Tony D's Coal Fired Pizza was a pizzeria and dine-in restaurant in Corn Hill Landing. Weather permitting, they offered outdoor waterfront seating. In 2011 they expanded into the former Spex in the City location.
Closed September 14, 2016.
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2008-09-15 13:36:18 Went here with a friend last week. My friend loved his pizza (scarfed it down in record time). I ordered the coal-fired wings, and they were tasty and different, but they were very salty (then again I love salt so that didn't bother me). The waitress was very attentive and even rubbed my back a couple times to make sure everything was okay (yes u read that right) lol. The place is a little loud and sometimes the fellow patrons were obnoxious, but that did not detract from our experience overall. —TippingPoint
2008-09-28 23:35:24 Just went there tonight. Pizza was fantastic and the prices were right. Very friendly and very attentive staff as well. Was a little loud, but at a crowded restaurant with limited space (it was a little small, but I can think of others in Rochester) it's to be expected. Would definitely recommend it! —WillChesebro
2008-10-02 10:34:46 Went here a couple of weeks ago, was intrigued by the coal fired pizza. Unfortunately, it was entirely forgettable. The sauce tasted like it came out of a bottle. The cheese was just 'eh.' And the hot peppers we ordered on top were so hot, both my boyfriend and I had stomachaches afterwards (and we LOVE spicy foods). Service was fine, we came for an early dinner and were able to get a table right away. It was nice to be able to watch your pizza being made in the open kitchen. Some of the other food diners were eating looked good, like the mussels. But for a place that bills itself as a pizza place, they need to be able to do pizza right. I don't think we'll be giving this place another shot. —MRich
2008-10-03 17:59:24 No complaints about the food. But it was so noisy and the other patrons (who seemed to be affiliated in some way with the management... friends perhaps?) we're INCREDIBLY loud and obnoxious. Waiter was too busy socializing to refill our water and soda. All together, I'm not sure I'll be back. —VikramManjunath
2008-10-11 01:45:42 Slow service, but since you can see how tiny the kitchen is, that's forgivable. Decent atmosphere (loud, but not overwhelmingly so), and while the pizza was a bit oily for my taste, the arancini (fried rice balls) were incredible. —McgMatt
2008-10-30 16:38:13 My friends and I had some amazing pizzas at Tony D's. The place is tiny inside, so I dont know how they will make any money in the winter, but whatever. The interior is nice, and while the menu is limited to only a few pizzas, paninis and a couple of apps, you can create any pizza you want. I wanted an ingredient from one of the appetizers on my pizza (it wasnt listed as a pizza option) and they accomodated me. As long as the food is in house, they said they can do it. Overall it was a good experience. In the summer they should do much better with their outdoor deck. —MrRochester
2008-12-10 11:02:05 The environment was crowded but i didn't mind. I sat at the bar overlooking the chef which was nice for entertainment purposes. The pizza was delicious but the peppers we had on top were way too hot and i had to peal them off. Also, there could have been more toppings on some of the slices there were none at all. —KM
2008-12-11 00:41:39 In response to "KM" about the wings being "double dipped", I was also concerned about cross contamination and inquired with the chef. Chef Jay informed me that the chicken wings come in daily pre-cooked (steamed) and they simply finish preparing them with there seasonings in the pizza oven. I've visited Tony's many times since their grand opening and their pizza (and wings) are easily my favorite in the city. —JohnDakota
2009-01-03 17:01:36 We have been here 4-5 times and have always had a great experience. It is small but cozy. I like having the large windows overlooking the deck/river and the open oven right there. The lighting is relaxing and is well decorated. Servoce has always been attentive. I really love the pizza because it has a very thing and crispy crust. It is reasonably priced and its nice to be able to get out of a Rochester restaurant feeling content without having to lay out $75 or more. —JamesPatrick
2009-02-12 12:02:22 Oh My God. Finally. I moved back in Sept from NYC after 9 years. Two of my biggest concerns (aside from snow and no sun!) was finding good sushi and pizza. Let me tell you, its been a struggle. Once you've had good pizza, its hard to go back to thick, undercooked dough and bad sauce. Since moving, I've had pizza all over town and always left disappointed and wishing I could ask for my money back. I read the article about Tony's and rushed over. We were beyond impressed with the food, staff, ambience, etc. We sat at the counter with the chef's which was fun. The salads and pizza exceeded our expectations and we will absolutely go back on a very regular basis. Of course, my only criticism is the size of the restaurant. On our first attempt to go there, we were told the wait was 90 minutes so we left. Its like finding the promise land but told there are only 9 tables. Btw, I lost to eat and have never written a review so that says a lot! Well done. —JenniferKnapp
2009-03-14 18:31:37 AWFUL!
