When we first started the Pizza Tour, many of this restaurant's rabid, obnoxious fans assured us that Colony Grill was the uncrowned champion and that we were wasting our time searching for Stamford's second-best. We've been told for months that we were unfit to judge any places in Stamford without having been to this cathedral of hot oil and cold beer, for Colony is the measuring stick with which to judge not only pizza, but ethics, morals, and the sins of man. While that's all up for question, there's no denying that Colony Grill is a veritable icon of Stamford, CT, and we're here to find out why.
Establishment. Colony Grill is a glorified dive bar and anyone who tells you different is an outright liar. In its heyday, Colony forced its patrons to stakeout their would-be tables in a cutthroat war for the next available booth, refused to distribute restaurant necessities such as menus and plates, proudly let the phone ring when they were just too damn busy to bother answering it, and took no less than 45 minutes to complete an order, no matter how big or small it was. They did all of this with the warmth and friendliness of Timothy McVeigh. While Colony has evolved ever so slightly from its bizarre, unfriendly (and oddly charming) beginnings, they're more or less the same. Sure, the renovated bathroom/waiting room area no longer resembles something out of Saw IV, and sure, their new waiting list no longer perpetuates the free-for-all sprint for a table, and sure, menus (if you can call a list of toppings and a bunch of drinks a menu) are now generously located at all of the tables, but Colony still screams, "dive!" Now, this can all be either interpreted as fascinating local charm or as repulsive, off-putting, local dickery. We are inclined to think the latter of Colony Grill.
Pizza. Fortunately for Colony, this is where they get away with being as annoying and unbecoming a "restaurant" as they are. The pizza's good. Colony's crust is so thin that you'll be baffled as to why it takes so damn long to hit the table. Regardless, this crust is dense, chewy, crispy (try and explain those last two), and the main contributor to the unique Colony flavor that you have to taste to understand. However, Colony's sauce and cheese are nothing short of boring. While cooked to perfection and very well proportioned, the cheese is largely flavorless, as is the sauce. However, no self-respecting Stamforder (Stamfordian? Stamfordite?) will ever recommend a plain pizza from Colony, as their toppings truly stand out. Our toppings of choice were Colony's famed hot oil and sausage and while there were only but six hearty chunks of local Deyulio's sausage topping a pie pockmarked with hot oil bubbles boiling up through the cheese, they absolutely made this pie. This should be no surprise, but Colony's ultra thin pizza loses its magic when it cools down and being as thin as it is, it sure cools fast and really caters to voracious thin crust lovers that can house a pie in ten minutes or so. If you're one of those people, Colony won't disappoint.
The bottom line. For thin crust bar pies, Colony is the place to go despite having a less than welcoming environment and literally nothing else to offer. However, there are better pizzas in Stamford.
Hits the Spot: 8.3/10
Large Cheese: $8.00
2009 – Tournament Finalist (6th place)