Does Rico’s pwn Colony or are they just n00bs? Rico’s Pizza – Stamford, CT

14 Aug

Pie 1 from Rico's

If you have been reading the local papers, you probably noticed that Colony Grill (our review here)  hasn’t been too happy with Rico’s Pizza.  According to an ad that Colony put out in the papers, Rico’s has stolen the Colony Grill recipe.  How did Rico’s get their hands on the recipe, you ask?  Jeff Morganteen from the Stamford Advocate wrote in a recent article, “The former employees, father and son Walter and Jonathan Martinez, worked in the Colony Grill kitchen and in June helped Stamford resident Rico Imbrogno open a new pizza place serving near-exact replicas of Colony’s thin-crust bar pies, complete with “stinger” hot peppers and its signature hot oil. Walter Martinez worked at Colony for more than a decade before being fired last year.”

Sausage, hot oil, stingers, cherry peppers, and onions at Colony Grill

Lines have been out the door at Rico’s, thanks to Colony Grill’s ads, claiming that Rico’s is nothing but a chump.  Really, was that a smart marketing move?  Draw more attention to your competition and make them more popular than a NASCAR hat at Walmart?  Well, Rico’s was already on our list of spots to try, but this definitely bumped it up on our priority list.  We tried to get delivery for three nights, but after an hour of continuous busy signals each night, we gave up and hoped for next time.  Well, lucky us, got through last week and got delivery.  Why was it so hard to get a call through?  A person on Urbanspoon actually saw a manager take the phone off the hook when it was too busy.  Maybe that’s why? :)  As if those days of trying wasn’t frustrating enough,our pizza took an hour and 50 minutes to reach our doorsteps. #FAIL

Now, to get the pwn vs. n00b comparison review, we ordered the same exact pizzas that we had at Colony.

Pie 1:  Sausage, hot oil, stingers, cherry peppers, and onions.

Pie 2:  Meatball, peppers, hot oil, and black olives.

Pie 2 from Rico's

The first thing that we noticed was that the cheese-to-sauce ratio was off. It was barely there, and what sauce was there was killed by all the cheese. In fact, the cheese was so loaded up on the pies it made weird pock-like lumps.  Colony had similar bubbles, but Rico’s are way more pronounced and solid. All in all, Colony’s pie had a better ratio with definitely more sauce and not too much cheese.

Meatball, pepper, hot oil, and black olive pie at Colony Grill in Stamford CT

Here too, pie 1 was our favorite because the spiciness of the hot oil and stingers kicked it up a few notches.  The sausage added a great contrast as well.  The ingredients were fresh and nicely cooked just like Colony,
but unlike Colony’s, the hot oil made the pizza soggy and floppy.  It’s kind of weird, but Colony’s pie was drowning in hot oil, yet stayed crisp.

Verdict

Rico’s is good, but not great.  You can’t go in here expecting a pie just like Colony because there are noticeable differences. We know that we don’t want to be pizza fascits (remember the signs?), but it was just okay.  Service, in terms of delivery and experience, was far below what anyone would expect from delivery.  They do get some extra points, though, for also having wedges, wraps, salads, and empanadas.  Empanadas?  Yeah, weird, we know.  We’d love to give it another go by stopping by and getting a pie right out of the oven, but for now we’d rather head to ZAZA, Remo’s, Capriccio, Colony, Tappo, or Coalhouse Pizza.

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$

Address: 170 Selleck Street

Stamford, CT

Phone: (203) 674-8970

Site:  http://www.ricospizzaonline.com/index.html

Rico's Pizza on Urbanspoon

31 Responses to “Does Rico’s pwn Colony or are they just n00bs? Rico’s Pizza – Stamford, CT”

  1. whitemist October 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Atlantic did not change hands, but they had some issues that i was involved with and then they renovated big time and probably did change some people, all of which would have been to the good. They did let John take customers while they were renovating and visa versa when he was.

    Like

  2. pat b. October 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    I dont really know if Atlantic Pizza changed hands but I saw new people being trained at the oven area and the pizza never tasted the same. I
    also like Outback,plan to eat there this week. Also hope to catch the Connecticut Restaurant Week and Cafe OOhLaLa!!! I will have comments about these eateries.

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro October 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      The CT Restaurant Week is pretty extensive, but unfortunately it only has a few places by us because it is spread out so far. Definitely let us know about what you think about both of those spots…we always love to hear ideas and view points. :) Thanks for subscribing to our blog, too. :)

      Like

  3. pat b. October 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Thanks for sympathizing with me about my horrible experience. I have
    ordered from Ricos since they opened. Atlantic Pizza was my favorite
    place until they exchanged ownership and changed the recipe. Please forgive me but what do you mean about faces??

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro October 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      Sorry. I meant to type faves, as in favorites. My stupid autocorrect changed it to faces. :) You know, we liked Atlantic too. We haven’t ordered from there in a while, though. Didn’t know they changed ownerships. We like Nick’s for good, quick delivery. We also tried Tappo downtown and at first thought that it was just okay, but we went back to write our article on brick oven pizzas and was really happy with the pizza. So many pizza places to try and another from NYC is opening up pretty soon on Atlantic, if not already opened. :)

      Like

  4. pat b. October 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Ricos need to stop burning up their pizzas!!! I always thought the customer comes first…obviously not!!! They wont be open much longer if they keep those ethics up!!!

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro October 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      I’d be upset like you if I waited to get my pizza and it was burnt. Here’s the problem: thin crust. It takes a great pizzaioli to work the oven, shift the pizzas, and keep it in for just the right amount of time. Too much and it gets burnt like that. So, either the pizza chef is inexperienced or just snoozed off. But, you’d think you’d take some pride in your work and fire up a new one. There’s gotta be someone at the pass, I learned from Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, who handles the quality control. :( Sorry you got burnt pizza.