Burnt pizza, tasteless meatballs, and appetizers (especially the "crispy crab cakes") that sure as he@@ tasted like generic, thaw-and-microwave 'Sysco Foods' products for expensive $$. This place is the worst restaurant I've experienced in Rochester, NY.. EVER.
Service is apathetic. When I was asked 'how is everything, you didn't each much of your pizza." I said to the girl "It's burnt. I don't like pizza that's crispified all over with carbon!" She blandly replied "I've never heard that before." No offer of free dessert (not that I would have taken it anyway) nor any offer whatsoever to remove/discount an item from my bill. 'service recovery' should be a critical component of any business that cares about the quality of their product. When a patron/customer has a valid product/service problem and you don't offer a productive resolution then WHY would you bother to ask "How was everything? You didn't eat much of your pizza" AND who would want to patronize a restaurant that doesn't care to make things right?! If you don't care about me, why should I tolerate crummy product and service from you? Easy answer- never again, "Tony D's"
I want to write a letter to anyone who might care at Tony D's just to state my experience after wasting $60 dollars on junk food, junk service, at tables that were 8 inches from the next patron. Sadly, after my experience and the absolute LACK of problem resolution, I really doubt anyone cares. What makes it worse is that I'm quite sure I saw what appeared to be the 'owner/manager' standing right near the bar watching burnt pizza after burnt pizza leave the ovens— the servers went right by him with each crummy food offering.
Times are too tough to waste money on absolute garbage. SAVE YOUR MONEY and find a real Italian restaurant if one exists in Rocheser— Try Rocky's perhaps.
This place gets an F (minus) in my book and I am a super-tolerant, very easy-going patron! What a bummer :-(
2009-03-14 18:34:07 P.S. Couldn't add pictures of the crappy burnt pizza on this site. Check out my review on Yelp.com for pics of this monstrosity they called "coal fired(scorched) pizza" http://www.yelp.com/biz/tony-ds-coal-fired-pizza-rochester —Banjes
2009-03-19 11:03:36 I just went here last night after reading a great review and it has become one of my favorites. If you go you MUST try the arancini—deep fried risotto balls flavored with cheese, pine nuts, and prosciutto. Delicious and reasonably priced. I would wholeheartedly recommend this place to everyone! —JodiA
2009-03-19 11:05:27 And to the commenter above who complained about "burnt" pizza—it states very clearly on the menu that the pizza will be well-done. It is coal-fired. If you do not like well-done, thin, crispy crust, the pizza here is not for you. —JodiA
2009-03-26 15:45:29 Loved it! Great addition to Rochester's restaurant scene. I dream about the arancini appetizer! —MDelphinki
2009-04-07 11:32:31 I've visited four times and enjoyed my food each visit (various pizzas, calamari, salads, arancini). My only complaint is the restaurant is extremely loud, making it difficult to have a conversation. —EllenKelsey
2009-04-08 11:35:49 went here with 4 friends last Friday night. dinner was fantastic— beautiful view of the river, good wine selection, incredible pizza. one of us received a pizza that had anchovies on it instead of artichokes, and the chef redid her pizza within 10 minutes. VERY small and loud though— we waited at least an hour for a table. would definitely come back again during less busier hours! —KaylieWinkler
2009-04-20 13:25:32 I love this place. Although the wait was a bit long, we did not mind it. Especially after we got our food. Everything was amazing. The app, dinner, service, dessert! The best I have had around this area in a while. I am from chicago and this place is definately one of my favorites of all time. I had a crabcake and it was the best I have had! The pizza is well done..and perfect! Great freindly service, from beginning till end, they seem like family and treat you just like it. Excellent! —sarahcostello
