rico’s started with just a handful of tables but has expanded its seating and kitchen. They now have up to 60 seats and more ovens. For those that say it is the same idea as Colony is completely incorrect. Yes, the pizza is similar, but Rico’s started something that Colony never did until recently, a booming delivery service. Are there waiting times at Rico’s? Yes, but during peak business hours they are still faster than Colony in all aspects. Plus, Rico’s offers more than just pizza with a number of different salads, wedges and wraps, more pizza toppings than Colony offers, and specialty pizzas like margherita, BBQ chicken, white pizza, and meat lovers among many others. Say what you want about stolen ideas, but you can’t knock the hustle of Rico’s expanded menu and delivery idea. A drawback at Rico’s for the adult crowd is no beer, just soda or water. We all know that pizza and beer go together, it’s religion.
Ponder this from a pricing aspect, both places charge $8.50 for a pizza. Both offer toppings for $1.50 each. Rico’s offers three toppings or more for a flat rate of $4.50, Colony keeps the tally going at $1.50. Do you see the issue here?
After all the comparing and contrasting, which pizza joint is better? This is a topic that could go on for days, but one thing that is set in stone is the greasy, oil, spicy goodness of Colony’s hot oil pizza. For those that are hot oil novices, as it applies to both places, hot oil is olive oil infused with serrano peppers. Colony’s version is better, and spicier than Rico’s. If you are a spicy food fiend, try hot oil with stingers. Overall, the chewy, crispy factor is nearly identical. Rico’s uses more sauce, apparently a different recipe, and is less greasy than Colony’s pies.
Those are the facts.Similar but different. The new kid versus the prom king engaged in a turf war. Whose side are you on?
172 Myrtle Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
1520 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
170 Selleck Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Andrew Dominick is a freelance writer and food blogger living in Norwalk, Connecticut. His portfolio can be found at andrew-dominick.blogspot.com and his food reviews at food-dudes.blogspot.com.