      Like

    • pat b. October 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      Every time I think about the burnt pizza, I get totally upset because I was hungry and they have my money. Its
      ashame that Ricos think they’re going to get away with this disgraceful service. I feel like I should picket the joint…

      Like

      • Dan Del Ferraro October 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

        Yeah, hate that feeling of regret…like you’ve been taken advantage of. I like to give some places second and sometimes third chances, but if it keeps happening you’ve got plenty of other great places to go. We’re littered with great pizza here in Stamford. What are your faves?

        Like

  5. Anonymous September 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Colony doesn’t deliver, and only takes cash. Colony’s wait to be seated is typically well over an hou, and can never find a parking spot. There are virtually no differences between rico’s and colony’so other than that.

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro September 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      It’s funny. When we went to Colony to write our review, we found a spot right outside and we were seated right away. Guess we were just lucky. :) What makes you say the pizzas are the same?

      Like

  6. niko August 23, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME,has anyone here tryed ridgeway pizza,i mean,i took the word of the stamford pizza tour and tryed ridgeway considering they won best delivery pizza, and they shocked me.perfect thin italian crispy crust that kicked colonys but and others in the stamford pizza tour.i mean i was floored by ridgeways pizza.at first it looked like a hole in the wall.but there pizza was definitely on the money.good luck to ricos and colony,but the guys at stamford pizza tour got the rite order of best pizza places in town.colony is definitely 6th place like they rated them…try ridgeway,you will be surprised,plus they gave me a free small cheese pizza when i told them i was a new customer,now thats service…lol..but i am not saying they are good because of the free pie.they really do a good job.just my 2 cents…joe..good night

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro August 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

      We hear great stuff about Ridgeway, but haven’t tried it yet. From what we hear we will be wowed! We certainly don’t believe that Colony is the best, but we do think it is excellent. :). Ciao

      Like

  7. whitemist August 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    One more quick thing on Pizza – New Pizza resaurant on Altlantic (as if Atlantic needed a new pizza restaurant up next to the former aApple cafe (does that show age???).

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro August 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

      Another pizza spot? Really? Atlantic doesn’t need another, but Stamford doesn’t either. :) I’m glad you got your pizza at Rico’s fresh. Most people are saying that 20 minutes is the limit on that, so I think our two pies were just “broken” and past their prime in life. If we feel up to it, we might check back and see what it’s like to have a hot, fresh pie. :)

      Like

  8. whitemist August 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I had heard of the spat before it hit the papers. Apparently Ricco’s is making a big hit with the traaes people in this town. So after your post, i had to try. Now it has been a while since having colony pizza (not my favorite in this town of so much good pizza) and so i am going by memory (which also is not that good.
    We did a pick-up and it was a 20 minute delay, but the pie was fresh. I did get a pie with stiggers and ejoyed it greatly – the crust was very crisp, the cheese seemed to be different than what i remember from colony, but my memory -you know…
    Otherwise the others ordered a plain and raved about it…something about a crisp crust really gets them going.
    Cheap – yes. Would i do it again – yes.
    Was there any left to try my ultimate challange? The cold pizza for breakfast challange – nope…
    That might say it all.

    Like

  9. Stamford Talk August 16, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Glad to hear your trusted take on the subject! Sounds like either Colony or Rico’s is a good choice, but Colony has the edge and I’d say, the track record. I do wish Rico’s the best, because I like to see any person succeed, but couldn’t they have at least changed the pizza in some way so it didn’t look like total copying?

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro August 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

      I hear ya… they could be less obvious ! We actually were talking about you last night at Napa & Co. And how we all miss your entries. :) Also, thanks for the kind words. You rock.

      Like

  10. Janyll August 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I think Rico’s became a victim of its own success. (Maybe this was the ulterior motive for the lawsuit, to overwhelm Rico’s in an attempt to destroy its reputation?) You didn’t mention that Rico’s has taken out an ad apologizing and promising additional ovens and deliverers to cope with the demand. We got a takeout pie late on a Friday, thought it was delish, pretty much identical to Colony, and best of all, it came without the attitude, grunge, and cash-only nonsense. Can’t see any reason to deal with Colony ever again. I prefer Remo’s myself, but when the urge hits for a Colony style pie, we’ll get it at Rico’s. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to Colony that the customer matters.

    Like

    • Dan Del Ferraro August 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

      Well, Colony is definitely a big name to contend with…in fame, but also in money Janyll. It’s a good point that maybe they wanted to overwhelm them, sure. I didn’t actually know about the ad that Rico’s took out…that’s great they did that, though. That shows class and they’re willing to work on things. The thing I don’t like is something you don’t like…cash only. I hate that so much. So annoying. What is cash, anyway? :) Who uses that still? :) We didn’t have bad service at Colony when we went, but we did hear real horror stories…but our experience at Rico’s for delivery wasn’t much better than the stories we’ve heard. We definitely want to give Rico’s another shot. As for Colony, I’m not sure how they feel about all of this. I know that the service has been the main issue that people use against Colony and with Rico’s people look to compare. We saw the owner of Colony at a charity event a few months ago and he wasn’t sure what a blog was or that we had done a post in him. They’ve got it made, they are a legend. People seem to deal with the problems, like people are dealing with the problems at Rico’s. I don’t know…it’s all so crazy. :)

      Like

  11. Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 10, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Hey…it’s Riko’s now. Before it was Rico’s, but there was another restaurant with that name, so they needed to change to Riko’s :)

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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