2009-04-29 14:55:12 Just went to Tony D's this past weekend, and I plan on going back again and again! I LOVE crispy pizza, and yes it is a little burnt, but thats what COAL FIRED pizza is! It even says on the menu that the pizza is well done! (My mom doesn't like it burnt, so we asked them to not cook hers as long and they were happy to) And to anyone who thinks its too loud or too crowded, don't go out to restaurants on the weekends. This place has good wine (some beer), awesome food, and a cool atmosphere. The arancini (risotto fritters) are amazing and so is the pizza. They had a seafood daily special with clams, mussels, and shrimp that was soooo good. I think they also had lamb shanks, which I didn't have, but come on, what kind of pizza place serves lamb shanks! The wait was a little long, but it is so small, there isn't really much that can be done about that. I would recommend Tony's to anyone who is looking for a fun and different place to go with a date or with friends (I wouldn't suggest bringing your kids). Oh, and they only take reservations if you have 6 or more people, so get there early to get a table! —AllieJohnson
2009-05-04 18:43:09 I love food in general so it's hard to say but I will not go back again. The place looks nice but the music is so loud it's difficult to carry on a conversation. Aside from that the food was not good. My pizza came out BURNT (the menu does warn the pizzas are 'well done' but that's no excuse to serve pizza with the edges of the crust literally falling to ash. The sauce had dried out and the cheese had separated into crators filled with oil, as cheese does when heated beyond just melting. I wish I could post a picture. Another annoyance was that we were not given real plates, we had to make due with 6" diameter bread plates, which coincidently are smaller than the size of the pieces they cut. As others have said, the people that were enjoying themselves seemed to be 'in' with the management. I felt like an unwelcome after-thought at a personal party. —J----
2009-06-30 14:26:28 I love this place. Ive been there about 6 times and I keep coming back bc of the great atmosphere, friendly service (ask for Kelly or Carol) and the amazing food. Their pizzas are delicious and their spicy seafood special is fantastic. I also want to suggest the arancinis and the chicken wings. In fact everything on the menu is phenomenal :) When I ordered the seafood special I found myself actually drinking the marinara broth right out of the bowl my order came in (im not lieing!! lol) —limeylimer
2009-07-07 22:34:09 Don't listen to a couple of haters! This place is EXCELLENT! I've been 3 times and have been very happy with the food and service. I'd also like to note that I very much enjoyed myself, and I don't know anyone who works there - theory disproved! —NoBS
2009-07-10 21:15:15 Went for lunch with some colleagues. Got to sit outside, which had a nice breeze and was under an awning for shade. Our server Julia was really great. I had a pizza - quite tasty, a little too much flour/cornmeal/whatever on the bottom of the crust, but I understand that can be necessary in authentic ovens. Others in my party had salads, sandwiches and other meals and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals. Get there early for lunch - it filled up quickly. I'll definitely be going back. (PS - The inside seemed noisy when we walked through to leave) —DGandDJ
2009-07-27 22:07:36 I still think this is one of the best Italiam places in Rochester. The "Sunday sauce" is out of this world good. LOVE IT!!! I also love the pizza and greens&beans. Service is alwasy excellent. I agree that restaurant can be too loud. The management should be aware of that and turn the music down a bit when there are alot of people in the restaurant. (and also not jack the music up when its empty....which is VERY annoying) We asked them to turn the music down and they did. —JamesPatrick
2009-07-27 22:30:04 picked up a pizza for lunch here a few days ago. pretty good stuff, I destroyed that pizza quickly.
As for people complaining about "burnt pizza", coal fired ovens are very hot and cooking thin crust pizzas in it gives you a very well done product. There is a warning on the menu, if you can't get past that go somewhere else. Its just a style of pizza, and many other people are very fond of it. —JohnJoseph
2009-08-26 11:02:17 On online menu would be very helpful. It seems such a thing does not exist.
