Connecticut pizza fans are not much different than baseball fans. Each are rabidly and often irrationally supportive of their team or in this case, their pizzerias. And just as that imaginary line splitting Connecticut into Yankees and Red Sox territory exists, so does the invisible border separating followers of Stamford's seventy-five year-old institution, Colony Grill, from those forming lines at Pepe's and Sally's on New Haven's Wooster Street.
Depending on your team, one thing is certain. We in Connecticut take our pizza very seriously. The pizza rivalry is heating up in Connecticut with Colony Grill's expansion onto Fairfield's Post Road. Opening this past Memorial Day weekend, Colony Grill in Fairfield has already cultivated a near-instant following drawn to its thin crust hot oil pies and booming bar scene.
Die-hard fans of Stamford's Colony Grill will not be dissapointed in its Fairfield incarnation. The nearly-identical menu is matched by an identically delicious pizza, minus the decades of pizzeria patina, a combination of occasionally surly service and constant throng of people and take-out orders we've come to appreciate (read: tolerate) in Stamford.
For Colony neophytes, a quick introduction to what is certainly an original pizza experience. A Colony Grill pie is exceedingly thin yet robust. The uniformly thin cracker-like crust somehow manages to form the base for cheese, sauce and twelve possible toppings . This pizza is not for the grease faint-of-heart and is practically its signature. Each slice is a study in the marriage of cheese, sauce, and you guessed it, oil. And if you even think about not ordering the hot oil as a topping, you mine as well go back to New Haven. Colony Grill has practically invented the hot oil pizza.
Colony Grill is also no frills. Utensils? Nope. Plates? Paper. Menu? Pizza. Napkins? Well, alright.
Each pizza is $8 and you can embellish your pie with any number of toppings for $1.50 each including meatball, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onions, black olives, onions, cherry peppers, stingers, hot oil, anchovies, peppers and/or bacon. I'm a fan of the hot oil and stingers and my fellow diners loved the bacon and pepperoni. You can't go wrong with the one pizza to one person ordering ratio. You'd think there would be leftovers but the pull of the hot oil will render your powers of restraint useless.
I am in a delicate position here. If I pan Colony Pizza, chances are good I'll have entire towns searching for me wielding tar and feather. If I sing its praises, I'll be insulting the foodie intelligence of our readers and well, myself. Luckily I find myself right smack in the middle. Yes, the pizza is indulgently greasy, the crust is more about thin perfection than flavor, but somehow Colony manages to consistently serve one of the most satisfying and comforting pizzas around.
In Fairfield, Colony Grill is proving, "If you build it, they will come."
Colony Grill 1520 Post Road, Fairfield. 203.