Chris Preovolos/The Advocate
COLONY GRILL: 172 MYRTLE AVE., STAMFORD
With couple of fresh sausage and hot-oil pies delivered to our table, an old college friend of mine (let’s call him JaShong) dove so enthusiastically into his meal, he ended up dropping his slice and reaching for his beer as the hot tomato sauce burned his mouth.
Colony is not a place that requires table manners. This is a good thing because JaShong possesses none.
A guy two-tables over yells, “Hey buddy, settle down. That pizza’s not going anywhere.”
“Dude, I came all the way from Canada for this!” This isn’t exactly true, he was in Connecticut for a wedding, but this belies the point: Colony makes an awesome pie.
A pie that maybe – just maybe – is worthy of an international flight.
In my five years of living in Connecticut, a night at Colony Grill has become the quintessential Stamford experience. When I have out-of-town visitors it is usually the first place we go. It’s come to be a highly anticipated event.
Of course you have to explain that no, they do not have menus, no, they do not have appetizers or salad, and that under no circumstances should you order more than three toppings, unless maybe one of them is hot oil.
Regarding hot oil: I have no idea what it is but it is unique and I am given to extolling its virtues when talking pizza. Explaining that it is almost customary here to order extra oil on your already greasy pizza is often a difficult task. The uninitiated do not understand this concept…until they try it.
As of late, I’ve been getting sausage and cherry pepper pies. They are spicy and tangy but not too hot; a really good compromise between the “stingers” and the regular peppers, which can be a little vinegary for me.
No matter what you order here, everyone will agree that Colony has a fiercely loyal following. A wave of panic gripped the city this year when the pizzeria was recently temporarily closed for some sort of renovation. The fear was so palpable that the owners took out an ad in this newspaper declaring that the restaurant would be reopening soon and that nothing would change.
Likewise, two years ago, it was reported that the Stamford Urban Transitway project would need to eminent domain portions of properties on Myrtle Ave. to make room for road widening. Rumors of Colony’s closing circled in the newsroom.
But Colony is still standing, still turning out the same killer pies it has for decades and I am thankful for it.
Christopher Buckley, a writer and political satirist, speaking about his father, the late William F. Buckely, told the Advocate: “His absolute passion in life, more than anything else, including Bach and Beethoven, was the hot oil, pepperoni pizza.”
Now that was a man with priorities I can respect.