I am supposed to go for a group lunch this afternoon and have some specific dietary restrictions. Oh well. Hope for the best, I guess. —ErikaWu
2009-11-03 11:07:46 best pizza i've had in rochester yet. also ignore the city review, it was written before they started cranking up the oven to the correct temperature again and stopped trying to pander to idiots who think this is the wrong way to make pizza. —RaginRon
2009-12-27 10:52:08 Went last night for the 1st time. My wife's annual college-friends post-Christmas dinner. We had a 7p reservation & were all seated around 7:20. Food was delicious, service was very friendly (Jenna our server was great), tables were jammed in there but ok b/c people next to us were friendly but our exit was very rushed. We all ordered pizzas which were great. I started out with the large wing order. They were fantastic & the talk of the table. The pizzas were tasty & hit the spot (cooked just right). Dessert & coffee finished off the meal with a smile on our faces. As we were having coffee, the hostess came up & asked us if we were ready to leave. Seeing drinks/coffes in our hands should have given her a clue we weren't. We were very receptive & polite in stating "Oh, you have another reservation". She apologized & said, "Well, I gave you 2 hours & the 2 children downstairs are out of control waiting." I felt like telling her, "Well, we gave you 300 dollars, the out of control kids downstairs waiting will be just as bad up here & you could have given us a heads-up about the 9p reservation when we were seated" All said, food & svc great (9). People skills of the hostess...atrocious (2-3). —JamesDowell
2010-02-01 11:29:29 FINALLY!!! Good pizza in Rochester!!
I'm originally from New Jersey close to NYC so I consider myself well versed in what pizza is supposed to look and taste like. My favorite pizza EVER is Lombardi's. My pizza experience here in Rochester has been pretty dismal to date. When I read about the coal fired oven, I had to give Tony D's a shot.
Went to Tony D's for the first time yesterday. My wife and I ordered the arancini, a Caesar salad, a small margherita and a small bianca. The arancini were fantastic, but could have been a little hotter. The Caesar was very good and well presented. Then the pizza came.
The crust, which IS the most important part - light, tender, airy, thin, with a great char. JUST THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE!! Toppings were very good.
The service was quick and friendly. Seating was a little tight. And the place was COLD inside!
To all those people who here who complained about the amount of the toppings or the "burned" crust; I have 5 solutions for you 1) Papa John's, 2) Little Caesars, 3) Pizza Hut, 4) Domino's, and, 5) Pontillo's - YUCKO!!
1) Make the arancini a little hotter.
2) Properly heat the restaurant.
3) Serve the pizza on pizza stands to maintain room on the table.
It ain't Lombardi's, but it will curve my cravings when I have them without a 6 hour drive! I WILL be back. —PhilBusardo
2010-03-22 22:31:52 We've been here a number of times and have been pleased with our dinners. Their coal fired wings are very tasty and a good alternative to deep fried wings! Their pizzas are delicious as well! As strange as it sounds to add a meatball on a salad, TRY IT - you won't be sorry! Great patio during the warmer months - we can't wait until we can get back out there! —Acarp
2010-03-25 16:42:11 To Phil Busardo: Lombardis is great, but I think that Luzzos on 1st in the East Village (near 13th) is better. I didnt believe it until I tried it. Luzzos uses soprosetta instead of pepperoni and I think that that makes it better. —ScottLaRock
2010-07-06 10:23:09 We had heard so many great things about this restaurant so when my wife made reservations for my birthday I was pretty excited to go—unfortunately, the manager overbooked the evening and she said she couldn't sit us at a table! The host/manager was rude, unthoughtful and disrespectful! So much for a nice birthday dinner with my family!! We will never go back. You've lost our business, our families business and friends. Manners is not a part of the job description I guess.... —BulletonRound
2010-07-06 12:32:05 Went a few weeks ago — wanted to give it a shot as it was a beautiful day to sit outside. Everything about our experience was ho-hum. Service was spotty, wine list was dull. Roasted vegetable salad was probably the highlight. To weigh in on the whole debate here, while the crust was cooked properly (in my limited experience with coal-fired pizza), the dough itself was rather tasteless, the red sauce was sweet without depth, and the toppings were of average quality. A final picky note: basil should always be placed on a pizza AFTER it comes out of the oven. Blackening it leaves very little basil flavor.
I'd have to say that unfortunately I probably won't be going back. Rocco is vastly superior (and also doubles as a fine establishment for a full-course meal), and Nino's and Pizza Stop make a better (yet admittedly different) pie. —RochesterGuy
2010-07-11 03:48:19 This was our first time at Tony D's. Service was great, very friendly staff and when they heard that this was our first time it seemed like we got even more attention. So kudos for the service. Now for the food! In my opinion, nothing special. If you put a slice of coal fired pizza next to an oven cooked pizza, I'm not sure if i can tell a difference. Coal fired, since this my first time having it, seemed like the dough was bit too dry. We also had a Panini and that was ok as well, nothing unique. I'm not thrashing the place, all i am saying is that i would find it hard to believe that people go to Tony D's for the food; majority of them go here for the atmosphere and to mingle with their friends - which is nothing wrong with and i think that is one of the major qualities of a restaurant. There are lot of restaurants with great food, but the ambiance sucks and they go out of business because of it.
Kitchen is very tiny and the restaurant overall is very small. Wait time for our table was little over half hour and to be honest, i would not wait again this long for a pizza. I would prefer to go to Tony D's for lunch or for afternoon meal to sit outside and enjoy the view.
Overall, including the food and atmosphere i would give this place 6 out of 10. Service/staff was excellent, we got our meals really fast. My biggest complaint and suggestion to the owners would be (as some people already suggested here) noise level was ridiculous; so please TURN DOWN THE MUSIC - its already small and crowded with noise inside and you don't need anymore noise.
My other suggestion would be to add your "specials" into your current menu. 90% of the menu is pizza, but when the waiter tells what the specials are - they are everything but pizza and they sounded delicious, like crab cakes - so why not add them to the menu permanently?
Price is very reasonable, cost of two people was less than $20. —DennisPtak
2010-08-06 16:45:28 Wife and I were here on a recent week night. We were seated promptly on the deck. If you have any kind of a time crunch, not the place to go. Sat for 20 minutes without a menu until we borrowed one from table next to ours. When waitress finally came, asked if we were ready to order without telling us about specials ( which upon arrival at nearby tables looked great) or taking drink order. When the food came, it almost made up for the poor service. The pizza and salad we had were both very good. That being said, as is mentioned in some of the reviews above. I really can't tell the coal taste from pizza made the normal way. But I do know that it was good. Will return but will avoid outdoor seating. —almorinelli
2010-10-10 19:18:35 SO GOOD! Have been twice and can't wait to be back. I have tried both the red and white pizza sauces, both of which very flavorful, fresh and delicious. The clam pizza had a great flavor... very well prepared and seasoned; they don't skimp on the clam at all and went really well with a glass of white wine. I had tried some kind of vegetable pizza with grilled veggies with the red sauce; this was full of bold flavors that worked really well together. I love the thin and crisp pizza crust. I shared the sea bass entree, which had a "melt in your mouth" kind of effect. The greens and beans had a really rich flavor and had a hearty 'comfort' feel that I would expect from this traditional dish. —Leisel
2010-10-25 20:26:52 I didn't like the service here. The hostess lied repeatedly about us being "up next." We snuck out and took our business elsewhere. If I were in New Jersey, I'd go to Rutt's Hut and buy a ripper. —BatGuano
2011-01-14 14:09:51 Have gone a few times out of relative convenience but will probably look elsewhere to wood-fired pizza alternatives when I am feeling an authentic Italian pizza. The dough was a bit too thin last week and/or the coals a bit too hot but my entire pizza tasted of char. I actually took to eating it upside-down so the cheese/toppings hit my tongue first rather than the burnt under side. The service was very good but did not notice (though the chefs should have been the ones to notice) how disappointing the pizza was. My husband had a delicious (but unadvertised as the most expensive item of the evening) special of airline chicken and we split a good-size-for-sharing caesar salad with tasty croutons, prosciutto bits and a great creamy dressing. Tack on 1 diet coke and tip and our meal was over $60. Certainly wasn't a meal that earned its price. —kmc
2011-01-18 10:54:13 The place was extremely busy when I was there so there was a bit of a wait but the pizza was well worth it; some of the best I've ever had. Can't wait to go back! —ErikWilliams
2011-01-23 08:39:34 COMPLETLY over - rated! VERY SMALL bar area and eating/dining area - be prepared to feel like a sardine at the bar. After a VERY lengthy wait time we were seated at the counter area, where you have a birds eye view of ALL food prep. The chefs were amazing - three people in the smallest area I have ever seen in a "kitchen" how they do it still baffles me. The kitchen is so small there is not even a pass for the food - it is placed on a wire rack type thing next to the last customer eating at the counter area - ????? The food was very good - many specials to choose from, although all were quite pricey. The service was excellent - restaurant loud, cramped - and no liquor??????? Beer and wine only - didn't bode well for my party of 5 all of whom were looking for cocktails not beer/wine. Would NOT return that's for sure, too many top notch Rochester restaurant's to choose from to return here - parking horrible also! —SusanRosen
2011-05-15 12:56:49 Good food but looking at the other comments I wanted to say that the hostess (which seemed to be also the owner or at least acted so) played a game where she wouldn't tell me how long the wait was. We came in with a 5 top and first thing we asked was how long was the wait and she said "should be just a few. I can go check" and took our names down while she was going to find out. After more people came in she never went and checked and I asked again and she said she would go up right now which she did go upstairs but didn't come down for ten minutes or so then told us that the table is just finishing up their meals. I asked, "well if they're finishing up their meals, it could be like 15 or 20 minutes right?" and she evaded the question again saying well if they decide not to get a canoli then it will be faster." Every other restaurant is honest and will say it's going to be a 30 minute wait but because she wanted as many customers as possible, she played games. Service was great, food was good, spent $100 between 5 people. They recently expanded which is cool but they didn't break up the room so it's just a giant wide open space that gets really loud. I go there about once a month and there's a 50% chance that it's too loud to talk. —Antitree
2011-06-09 21:41:16 Went to Tony D's on a Saturday evening with friends. Sat on patio to eat which was nice, but was disappointed with the food. Friends with us never ate there before so the waitress explained the '900 degree' coal oven and how the pizzas are dark, but not burnt. Our clam and sausage pizza as burnt, not browned, but burnt black. Do they need an oven that hot? Do they think there burned pizzas are good? Also, I ordered a special, fra diavolo. It included 5 large shrimp which were very tough, 6 little neck clams which were decent, and 5 or 6 rings of calamari which were tough. The bill came and I had to double check with the waitress to see if they were serious about charging me $34 for fra diavolo. Two important things here; 1 they don't tell you the price of specials ahead of time and 2 the price was ridiculous. It was not lobster fra diavolo, just a few shrimp and clams with packaged pasta. That's the third, and last time I go there. —DaveM
2011-06-17 18:49:45 crispy does not mean burnt. gross and over priced! —sammieG
2011-07-19 08:42:03 I love their greens and beans I would lick the plate clean if it wasn't rude to do so. And the pizzas are like I remember from the good places in Manhattan. —MamaK
2012-01-23 22:51:43 I have been here a number of times and have always had a great meal. My wife and I went here on Saturday night, it was packed but we managed to get a seat at the bar. The hostess said it would be an hour but after about 20 minutes we were seated at the Chefs table which is a bar surrounding the chefs so you can watch them cook. I was extremely impressed watching them cook, they focus they put on presentation and quality was great to see. We got the over roasted wings which are excellent. I had the Filet Mignon special and my wife got a pizza. Everything was fantastic as always. I really enjoy this place and love taking people from out of town here. It is always crowded and very lively. Great place! —MarkRizz
2012-03-10 08:28:35 The food is spectacular each time I go (albeit maybe slightly overpriced), but the ambiance is a little crowded and serving staff can be rude and non-attentive. Great area in Corn Hill though! —AGoldman
2012-08-16 22:06:56 Good food, simple menu and the outdoor seating is nice. It can get obnoxiously loud inside. —marcuskroll
2012-10-22 13:30:07 I've liked the place, but can see where the negative comments come from. The outdoor seating, or the "glass room" by the river, are nice to sit at. The rest of the restaurant is so LOUD that there's no point in trying conversation. The place is small enough, and popular enough, that arriving between 5:30 and 8, especially on a Friday or Saturday, means a long wait. In recent visits, they seem to have gotten skittish enough about the "charred" criticism that the pies are more soft than crispy. It's nice, but it's not where I'd go first in the area for wood-fired pizza, and I'd probably walk out and look elsewhere if I expected to be seated in the main part of the restaurant. —bionicsimmons
2016-09-13 21:03:55 Closing after tonight: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2016/09/13/tony-ds-restaurant-closes-tony-dicesare/90323338/ —markjackson